We recently followed up with the owner of Blueprint to find out what has changed since the last time we spoke. Here’s what we learned.
NAME: Amanda Mans TITLE: Principal Designer
EXPERIENCE: Besides over 20 years of design experience, I’ve enjoyed getting involved in both tactile and digital design mediums. I’ve also been told that I was born with a clipboard in my hand and crayons in my heart.
WE KNOW THAT YOUR TAGLINE IS “Connect Through Design". HOW DOES THAT RELATE TO YOUR CLIENTS? I've said before that I firmly believe the relationships we have with our clients are true partnerships. Everyone interprets designs differently. We have different life experiences that shape our interpretations. Blueprint's role is to find a common connection with our clients and also with their intended audience. Once we identify what that is, the design will generate a lasting connection.
WHAT MAKES BLUEPRINT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER DESIGN FIRMS? A lot of firms can develop an appealing design, but it takes more than a pretty picture to make an impact. To truly make an impact, every element of the design needs to have a purpose and support the project objectives. Each component has to matter from both a design perspective and an emotional perspective. The only way to achieve that in our work is by building a connection with our clients so that we genuinely understand their needs.
With each project, we utilize our design deftness to express the information we have learned from our clients and combine it with the research we have gathered about their audience. Put simply, what makes Blueprint rare is our smart, thoughtfully crafted design combined with our ability to make a connection.
INSPIRED BY? Charley Harper, Paul Rand, Wes Anderson, Edward Hopper, Chip Kidd, William Eggleston, Olle Eksell, Bob Dylan, Hervé Morvan, Vivian Maier, Thich Nhat Hanh, Saul Bass, Cliff, Louie & Frank
HOW DO YOU FORESEE THE DIGITAL INDUSTRY IMPACTING THE PRINT INDUSTRY? The world is always changing; however, I believe printed materials will always be crucial to the graphic design industry. It is through tangible items that we connect. That is not to say that digital design is not a powerful tool. We want information, and we want it fast. Digital design provides that information at the desired speed. In a way, the relationship between print design and digital design is similar to the way Blueprint views its relationship with clients. The two create a perfect partnership.
FAVORITE DESIGN PROGRAM? That's hard to say. If I were to pick one, it would be Adobe Illustrator, but what I really enjoy is the design process that happens before I turn to the computer. Brainstorming and thumbnail sketches generate novel concepts that motivate me throughout the digital phase of a project. Design begins with a thorough thought process, is translated to paper and is only then finished on the computer.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT CROWDSOURCING? Like most things, crowdsourcing has benefits and drawbacks; however, I believe that in the design industry, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. Sometimes businesses and organizations turn to crowdsourcing as a quick and easy approach for a logo. What they receive in return is a logo that has a striking resemblance to something you have seen time and time again. It may be quick and easy, but crowdsourced designs lack originality and do nothing to separate a company from its competitors.
WHAT AREN’T YOU DOING THAT YOU WISH YOU WERE? Where do I begin? I am always looking for projects that are new and challenging. I think if I wasn’t trying to absorb more my work would become stagnant. To continue to grow, it is essential to remain curious and push myself to learn more and know more.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR BLUEPRINT? Blueprint is very proud of its growth. We hope to continue to thrive and build on our design experience. We work to avoid complacency and find new ways to be creative. We believe in not settling for obvious answers and always bringing a fresh perspective.
Our 4 Step Design Process:
Our process is simple. We begin the design process by meeting with you to learn more about your company and objectives and what will determine the success of the project.
Phase 1 + Project Evaluation
Creative brief is generated that outlines the purpose, design scope, target audience, project parameters and success criteria; Additional research is conducted to determine audience influences, competitors and design trends
Phase 2 + Concept Development
Brainstorm concepts that visually convey message; Transform sketches into compelling designs; present client with a representative sampling of the concepts; a direction is chosen
Develop comprehensive designs for all project materials; provide an Adobe Acrobat PDF for review
Phase 3 + Project Refinement
Make edits based on feedback; justify that the design elements, typography and imagery support project objectives; Two rounds of revisions allow for necessary tweaks or changes; upon completion, a final draft is presented to client via email; this is the final opportunity to make revisions prior to releasing the files
Phase 4 + Project Production
Carefully prepare design files for production; ensure printers and other vendors are provided with all required assets; Receive deliverables; confirm requested files are furnished in appropriate formats; Review the design process with client