How I like to start a new project:
Of course this depends a lot of project specifics (and deadlines!) but I do have a method to my madness. Resorting to my illustrator roots, I like to start with gathering as much information as possible. This can range from a 30-minute phone call with a client telling me a passionate story about how his/her business got started, or just hours of researching through books and the internet. The whole time I like to take notes either through words or sketches to help me better understand the vision of the client.
Working in progress:
After sketches have been approved by the client, and we are both on the same page is when I move to the computer and start working digitally. This is when the work really comes alive, and when the client and I work closely to make sure everything is perfect.
Once everything is perfect, then depending on the project, I either send it to the printers, post it online or in anyway the client requests. I like to follow up a week later to make sure they are still happy with the final product and to see if they need anything further!