You have a message to tell, something specific that you’re trying to communicate to potential customers. You know exactly what makes your product great and how it makes their lives better. I believe that great design is foundationally grounded in listening to that and understanding it. That kind of listening is the only kind that is really able to create a visual message that speaks directly, and with clarity and appeal, to your target customer.
In other words, great design begins—not with artistic ability, not with aesthetic trends, and not even necessarily with creativity—but with you, the client.
I believe in an approach to design that is essentially strategic. It begins with listening, aims to get it right, and is intentionally client-centric from first to last. If a branding scheme—or logo, or business card, or website, etc.—is going to be right, you have to keep feeding the knowledge base, strengthening and informing the understanding, and building at the strategic level. And that happens by working hard to understand the client, their product, and the message they’re trying to communicate.
Design that’s only creative is just art, but design that’s strategic is powerful and profitable.