The one response I dread to hear from new clients when I ask them what they envision their new website, logo, or ad to look like is "I don't know, you think of something, you are the expert". If they insist and I try and create something without much feedback, it usually means I will have to spend alot of time revising the project. Even if they do not know what they want, they sure know what they don't want when they see it.
So how do we begin a design project? I avoid the above scenario by asking questions. Some of these are what is your market? What do you want people to think and feel when they look at your website? What kind of styles and layout do you like? What kind of colors do you prefer? Sometimes the colors they prefer are very different from what they visualize people thinking and feeling when they look at the piece. I ask them to look at sites or advertising projects they like and/or do a search for websites that are in the same business as them.
The next step for me is to use all this feedback to create something unique for them. I send a first proof, ask for feedback and do changes if needed. We then continue the process until the project is complete. Basically, designing a great advertising piece is about working together, collaborating and communicating.
Holistic Web and Graphic Design Third Eye Studio