The creative direction process for any project involves a number of steps that helps to ensure that you give your client the best from idea conception to execution.
Research & draw inspiration from closely related projects, allow your mind to roam freely & explore every idea that comes to you.
Having understood the goal for your project, the first step to creating anything is generating ideas that will sufficiently express the creative project as desired. Research & draw inspiration from closely related projects, allow your mind to roam freely & explore every idea that comes to you. Write down all ideas either using notebooks or note apps, also, trade ideas with your team members on collaborative apps like Slack etc. Share ideas with trusted people, welcome criticism then tweak & refine these ideas until you find the perfect one that effectively communicates your intended message.
Create a Mood board
The mood board is a physical or digital collection of visual materials e.g. photos, videos etc that closely represents a creative concept. With clear knowledge of the concept, curate a mood board of pictures that outlines the concept theme, colour scheme, proposed styles & more that clearly communicates the idea in a way that it evokes the right emotions, ensuring that the intended message is rightly passed & the target audience can connect with it. You can achieve this with the help of physical boards where you can tag on pictures or apps like Canva, Pinterest, Evernote etc.
Prepare a Project Budget
Once the exact idea to be executed has been decided, it is then time to highlight every element and estimate what it would cost to put the entire project together. With the aid of expense sheets, outline every bit of the project that requires funds & assign realistic costs to them. Do extensive research to ensure that you're not undercharging & give allowance for unexpected expenses so that you don't get stuck from lack of funds. Apps like Microsoft Excel or Google sheets come in handy for budgeting.
Having identified all the executable parts of the project, it is then time to assemble your team and assign each of these parts to the appropriate contributors to the project. With the aid of collaborative apps like Slack, Asana, etc, communicate the project concept, deadlines, ensuring that everyone's role is made clear to them and they're ready for execution.
Now that all resources and manpower as required for the creative idea have been put together, it's time to execute. This is the point where every part of the creative idea is brought to life and made real. Implement the project as visualized, ensuring that every team member plays their role well & within the expected timeline. If necessary, tweak things in the course of execution as long as it betters the process and doesn't alter the end goal of the project.
Now that the project is done, before putting it out there for consumption, review and ensure that in the process of execution, the message remains intact and there are no mistakes. Also, reflect on your process and take lessons for subsequent projects.