My Step-by-Step Design Process


When looking for a graphic designer, it is a good idea to find out if they use a system or process. This will help determine if you can expect the project to stay on track easily and in an organized fashion. This ultimately makes the process much more enjoyable and less overwhelming for both you and your designer. The processes in this post are laid out for both the branding and web design + development packages offered by Speared Olive.

While some designers like to create without a system in place, which may work for them, I find that WITHOUT a system in place:

  • You can be confused on what is needed by the designer as well as what the next steps are

  • You can become frustrated with the designer, leading to a poor collaborative experience

  • The project can drag out longer than both you and your designer anticipated

  • You found the whole experience to be unorganized and exhausting

On the other hand, clients who work with designers WITH a system find that:

  • Both you and your designer are clear on what is needed, the next steps, and the timeframe

  • You can enjoy the process and not feel overwhelmed or exhausted

  • Everything is laid out in a clear and simple way for you to understand

  • You don’t feel like you have wasted their time or money with an inexperienced designer

  • You look forward to seeing the final designs


Below are the detailed steps of our design process for both branding and web design packages. Click here to view Speared Olive’s services, packages and timeframes!


Step one: free consultation

Once you have had a chance to read through the information about the services, packages, timeframes, and pricing we will schedule a free design consultation call. This will give us the opportunity to get to know each other and chat about your project!

Step two: deposit and contract

If we decided it’s a good fit, there is a 50% non-refundable deposit to secure your spot. We’ll also both need to sign the contract so that we’re fully protected before we begin working together.

Step three: project management

I’ll add you to my project management system, Dubsado. This is where we’ll communicate and keep all of your files and feedback. This will help us both to stay organized and on track without having to search through hundreds of emails and misplaced files later down the road. Don’t worry – I’ll provide you with a video tutorial on how to use it, it’s simple!

Step four: client homework

After the deposit is paid, the contract is signed, and your client portal is setup in Dubsado, we are ready to get down to the fun! It’s important that I don’t just create pretty graphics for my clients, but instead take the time to get to know you, where your business is and where you want to see it go. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to answer an in-depth questionnaire. You’ll also need to upload all of your content (whether for your website or brand elements).

Step five: consult call

Before I start to put pen to paper, we’ll have a more in-depth consult call. This is where we have the opportunity to review and discuss the homework. This confirms we are both on the same page regarding the logistical and aesthetic goals. This is a great time for you to ask any last-minute questions you may have before we get started.

Step six: logo proposal

This is the part of the design process where I take your homework and start bringing your brand to life. I will create a logo proposal which will include the mood board, color palette, primary logo concept, as well as secondary logo marks. There will be two revision rounds if needed here. A breakdown of those items is below:

Mood board - this includes up to 9 images that sets the visual tone and direction for the brand

Color palette - this will include primary and secondary palettes of the colors to be used in association with the brand

Primary logo concept - the main logo design that will be used across brand elements

Secondary logo marks - this includes logo variation and sub marks. Logo variation is another version of the main logo with a slight difference. Logo variations add versatility and more depth to the brand. A sub mark is another element derived from the main logo. This is also great for letterheads, business cards or other branding materials.

Step seven: brand proposal

Once we’ve nailed down the logo proposal, we’re ready to move on! Now it will be the time to get the brand foundation, typography selections, and patterns/textures designed. There will be two revision rounds if needed here. Below is a breakdown of those items:

Brand foundation - this is where we lay out the the nitty-gritty of your business, your target market, your vision, and our approach to your brand design

Typography - this includes the font selections for your brand which will be used in all your brand elements and your website in order to create brand cohesiveness

Patterns/textures - these add to the brand’s personality and help to create consistency across all platforms

Step eight: other brand elements proposal

In the brand package, you have the option to choose 2 of the following: email signature, social media branding, business cards, or have up to 2 of your current printed materials redesigned. In this step, I will design the 2 options you chose as well as work with the printer to have them printed (if applicable).

Step nine: website design

I’ll create a mockup of the homepage of your website. After everything is looking great, we will be ready to move into the development phase. There is a revision round if needed here.

Step ten: website development

This is where I get to put on my nerd hat and make your design become a live site! This is also when I will implement SEO and mobile optimization. Once everything is developed, tested and ready to go, you will have the opportunity to point out any changes needing to be made before the site is live.

Step eleven: project wrap-up

Once you have completed the final payment, the final branded files, brand style guide, and website are all yours! Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging to figure out how to use your website all by yourself. We’ll set up a training call where I will walk you through how to use and update your website. I will be available for any tech support needed the week after the project has been handed over as you are getting used to managing your new site. For those wanting to be more “hands-off”, an optional web maintenance package is available. 

*Some of these steps may not apply, we’ll go over that during the package selection

For more information on our services, packages, and timeframes, click here!

Ready to collaborate?!