Think of Creating a Language Rather than a Form
Heard in a fictional design studio near you.
Me: Yo man, how is it going?
Designer: Great! I’m just sketching/developing/refining this concept.
Me: Cool, so how do they look?
Designer: Here they are…
Me: Hmm…so what are we looking at here?
Designer: Ah…I’m inspired by [insert suitable object] and creating this to match [insert product], but then to make it different, I’m using [insert line description] to create [insert dynamic] between these two elements…
Me: But, it does not look anything like your inspiration nor is it logical to what we want to do here?
Me: Ok, basically what are you trying to communicate with your design?
Or perhaps another scenario could be you are working on a design and it does not seem to be going anywhere as you are either stuck or it’s well just crap! You see, what you are basically doing is random doodling rather than intelligent drawing.
Under these circumstances, what I always tell my design team, is to focus on creating a design language rather than just a form. In other words, ask yourself what is this shape trying to say or trying to tell me?
Why is that?
What many designers don’t realize is that design is a communication tool and a product’s form needs to therefore communicate the product’s intent. The product’s intent can consist of many factors. These includes target market requirements, branding, ergonomics, design language standards, technology, etc. Its all depends on how you define the product’s brief.
So when you are styling a product’s form, you are actually communicating, to the user, the what and how this product should function. A language if would you like. Unfortunately many designs fail on this one simple point.
If you focus on that fact, you will suddenly realize that the shape you have created suddenly has meaning, or maybe it does not. Once you start to ask about the meaning or are looking to apply meaning to your form, your design thought starts to become multi-dimensional.
The reality is that, this tip can applied to many other design professions such as Graphic, Interiors even Fashion etc. Why not try it and let me know if it works for you? All the best to your design concept success!