When starting a new design I first decide on a theme. In this example we have a pie theme, yum!
Next I create lots of small items along that theme that could possibly go in the design, playing around with textures or other details. In this stage I also figure out colors, and fonts or hand writing if using it.
Once I am happy with the bits and pieces, I move on to the layout of the design and placement begins!
After a lot of moving and resizing I hopefully end up with a fun and pleasing final design.