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Developing Ideas and Design Concepts
Illustration by John Hersey

Using search engines to fuel ideas


From:

Developing Ideas and Design Concepts

with Craig Smallish

Video: Using search engines to fuel ideas

Just when we figure every possible concept has been considered, search engines offer us an additional research for spawing creative solutions for our projects. Similar to free association, search engines reveal results of related content with a welcome element of surprise. We're all pretty familiar with doing the gamble of a Google image search, as in you're never quite sure what's going to pop up. This process capitalizes on that unpredictability, rooting out even more ideas.
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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

Using search engines to fuel ideas

Just when we figure every possible concept has been considered, search engines offer us an additional research for spawing creative solutions for our projects. Similar to free association, search engines reveal results of related content with a welcome element of surprise. We're all pretty familiar with doing the gamble of a Google image search, as in you're never quite sure what's going to pop up. This process capitalizes on that unpredictability, rooting out even more ideas.

It works this way. We're going to select text content from the concept we've been working on, and type keywords into a search engine. Looking exclusively for images. Depending on what our keyword search criteria is, and which search engines we're using, the image results can vary dramatically. Then it's up to us to evaluate that imagery, looking for anything we might use as visual reference. Or as influence which might enhance our concept.

As with any search engine process, we'll need to modify our keyword criteria using different word configurations to tailor the results. For instance, one of the concepts we're developing for the Conetico mini solar panel project. Happens to deal with a young couple on a camping trip. He's a nature boy, and she's very used to creature comforts. Now, to get the process rolling, let's pull from some of the free association text that best defines our scene. For this demo, we'll use Google.

I like it simply because how random the results can be. And sometimes that'll play in our favour if we're looking for more concept combinations. Certainly there's a bazillion other search engines available so feel free to give them a shot. I'll plug in fashion camping and scan through the results. we've got quite an array of stuff here. This runway model. Camping garb. Pretty interesting image.

Now, looking at this pic makes me wonder. Now, what it would be like. If the woman in our camping duo were to suddenly plan a fashion show in the middle of the woods, she's got the solar panels, set up some lighting, could be interesting. kind of a fairly interesting concept could develop. Let's keep scrolling down. Alright, this guitar playing couple here by the campfire. This is a very interesting photo, and it's a classic case of how a single image can inspired an alternative solution to an existing concept.

Seeing this image made me pause for a second, and consider how a traditional camp fire scene might take a very unique twist if, suddenly, electricity was available, as in our little solar panels. What if our couple was actually two college buddies on a camping trip? Same scenario, with one being an earthy guy the other being very techie. This guitar photo made me consider how different that camp fire scene could be, if the techie guy happened to pull out an electric guitar and started playing duelling banjo theme with his buddy who's on the acoustic.

In fact, this could be a good metaphor for that divide between conventional and alternative energy. There's most definitely a solid concept there. This one could be fun. Let's plug in one more of out free-association terms, luxurious camping. Okay, now that didn't take long. These futuristic bubble tents are a great example of how images can enhance a concept. Right away we can envision how the camping slash beauty salon version of our concept, could use these images as a visual reference when we get into the refined sketch stage.

These tents even look like retro hair dryers. We're definitely going to bookmark this search. For this process we can use our core values, our free association phrases, or virtually any relative content as keywords. The search engine creative strategy is versatile, and can be used at any time in the concept development process. It's worth mentioning, that when we access images from any source. It's important that we keep a watchful eye between boundary between influence and plagiarism.

That said, the powerful influence of imagery that we can find through search engine creative. Can play a significant role in the development of highly original, conceptual solutions, helping us add great depth to our creative process.

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