If you need to setup a project before submitting a design request please click here….

If you are unsure of what design resources maybe required please see detailed descriptions of each at the bottom of the page.

What are the design resources listed and how do they differ ?

Creative direction is the creation , planning and delivery of a strategic vision for a brand or project.  It’s usually requested directly or required due to a lack of clarity within a brief. Understanding if creative direction is required can be as valuable to the business as providing the service itself. Meeting a brief without clear direction can be difficult and often leads to overruns or poor design output. Generally speaking the Client, Design Director or Project Director will establish if creative direction is required but it’s up to everyone on a project to question if we have clarity.

Design Direction is often required on projects when there is need to interpret a creative or brand led brief which may require effective design communication, and a high level of design thinking or problem solving.  The purpose typically is to quickly apply some senior design thinking and direction to a task or project, interpreting the ask,  communicating concepts and defining the overall objectives to ensure subsequent design resources take a focused approach to developing a product or experience to the highest standards of quality.

Design management is the role of managing the design process in its entirety, not just the designers it involves coordinating both the client and design team to meet the deadlines agreed.

Scheduling the necessary meeting, mapping out a design schedule based on feedback form design team while  cross referencing client requests.

It includes daily check-ins on all projects with design leads to help further the design process. It also includes liaising with venues / locations to organise all site recce’s and access.

In addition the role requires a deep understanding of design and project scope, ensuring if a client request comes in outside the scope of creative it is passed to the PM for review.

A Senior Designer will take the creative brief (including creative / design direction where necessary ) and bring the concept to completion. This can include moodboards , sketches, full 3D rendering and written narratives & presentations. A senior designer is responsible for suggesting layouts and materials however sourcing and costing these materials sits with the project team as will the final layout.

Straight to Designer is an approach the PM team often take, this is when a request is basic enough that time can be booked directly with a designer and no senior level resources are required. This work may fall under the category of design management or it may be so straight forward that even this is not required.  On review of the request, the design team will confirm if the ask is straight forward enough to meet the “Straight to Designer” criteria and be processed as such. Regardless, project management and design management should always be referenced or captured in the correct category on the quotation.

Graphic design can be done in-house or by a contractor. This will be determined by the design team on review of the brief. It’s important both PM teams and creative teams establish if a client is looking for new graphics to be created (Creative Graphic Design) or simply for existing graphic assets to be re-used (Artworking). The cost associated for each can vary dramatically. Graphic design generally requires creative direction whereas Artworking can often be done with a direct to designer approach.

Artworking is the process of manipulating or editing existing graphic assets into new formats, not the creation of new artwork / assets. If the creation of new assets is required “Graphic Design” should be requested sepearte to “Artworking”and may required more senior resourcing.

Unknown is a simple way to ask the design team to make all the relevant calls.

Project management covers every aspect of a project including documenting the costs associated with the design process and including them in the overall budget.  However the management of the design process and everything associated with the creative brief is a workstream we need to separate. There are many good reasons for doing this, we’ve highlighted a few below for reference.

  • Very often we’re tasked with delivering a creative concept whereby no project (outside of the creative ask) exists unless the creative is signed off. In these cases the client is paying for creative time to help realise a vision. This process is very much subjective and open to change by the client, the costs and time implications of these design changes are generally not the responsibility of the project team. Separating them allows our clients to make a distinction between the design phase and live project phase.
  • Clients will generally accept and understand design management fees easier than project management fees at design stage.
  • Separating the workstreams will help define our scope at every stage. Clients should expect strong creative output and strategy at design stage but shouldn’t expect this to include manufacturing costs, observations on compliance /regulation or scheduling unless agreed in advance and captured under project management. The reason we highlight this is to avoid project management time becoming void due to design changes. If a client wants these services to run in parallel (eg. to meet aggressive time lines) they need to be clear of the risks.

Why is it more important for Nineyards to do this?

Nineyards offers an end to end service, encompassing both design and manufacturing under one roof. For this reason we need to manage the process more carefully, unlike many of our competitors we’re responsible for the creative output and the budget associated with bringing this creative to life. Many large brands are more familiar with using a design company to deal with design, then going to market with signed off concepts. We remove a step for our customers and a broad knowledge combined with a high standards is considered a valuable service, however poor communication between ourselves or with clients can quickly turn a strength into a weakness.