Creative Process Study 03

02.13.2010 / Project: Garbage Critic



Seven25. Design & Typography is a multidisciplinary design consultancy specialising in work for not for profit and cultural clients. It was founded in 2000 by Isabelle Swiderski and existed as a freelance practice running parallel to employment elsewhere until 2006. It is now a 3-person studio with a network of collaborators to call upon when the need arises.

Isabelle has lived and worked in France, England and Canada as a freelancer and in studios of various sizes for over 15 years. She completed her Master’s Degree at the Royal College of Art in London and teaches part-time at Emily Carr University.

The project

We were approached by Garbage Critic—a waste reduction and management consultancy—to design an identity for their startup. As a new agency with extensive experience in the public sector, it aimed to position itself as the leader in the field, as an innovator but also as a valuable team player in the quest for widely adaptable solutions to the waste problems we face. One of our challenges was to represent waste—something few people wish to think about—in a way that was engaging and eloquent.

We engaged in a thorough discovery process, examining audiences, competition and goals to distill our findings into useful information. This phase culminated in the presentation of a moodboard and proposed messaging.

Garbage Critic Moodboard

Upon approval of the design brief we engaged in the creative phase and explored notions of expression (the agency provides commentary on industry practices and case studies), exchanges of information, waste and conservation.

Garbage Critic Sketches

This eventually led us to two promising solutions, which we refined into tight sketches to present to the client.

Garbage Critic Concepts

The Solution

Upon further discussion with the client it became obvious that the garbage lid was the preferred avenue for its rich dual meaning when coupled with the maze. It illustrates the conundrum we face and hints at the multiple possible paths to effective waste reduction solutions using simple and accessible symbols.

Garbage Critic Final

Check it out:
Give us a call: 1.604.685.0097
Follow us on Twitter:

More Processed Identity via Twitter / Facebook / RSS / Newsletter

More Creative Process Studies

5 comments, please join in the discussion

  1. 02.16.2010

    I love the hand drawn sketches that you presented to the client. I personally never show sketches fearing they will be misinterpreted due to their rough nature but yours are fantastic. Do you always present this way? At what point do you begin to use a computer and introduce color? Thanks for sharing this.

    • 02.16.2010

      I agree with Steve. Those hand drawn sketches are terrific!

  2. 02.16.2010

    I love seeing a great process!

    Particularly, I love your sketches that you presented to your client. Great job on this.

  3. 02.16.2010

    Thanks for the kind words everyone and thanks for the opportunity Steve. I always present sketches to show the client where we have gone with our thinking. The first iteration consists of a selection of loose sketches such as these and tight sketches of the proposed direction(s). Once one direction is approved we go on to the second iteration where the mark is refined and digitized and colour options are proposed. The first iteration should be used to discuss the concept more than the execution and not going digital helps the clients focus on the idea since the mark is still imperfect.

  4. 03.10.2010

    Love the concept and the process behind it. I also present sketches to the client for similar reasons. Discussion of the concept is much easier when they know they are involved in the process. Also, time isn’t waisted making ideas pixel perfect on screen only to have them not at all interested in the idea.