oscar rae is a small design company based in Letchworth. Its owner, Lena Whitaker, is a degree educated graphic designer with more than twenty five years’ experience, specialising in design for both print and digital platforms.
During the course of her career, Lena’s clients have included the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Citizenship Foundation, BDM Publications, local authorities such as Welwyn Hatfield Council, and charities including SAYes Mentoring.
Through Lena’s experiences, we have developed an awareness and sensitivity for inclusive design, where in particular the imagery attends to the needs of the audience, whether young or old, but always reflects the diversity of society. Similarly, we are meticulous in our typesetting and are aware of SENDA compliancy.
Many of our projects have adhered to branding guidelines where such guidelines existed, unless advised by the client to break the mould due to the intended audience or impact needed.
A short breakdown of our methodology showing how we approach briefs follows (some example areas for questions are added in italics):
The most important part of a project is the brief and we encourage our clients to give the fullest briefing they can. Through discussion we gather information on your project and ascertain your design likes and, just as importantly, your dislikes. We then build a profile of the project parameters so we can proceed effectively.
What are your objectives? Who is the target audience? What are the lead times? Who will be our point of contact?
Once we are briefed, we begin our research. We start looking at fonts and colours and design devices. We research existing branding guidelines identifying possible problems, and begin to look at suitable imagery. Clarification for further guidance may be sought at this stage as our research may raise more questions.
What other visual factors do we need to consider? Which direction should we consider taking?
The creative development process includes brainstorming, concept artworking and presentation. We start sketching rough ideas that generate further ideas and possibilities before creating our preferred concepts to present to the client. Through feedback these ideas are refined until we have reached a decision on the client’s chosen concept.
Which typefaces work well together? What should be the primary and secondary colours? Do ideas work with existing materials? Do ideas fulfil the client’s brief?
We now populate the client’s chosen design with real content and apply the conceit to the suite of materials required. Review and revision at this stage brings us to the approval process and sign-off of final artwork.
Has the document been proofread? Who will be printing the materials? How would they like the artwork supplied?
Artwork is supplied to client and printer.