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Product Design:

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Alastair Reader

on 27 October 2014

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Transcript of Product Design:

First Steps
Product Design

The Wilderness Year
The REAL Design Process
Every company is different. Here's how WE work...
From DT1 to products on the shelves (and everything inbetween).
QMGS Old Boy: 2001-2008
A - Levels in Art, Design and English Language & Literature
Work Experience:
Bignall Shacklady Ewing - Architects & Designers
Mt. Product Design
The First B G Ch ice:
Beware: Uneven Path Ahead!
What motivated me to go into Product Design?
" Good Design is obvious. Great Design is transparent. "
Joe Sparano
Make cool stuff. Enjoy what I do. Have fun doing it.
"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works."
Steve Jobs

Consumer Product Design?
Industrial Design?
Graphic Design?
Mechanical Engineering?
Automotive Design?
3D Design?
Engineering Design?
Which 'Design' is right for me?
The University Years
First things first, this isn't a 'three hours a week' kind of deal...
Learn to like coffee. You're going to need it.
If you can't already, learn to sketch.
Find, collect, share, discuss, tear it apart and rebuild it.
Learn as much software as you can.
Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone.
Industrial Experience
If you get the opportunity, take it.
You wont know everything. Which is a good thing.
I'll spare you the sugar coating...
Get yourself noticed.
Add to your portfolio. Constantly.
Be persistent.

Hitting the Big Time. Kinda...
5 x Category Managers

3 x Product Designers
1 x Technical Manager
2 x Marketing Managers
2 x Graphic Designers
NPD Department
Key Duties:
Customer Support
QC Control
EU Regulations

Just a few of the jobs I was interviewed for:
- Designing hair accessories and haircare products
- Draughtsman for a roof safety equipment company
- POS and shop fitting designer
- Design Engineer for BOSCH (Lawnmower Department)
- Designer for a company that makes bus seats...
- Graphic Designer /Marketing Assistant for London Irish Rugby Club

"Founded in 1979, and based in the Spa city of Bath, Roper Rhodes is one of the leading players within the UK bathroom market."
We work 13 months ahead. At the moment we are working on
products due to launch September 2015.

The Board, Sales Team and NPD Team meet to discuss areas of the market we can exploit. They have to anticipate fashion trends, spending habits and consumer needs. Business and Design 'buzz words' get thrown about a bit...
I quite like what Crosswater are doing. Except better. Much better.
If we want to do that we can source from China, Italy or Sweden...
A product briefing is then proposed. If it's a go-er it becomes a commissioned project. That's when the real work starts.

The first round of concept ideation is done with sketches, either in the form of group work or with individuals working on a more specific brief. Anything up to 300 drawings will be done for one product.

The best sketches get rendered on Photoshop and presented at the first NPD meeting following the project commissioning. These are evaluated, ripped to pieces and the most notable concepts taken to CAD Development.
For furniture, depending on supplier, we can
have a sample prepared and air-freighted in a matter of weeks. These first samples get put in front of the board and any necessary changes can be made.
For more costly, time consuming or difficult concepts we use the 3D printer. This allows tweaks to be made quickly and without the need to invest heavily in tooling.
Once a design is signed off, production can start. The Marketing department put forward a draft of the new brochure, devise sales deals and makes contact with showrooms about getting the product on show.

The new product ranges (anything from 1 to 10+ products per category) are then launched to the sales reps and distribution companies to be sold for the next 6-9 months whilst next years products are well underway.

Never, EVER, go with your first idea.
Put forward a proposal for a new showroom space for a flagship Leekes store.
Design a new range of modular furniture that can be customised and combined.
Design a basin mixer for the 2014 Brassware launch.
Make some professional contacts - they could be your colleagues one day.

"The most innovative designers consciously reject the standard option box and cultivate an appetite for thinking wrong."
- Marty Neumeier
Ask yourself:
Is this what I want to do when I 'grow up'?
Don't be scared to wait.
Tavistock Bathrooms works closely with their distribution chain to deliver high quality, affordable bathroom products, which, thanks to its links with the likes of Costco, is sold across the globe.
R2 was launched in 2011 in response to the tough financial climate and a low consumer confidence index in the UK. Offering affordable, on trend bathroom products, R2 has grown hugely in the past 3 years.
The name Laura Ashley needs no introduction to the UK market - a brand with over 60 years of experience in home furnishings. As a Laura Ashley licensee, we work with them to produce the finest quality traditional bathroom products, sold in over 200 showrooms.
Some of my work over the last 18 months...
Living the Dream

Design a low cost freestanding and wall mounted vanity unit in two sizes for budget brand R2.
Refresh the Mirrors & Cabinets category with a focus on new technology and manufacturing techniques.
Design a traditional freestanding washstand with a contemporary twist.
If nothing else, enjoy the break.
Full transcript