The creative process is a struggle with the unknown. Whether composing music, making a painting, or designing a chair, one is faced with the challenge of how to begin and how to end. Every project offers unique challenges, and no fail-safe formula exists for solving problems.
The design process can range from the use of highly structured methods to the serendipity of chance operations. Often, designers work in a realm somewhere between these two extremes – somewhere between intuition and logic. The solution to a problem emerges on rare occasion as a brilliant scrawl on a dinner napkin; but most often the problem-solving process is a journey that requires courage and patience, and confidence in finding one's way through uncertain terrain.
The design process is a sequence of events that begin as soon as the designer takes on a problem. It continues until either a deadline is reached or problem criteria have been met. Rarely is the process predictible, a progression in a straight line from point A to point B. The design process is more like reading a road map; there are many ways of reaching the final destination. If side roads are taken, it will probably take longer to get to the destination. But side roads are almost always more interesting than well-travelled highways.
This chapter explores the design process and its role in typographic problem solving. Many models exist that schematically represent the design process. But in fact, ...