he truth is that graphic creations, especially infographics, are some of the most relevant proofs of expertise that can come out of the “hands” of a skilled advertising agency. In fact, creating a high quality infographic can really make an agency stand out of the crowd.
And we think we add value to the market for one strong reason: the way we approach this kind of projects.
Working on infographics is an opportunity to showcase our creativity, in a mix of talent enriched by technique and teamwork (two essential aspects that influence the results).
Another resource we invest is the passion for what we are doing and we really enjoy being challenged by our clients. No matter how different and complex may be their activity areas, we are delighted to create unexpected designs on a particular market, already saturated by the same templates.
In time, we have developed a well-defined “ritual” and respecting it offers us in return (a paradoxical and) incredible freedom of creation.
So, if you ask (please do), we follow these 7 magical statements every time:
1. Set up a live meeting with the client.
Connection at first sight.
his is the essential part of a valuable infographic! Like almost everything else, it takes two to create something great (our client and us in this case). So good communication between the two involved makes the process development faster and more fulfilling. The face-to-face conversation is crucial for understanding the needs of our client, his goals and his targeted audience; this is the best approach for finding the most suitable style.
Usually, the entire 3D Art Studio team is present, but two members can’t ever miss the meeting: the copywriter and the illustrator/graphic designer. They are the key members who will work together, but the others will also be involved in the internal brainstorming process. Everyone should know the project data so they can give step by step feedback during the working process.
Also, this is the moment when we establish the dissemination channels (mail, social media or business presentation), the preferred format/size/shape and if the infographic will be used in print or shared digitally only.
Sometimes we are given an example of how the client would like the infographic to look like, so we have a clear line to follow and work upon, but in most of the cases we are free to find the road.
Oh, and this is also the moment when we talk about the delivering deadline. This way we can organize the workflow in such a manner that there will be life before the deadline.
2. Process the brief and the information.
Order in mind – clarity in drawings.
s soon as we receive the brief and the information that will be transformed into an infographic, the copywriter decrypts it, researches it and works on the overall structure.
This phase is very important because the big picture depends on it and if the information is crystal clear, the result will also be clear and clever. The copywriter also extracts the essential ideas from the content and decides which information should turn into drawings and what should remain written.
So, the main idea is: order in mind – clarity in drawings.
3. Search and research.
Information is power.
sually we deal with statements 2 and 3 at the same time and, depending on the subject, we search and research, trying to understand the activity domain or industry, shaping our perspective as close as possible to that of an insider.
Also, we search for what has already been done and we set a higher level of execution, challenging ourselves to exceed our own expectations.
We know everything about new trends in design, but sometimes this isn’t enough. We always adapt and choose what best suits each project, because just going with the flow and trends doesn’t match the needs or, why not, the preferences of the client.
4. Create the wireframe and the sketches.
Paper & Pen Perfection
he copywriter draws (no, this is not a mistake!). The first lines and sketches of the infographic belong to the copywriter, because he is the one who thinks of a concept and he has to show the illustrator how it looks in his mind (more or less).
Of course, this is where the illustrator feels most confident about his skills, because no one else really knows how to draw. Zero talent in drawing for the copywriter, pain in the… brain for the illustrator. 🙂
Still, the copywriter creates the wireframe, the structure, constantly keeping in mind the balance of drawings and text, and paying attention to the accurate correspondence between the information and the future graphics done by the illustrator.
5. Draw and unleash the imagination.
New universes are born.
he illustrator finally begins to do what he wants and loves: drawing. This is the part where things begin to take shape and the copywriter’s sketches become artistic sketches, drawings that look recognizable for the human eye.
Once the direction is established, the artist begins to create the sketches and the drawings, first by hand, then using the graphic tablet or using his preferred software. He brings to life characters, objects, spaces, a whole universe, constantly keeping in mind the coherence of the big picture. So, he has to establish a connection between the style of drawing, colors, shapes, layout and fonts.
Our strong belief is that elements should define the activity domain and should suggest the subject of the infographic, but shouldn’t be “pleonastic”. We pay attention not to mislead, but also to surprise, to offer the unexpected, to go further with the meanings, keeping the information and the message unchanged.
Still, clarity comes before cleverness, so the imagination sometimes is free to swim in a swimming pool, not in an ocean. Yet, nothing compares with the feeling of watching the illustrator take ideas further, shaping them better than the copywriter initially thought. (When those two discuss, the rest of the team receives a free ticket to a stand-up show.)
6. Check the first drawings with the client.
Trust is a built value.
lthough it seems natural to do this, not every advertising agency does it, considering that everything was already set and said. We prefer to work like this because we want to make sure we are walking towards the agreed direction. We also want to ensure our client that everything is as planned, concerning the style and timing.
Most of the times, innovations and atypical ideas of drawings are also shown as sketches done by the illustrator (the copywriter’s doodles won’t work), because we want to surprise in a pleasant manner, not to be the ones surprised in the end. On the other hand, we admit that sometimes we take some risks and show our input only in the end, but always with great results.
This is a phase of building trust, assuring the client that the message was perfectly understood.
7. Finish and ask for feedback.
Results matter – the Experience rules!
s you can guess, we send the assembled material to the client to be analyzed, for him to check if the information is fully transmitted. This is when we receive the feedback with the final finesse changes.
This phase is usually focused on small yet important details, this being possible only because we consider the client as part of our team. Only together we can make things happen, collaborating and communicating, open to exchanging opinions and views.
We might say that, after we finish working on a project, besides the contentment of our client, what matters the most to us is to feel we’ve shared a great experience with him/together.