Before starting any design project there are two crucial things you need to remember. First and foremost is:
Who is your target audience?
This is the most important question that you should keep in mind when you make any and every decision. Just who are you designing for anyways? Potential clients? Current customers? Potential investors? Your own employees? All of the above? Answering the question of your target audience will help you understand what the function of your design should be.
To be the most effective, your design needs to speak directly to your target audience. Whether you need business cards, a new logo, or an entire website – I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to make every single decision with your target audience in mind. Don’t get trapped designing for yourself or for others involved in your organization! Just because your CEO really likes bright yellow, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for the font color in your new logo. Which brings me to the next important rule of design:
Don’t design by committee.
I’m sure you understand or have experienced the drawbacks of decision by committee. Well, those obstacles can sometimes be magnified when doing a design project. Everyone has their own taste, which is great – it keeps the world interesting! But that means that even the very best design won’t appeal to some people. Obviously most organizations will have more than one person who will have input in design choices but, like all committees, you need to have clear focus and strong leadership in order to successfully reach your common goal. When a group of people lose focus on their goal, that’s when the design process can get stymied in endless revisions or the final result will end up being ineffective.
So remember, if you lay out specific goals and continually keep in mind your target audience, you’ll end up with a design that works.