Strategic design is the opposite of “I make things look pretty.” Does that mean we make things look ugly? No. It means that the visual outcome of campaign or project is only one element applied to a solution.
We start by exploring the actual problem. Imagine this scenario: A potential client calls us up to ask for a brochure. Through a series of questions we discover that communicating through a brochure is their default modus operandi. It’s the way they’ve always done things before. Their real problem is getting the word out to their potential customers that they exist. It turns out that their target market is in the millennial age range. We counter with developing a social media video campaign and a short, one-page leave behind for their sales staff.
Strategic design focuses on solving the problem. In the previous scenario, the company has a customer awareness issue. More in-depth discussion clearly reveals that a brochure won’t solve that issue. If we had just focused on the original request, the customer would have received a brochure – hopefully a lovely one – but would still have the same awareness issue they’d had before they had a brochure in hand. Clearly, this won’t help their company thrive.
Science + Creativity = Strategic Design
By focusing on the solution or goals and not the medium; then adding in psychology, how our brains process the world, color theory, demographics, data, and marketing metrics, and pairing all of that with creativity and design, we get strategic design.