Why a Vision Board is ESSENTIAL to My Design Process

Client homework is essential to my process as a designer.

“But wait,” clients sometimes ask. “I’m hiring you to design for me - why do I also have to do work?”

Think of it like this. If you’re at a doctor’s office, and the doctor asks you what’s wrong, do you tell the doctor, “Guess! You’re the doctor! Why do I have to tell you!”

But hey, I’m a designer, not a doctor - different cases, right? Well let’s say you hire an interior designer to help you with your living room. The designer asks, “What kind of style do you like?” and you say “Why should I have to tell you! You’re the designer - you tell me what I like!”

Wait a minute…huh? How would the designer know what you liked, if you didn’t give them an idea of what your style is? Rustic? Traditional? Modern? 70s?

As a designer, my job is to execute your vision, not mine.

As much as I hate it, mind reading isn’t available quite yet. And while there are several design trends that I could follow, not everyone’s aesthetic falls perfectly in line with design trends. You might love script logos, whereas Client B loves clean, line weight logos. You might want an illustration, and Client C might want something super dark.

So how do I know exactly what your vision is?

I ask for a vision board.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I’ve had clients tell me “I really love the color red,” and then they fill their vision board with dozens of blue logos. I’ve had clients explain the exact fonts they like, but then get frustrated when I don’t use the right one.

A vision board shows me exactly what you like. I’m a master at seeing trends in boards, even when they’re not as visible to my clients.