Design Case Study: Bold, Bright, Youthful

Posted By Mandi Lindner on Mar 10, 2014 | 0 comments

My favorite part of freelancing is making clients happy. Sometimes, when they give me direction for a project it doesn’t really click in my brain…the puzzle pieces don’t fit quite right and I spend days searching beautiful design to get that jolt of motivation to get me going.

This client was sort of that case and sort of not. I was inspired by the client’s vision for the presentation, but I was missing a piece of the puzzle, so to speak. I knew how it needed to flow and I got a great outline and copy of their speech and design direction from them, but I couldn’t make it sing on the first draft. And I knew it. They knew it. Something wasn’t working.

Then they sent me a color scheme.

That’s it. A set of graphics to add to their presentation that were done in a specific color scheme.

That’s all it took to get my brain churning and I burned through the second draft in two hours.

This is the direction I received from the client before I began. The color scheme (on the left) came later. I also received the outline in a PowerPoint and speech in a Word document.

design direction from client

Next is the inspiration board (for lack of better term) I created* from the client direction. I spent a day or two looking at the work of other designers to become inspired. I gathered and/or created the vector imagery I needed. I put together an idea of what the Prezi would look like – colors, imagery, layout – in my head.

*I didn’t physically create an inspiration board, just a folder on my computer with collected imagery and graphics I would need for the presentation. Most of this part of the process took part in my brain and came out when I began designing the second draft of the Prezi.

inspiration board

The client and I knew we wanted to use silhouettes to help the audience put themselves in the message. I used the color scheme to create pop-art style graphics – word bubbles, shapes, highlighted text, etc – to make the presentation youthful and energetic. I really liked the idea of creating an evolution-style diagram for the presentation timeline. This would be the foundation upon which all of the information would be organized.

Below is a sampling of design elements I created for the client within the presentation. The results are based on the initial direction from the client and the inspiration board I developed to help me find the voice and visual direction of the Prezi. Fortunately, Prezi has a lot of pre-made graphic elements, shapes, and symbols that worked very well for our purposes.

design results from client direction


That’s just one case study that shows how I create. Oftentimes I can be inspired by one small suggestion by the client. It takes a few days to germinate in my brain, but once I start designing I get pretty excited when I know I have something great brewing.

What do you think?