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Developing Ideas and Design Concepts
Illustration by John Hersey

Doing your research


From:

Developing Ideas and Design Concepts

with Craig Smallish

Video: Doing your research

To find the full project potential for our client Kinetico, it'll be helpful if we can scan the landscape a bit further. Even with the client and project brief in hand, there's always more to learn about your client. With every new creative project we encounter, there are a few questions we should ask that will help us assess any known competition and examine what's been done in the past. First, we need to ask, how wide is the array of competition that offers similar products or services? In essence, what makes our client so special? The answer will provide us the opportunity to size up the other teams.
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  1. 8m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. The importance of the original idea
      2m 50s
    3. What is concepting?
      2m 4s
    4. Demystifying "the process" in the creative process
      2m 39s
  2. 8m 48s
    1. Working with clients
      4m 14s
    2. Defining the project
      3m 0s
    3. Defining the project obstacles
      1m 34s
  3. 7m 44s
    1. Doing your research
      2m 22s
    2. Avoiding the pitfalls of mediocrity
      3m 28s
    3. What is a concept plan overview?
      1m 54s
  4. 11m 2s
    1. Using storytelling to determine core values
      3m 33s
    2. Using questions to distill the core values
      3m 46s
    3. Determining core values
      3m 43s
  5. 8m 59s
    1. Using the free-association process
      3m 39s
    2. Starting with seed phrases
      2m 55s
    3. Using the power of collaboration to increase ideas
      2m 25s
  6. 9m 48s
    1. Honing your ideas
      4m 20s
    2. Reviewing your descriptive words and sketches to find the best ideas
      2m 29s
    3. Experimenting with your ideas
      2m 59s
  7. 8m 2s
    1. Maintaining a diversity of ideas
      1m 0s
    2. Using search engines to fuel ideas
      4m 50s
    3. The rough concept retrospect
      2m 12s
  8. 9m 48s
    1. Defining the rough sketch
      4m 34s
    2. Visually defining your ideas
      2m 57s
    3. The strength of iteration
      2m 17s
  9. 5m 16s
    1. What is 180-degree thinking?
      2m 46s
    2. Demonstrating the approach
      2m 30s
  10. 9m 29s
    1. Defining the revised sketch
      3m 25s
    2. Demonstrating the approach
      3m 46s
    3. The importance of exploring variation (perspective, media selection, and stylistic approaches)
      2m 18s
  11. 6m 36s
    1. Defining the refined sketch
      2m 23s
    2. Demonstrating the concern for detail
      4m 13s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Revealing the final concept "comp" solution
      3m 19s
    2. Reflecting on the process path
      1m 44s

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Developing Ideas and Design Concepts
1h 39m Appropriate for all Aug 16, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

After landing a client, the designer's first chore is to communicate and develop the initial idea, whether it's a storyboard for a film or ad, or a multifaceted marketing campaign for a product or service. Learn how to transform a client's request into a presentable concept in this course. Craig Smallish walks through the development process for various creative scenarios, from assessing the client and the scope of the job to free-associating and sketching your ideas. Learn to create descriptive copy to accompany your visuals and create iteration after iteration of your design. Finally, Craig shows how to choose your strongest idea through a process of refinement.

Topics include:
  • What is concepting?
  • Working with clients
  • Doing your research
  • Determining the core values of a product or service
  • Using free association
  • Building the written descriptives
  • Using search engines to fuel ideas
  • Flipping your ideas 180 degrees
  • Creating a rough sketch
  • Defining the refined sketch
Subjects:
Design Design Skills Design Business
Author:
Craig Smallish

Doing your research

To find the full project potential for our client Kinetico, it'll be helpful if we can scan the landscape a bit further. Even with the client and project brief in hand, there's always more to learn about your client. With every new creative project we encounter, there are a few questions we should ask that will help us assess any known competition and examine what's been done in the past. First, we need to ask, how wide is the array of competition that offers similar products or services? In essence, what makes our client so special? The answer will provide us the opportunity to size up the other teams.

Each competitor has strengths and weaknesses and we'll need the intel on that. Also, there may be times you find yourself saying under your breath, our client doesn't necessarily offer anything new or innovative. On the surface that may appear true but by digging further you're likely to find some differences. For example, you might find your client has a bunch of five star rave reviews on Yelp and those reviews could identify some great qualities.

Best yet, they're through the eyes of the consumer. That could easily be a wealth of information and promotional content for you to draw upon. Second, we should ask ourselves, is there a history of the type of product or service that our client offers? By looking at what's been done historically, we can determine whether there's a benefit to using a retro approach or aim for a more modern aesthetic. In fact, even if our client happens to offer an entirely new product or service.

We still have a history lesson to learn. A great place to start is by identifying what our client's product has replaced in the world. After all. New technologies replace older ones. Taking a good look at the competition and the historical context of what our client offers, can present us with some advantages. A little research and prep on the front end, adds a lot to our project resource inventory. All of which, will really pay off when we present our great concept to the client.

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