How Long Does the Creative Process Take?

In order to really answer this question, we need to first understand this basic principle. Ideally we all want projects to be super fast, really cheap, and excellent in every way, right? However, it is not possible to get all three. If it actually happens, buy a lottery ticket. Sure, sometimes you hit the jackpot, but that is rare, and it wouldn’t be wise to bank on that happening. Otherwise known as the “Impossible Utopia.”

It boils down to this:

If you want something fast and excellent, you must sacrifice cost, the best solution for you may be to hire an outside firm to do your project. Outside firms are highly motivated by money, so find a firm that has time to dedicate to you. The more you pay, the more likely they are to work overtime to meet your deadlines.

If you want something fast and cheap, you must sacrifice excellence, the best solution for you may be to do the work yourself. You have complete control over your budget and time, so it shouldn’t be an issue. (The problem is, good design matters. You can read this article to understand why.) BUT sometimes you can just crank something out and it won’t affect your goals too much, so this option could be worth it.

If you want something cheap and excellent, you must sacrifice speed, and the best solution for you may be to utilize Creative One Media’s services. And the beauty is, all it requires is some planning ahead!

Now, this article will not be able to give you exact, to the minute answers. But hopefully some examples will help shed light on the time it takes to create. I asked our creative team to give me their input on what would be ideal. Here are some of their answers (Keep in mind, this is if each example was the only project being worked on at a time):

“The ideation team recently finished a logo for Story Runners. It was AT LEAST a 12 week process for the logo and super basic brand guide. That was just the creative part. Their design brief had to be refined several times before it was even ready for creatives to start work.”

“I’d say at least 8 weeks if they want any revisions.”

3 Minute Promo Video:
“Rough guesstimate would be a minimum of 4 weeks out, and scaling up from there. Obviously depends on the concept and scale of the shoot. More speakers/actors, more equipment, more locations, etc. = more time needed. Pre-production can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months or more, depending how much needs to be managed and scheduled/booked in advance. Travel naturally varies (a local campus, or cross country flight?) and the shoot itself can be a few hours or a couple days. And then editing would be about a couple weeks, give or take.”

“Depending on the situation it could go faster or take much longer. If they are very specific in what they want, then it will take longer to prep. If it’s documenting an event, it is simpler because the story tells itself and we just need to capture it thru b-roll and pre/post interviews.”

1 Minute All Motion Graphic Video:
“Animations take about an hour of work per second. It does depend on a lot of factors, though. Simulation based stuff can be faster because the computer is simulating the movements. (Particles, physics, audio driven animations etc.) Manually animating stuff as complex as people and animals can take longer than an hour per second. But from my experience, with Cru, we generally live in the middle where it is about an hour per second…… This is just the animation work though. Ideating, writing and scripting etc. is not part of the hour per second. So if all scripting is finalized and all I have to do is animate the one-minute video, then I would say at least two weeks at minimum but more comfortably three weeks.”

Ideating and writing can take a long time, so shoot for two months. 
The examples above only shed light on roughly how long quality work takes to create. It doesn’t factor in how many projects we are working on at a time, priorities set by leadership, or the capacity we have on our team in any given season.

With those factors in mind, it’s best to come to us the moment you think you may need something so we can (hopefully) make space for it in our schedule. Even better? Come to us for help in planning out the creative work you may need in a year’s timespan. We are happy to help you brainstorm potential future needs. After all, we are here to serve you!