As you might have seen on my Instagram I have started a new holiday project. With just a few days left, before my classes start again, I thought let’s get you involved in the process. How do I design my projects and where to think about. In this post, I will discuss the beginning of designing.
When you look at a product, it is often the design you see. Thereafter you will probably look at the colour or the materials. Finally, you will look at the details. But in the first few seconds, you have already decided if you like it or not. So we can conclude that the design is where it all starts. But how do you start designing? It sounds so easy but how do you do it? I have tried to divide my thoughts about designing in small steps so you can follow them yourself. They work for me but there is no wrong way of designing.
Step 1: Inspiration
It all starts with inspiration, you can have picked it up on our way home from work or while listening to music. Even when you don’t have a purpose yet, you should always collect your inspiration. Read more on inspiration in this post to maybe even find the inspiration for your next project.
Step 2: Clients
The assignment is where your design will get some more defined shape. Does it have to be a leather bag, a leather bracelet or a leather dog collar? Is it for a lady or a gentleman? Will it have a specific purpose, like an evening clutch or a laptop bag? The kind of person the client is might also be important. Is he or she really classy or rougher, glamours or a minimalist? The client can also be you. This will all influences your design.
Step 3: Requirements
When you have met your client and heard all wishes and orders you should try to match your inspiration and the asked product into a design. You will be the only creator of this specific product. Don’t try to copy anyone’s design but you can use some of their techniques. But you want to be original and unique. That’s why they have come to you and not to anyone else. Read more on creativity and old masters here. Think, in this step and the next, about the requirements the client asked for or didn’t think about. You are the designer and should, therefore, think ahead. How will this product be used or where does it need some extra reinforcement?
Step 4: Options
When you have used your inspiration, to design a product for a specific client and have thought of all the requirements it is time for the next step, options. You have always more options then you firstly think. Try first different shapes and different styles. Try now and then something totally different. What shape is favourable? Should the user be able to open and close the product? And so on…
Step 5: Details
Right now you will have some sketches already or at least an image in your head. Now think deeper. What material should you use and what are the properties of this kind of leather? How will you stitch it together, inside out maybe? If it has to be opened and closed, how to? Will you add a zipper or a lock? If you have found the right shape, what shape do you give the corners, rounded or square? Then you also have the colour of your/their choice left to think about.
With all these steps you are giving your design a shape and it will become more and more detailed. And don’t through any of these other designs away. Because they ain’t right for this product or client, it might save you the next time a lot of time. Next week we will continue with step 6 to 10 in “10 steps of designing – the practical part”