Bemmygail is an award-winning illustrator and animator. She produces creative projects targeted for children, and the general audience.

By Bemmygail

Design Process: Adcon 2014 Day 2 Workshop

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I made a list of the things that I learned and formed them into steps or design process that are all based on my experience in Adcon 2014.


We had a rough day at the Advertising Conference and Workshop. The first part was a quick talk with Chad Manzo. He is an award winning illustrator. He discussed things he shared to us last year. You can check my previous blog to know more about his discussion here:

Megan Palero was also there in the workshop to help us. He said that, managing so many groupmates would be easier if each of us make a draft, and then present each of the draft for us all to decide.

You can read the full summary of my experience in adcon 2014 day 1 here:

I just want to add these photos because these are not featured from Chad’s discussion last year. I am impressed that now great Filipino artists are rising in this industry. It is a good news actually, and somehow it inspires me to continue. We will really have a brighter future in this industry, even though in the past, people wouldn’t believe or accept that arts can really do something useful to the world. Chad Manzo’s official site/portfolio


Design Process

Anyways, what should you really do exactly when you are tasked to design something? As mentioned by Chad, a designer is different from an artist. The designer solves a problem, while artists express their thoughts freely – more like a storyteller. So the designer solves a problem, it doesn’t really have to be a visual art problem actually, because designer is a general term. Architects are designers, Engineers are still designers, inventors, mathematicians, scientists, lawyers, and so much more. These folks solve problems. They do the same design process as artists, the only difference would be the technicalities I suppose. Designers make something out of nothing, therefore designers must be creative. Graphic designers however solve problems that are related to visual communication. Afterall, graphic designing is all about creative visual communication.


  1. a person who plans the form, look, or workings of something before its being made or built, typically by drawing it in detail.
    “he’s one of the world’s leading car designers”
    synonyms: creator, planner, deviser, inventor, originator;

Back to the question, what to do exactly when tasked to design? Based on our workshop, I’ve learned these things:

  1. Ask questions and express confusion honestly. This is the first and foremost thing that a designer should do. That is to make sure that you, as a designer, know exactly what you have to do. Creating a concept is the most difficult part, because it’s like the head of all the steps in designing. It took us hours to decide. I realized that, even though there’s tons of minds sharing ideas, it will all be useless without proper understanding of the instruction. In reality, I guess this is called the research part. So that’s why this is the very first thing we should keep in mind.
    1. Ask questions like, what to place in the ad, what details should be seen, what resources are allowed to use, what are the restrictions that you shouldn’t add to the concept, and so on. In a real work, I always ask my clients what they think, or what their ideas are. I also ask them what they want personally, and even search their facebook to know what they like.
  2. Using the information you gathered, of course you should start making a concept. A concept is basically a general notion, although it should be something that has an impact if you want it to be that good. My usual mistake here is to have very scattered ideas, and are very difficult to connect. Genesis Raña once said that you should keep it simple, keep it meaningful, keep it beautiful. Maybe in this part, it calls for experience and knowledge about the work, as well as not over analyzing the concept. Then, it’s all up to the client to decide.
  3. If a really good, and clear concept is already there, dividing the task is the second thing to do. If you work alone, it will be easier because you won’t manage multiple minds at the same time. But of course, that would take time because the labor is all yours. With multiple workers, you’ll have to think about how to appropriately manage them all.
  4. After making the output digitally, you should brainstorm again to recheck if everything looks good or all the elements really work together. This is the design process that we fail to follow in our workshop because of the time. We ran out of time, that we were not able to talk about the proper execution of the principles and elements of design like the balance, proportion, unity of all elements, etc. I think this is supposed to be the final touches.
  5. In a real job, first design submission will not always be approved. Clients also help in brainstorming because the design involves what they also want. It’s like using different solutions to a math problem. If the first did not work, try another solution until you get the right answer. This part wouldn’t be a long process, if the first steps are executed properly with a really strong concept.

In short:

  1. Gather data.
  2. Make the concept.
  3. Divide the task.
  4. Review
  5. Submit or Revise

These are just the general things that you can follow when you design. But of course, everyone is unique. I don’t think we can stick with only one design flow. Every person has a different way of learning and understanding. I can effectively study using reading and listening to an audio recording, while some of my friends are also studying through writing the discussion. It reminds me that whenever I watch tutorials to know technical stuff, I watch and only remember parts that I feel comfortable with. The instructors will usually tell me to try and see if it works for me or not. My experience can be your guide, or you can make your own, it all depends on your convenience. The important thing is to make the output excellent.

More Please

Everything was great in Adcon. I really wish to have adcon every month. Lol! Thanks to amazing people from A3, and all the superb speakers who shared their experience and wisdom to us little kids.

If you have suggestions or feedbacks about what I’ve shared, please do post your comments below. I’d like to learn more and am very hungry for knowledge and wisdom!

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