The 7 Steps That Can Solve Any Creative Problem

By Yvonne LeNovember 29, 2013

Designers, like snowflakes, come in many shapes and sizes—specializing in web, print, product, user experience and beyond. Despite this wide spectrum of specialties, designers share a common design process that helps them generate a conceptual solution to a particular problem.

To further understand what exactly this design process is and how it works, below is an example of how the designers at Bhava utilized it to produce our recent digital holiday cards:

Step 1 – Identify your challenge

Challenge: Create a set of branded holiday cards for clients and colleagues that buck the trend of the traditional holiday card in terms of both design and timing.
Solution: Design a series of four Thanksgiving holiday cards featuring classic Thanksgiving motifs combined with Bhava flair.

Step 2 – Research and brainstorm

Brainstorm possible ideas and concepts while researching related content and sources to aid in the creative process and add inspiration.

Step 3 – Sketch

Create quick and simplified sketches of the concepts that emerged during the previous step. During this step, designers can sketch anywhere from a handful of ideas to hundreds.

Step 4 – Create Comps

Produce a comp by building out the sketches on the computer. This step adds more depth, detail and life to the design, generating rough drafts on the way to the final product. Comps typically go though numerous iterations.

Comp Stages

Above you can see some of the many variations a single element can undergo during the comp process.

Step 5 – Revise/Improve

Share and review the comps with your team/constituents. This step can be repeated a number of times until the comp is ready to be finalized.

Step 6 – Finalize

Make all final revisions and confirm all approvals.

Step 7– Launch

Release the product and enjoy (and measure) the results!


Below are our four final holiday card designs that Bhava sent out:

Pilgrim Turkey Alby

Pilgrim Turkey Alby: Formed from a combination of three initial sketches

The Albies

The Albies: Expanded upon an initial idea of a self-portrait to an ornate old-fashioned family portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Alby (reference to American Gothic by Grant Wood)


PIE!: A minimalist take on a pattern sketch representing one of the most recognizable Thanksgiving treats. This design led to the conceptualization of our in-house Bhava employee holiday card, Alby & The Pie.

Alby & The Pie

Alby & The Pie: Somebody said, “What if Alby found the pie?” during one of our team meetings… and from this question, our favorite card was born. Remember, even if you think an idea is ridiculous, still share it because it might be exactly what you were looking for or spark a new creative path for you or your teammates when you are heading towards a creative plateau.