Posted 6th June 2016 | By Shannon Wright, Creative Manager

No matter for what purpose, sketching will also play a vital role within the design process (I know I say this a lot). As a tool, sketching allows us to understand, experiment and enhance solutions to problems in a more organic and free manner. This also ensures that a vast amount of time is invested on refining exciting design solutions for our clients.

This approach isn't just something we take on for our clients; we also apply this to our own design projects, which are usually aimed at developing ways to expand our growth as a business. One of our more recent endeavours was for Marketing Week Live...

Following our recent attendance as exhibitors at Marketing Week Live, I thought I'd give everyone a backstage glimpse at the process the design team here at ExtraMile undertook and how we brought our initial sketches to life at the event!

Stage One - Scoping

Now let's journey back to November 2015 where the design team had a sit down with our sales and marketing team (in which cakes were not included in might I add). During this meeting, we discussed the ins and outs of the event, what we wanted to achieve and ultimately how we wanted to look. This experience was really beneficial to the team, as not only did it give our designers the opportunity to problem solve, but it also did the same for the marketers. This really ensured that everyone contributed to the ideas process, after all we are a team and this was for all of us!

Stage Two – Design Exploration

After being fully prepped, the design team then had a sit down separately to discuss and break things down further. Just how were we going to pull this off (is what went through my mind)? It was during this time where the visual layouts started to come life a little, as we were able to experiment and develop how we were going to communicate our ideas and how we wanted things to look. We then set out with the task of creating initial designs based on our messy sketches and scribbled notes, allowing our ideas to come to life even further.

Stage Three – The Pitch

Here came the scary part... pitching to the team. Following our gruelling initial design process, the design team came together again to discuss our final ideas and prepared to pitch these ideas to the rest of the staff. It was important that we got this right. We really wanted to communicate our ideas well and to do this we started putting together actual 2D and 3D mock-ups of how the stand was going to work and not just the design of it, the architecture of it as well. At the end of the day, we weren't just designing a big poster to put up; we were creating a live experience and environment!

sketch-to-life-stand2

Stage Four – Refinements & Testing

Luckily, we passed the test! The team were super excited about the designs, so we got to work on refining and moving things further towards the finished product. We had another sit down with the sales and marketing team at this point to discuss how we could enhance the designs further, whether it was visually or in terms of content. Testing was also a vital stage of this process, as we needed to ensure that every part of the overall stand structure was catered for within the design. Once we got passed this, it was on to the final stage...

Stage Five – The Final Hurdle

We at this point had completed all of the designs for the stand and for the rest of print collateral, it was just a matter of getting them printed and off to London! This process is always the most tiresome, conducting a detailed Q&A to ensure pixel and grammatical perfection (if I found one spelling mistake it may have been the end of me I swear), but perhaps one of the most important as well. Quality is part of our ethos here at ExtraMile and we will go all the way to ensure it. Luckily, we got through it and all the hard work paid off! The team had an amazing time at the event, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have had the opportunity to do this!

Thanks to everyone involved, it was so worth it!

sketch-to-life-event

Thanks for reading! Catch you next time...

Written by Shannon Wright, Web Designer at ExtraMile Communications.

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.

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