A lot of forethought, imagination and engineering go into the design process, not to mention the time, determination and energy it takes to see it through to completion. Whether you are designing your child’s costume for the school play, a wedding gown for the princess of Wales or the newest model in Jeep Wranglers, it is a work in progress. There is much that will influence as well as factor into the overall success of your design.
Design with a specific function in mind. One of the sole purposes of design is to create something original, as well as to accommodate the functional needs of the person who will buy it. At some point, every blouse needs a button, every coat needs a zipper and every designer needs the ability to answer the question before it is asked: What essential function will my design specifically employ? Each and every design that is dreamed up, drafted and eventually distributed serves a unique purpose. Whether it is to charm the pants off the fashion world, protect a child or deep-fry a turkey, the function of your design needs to be established.
Know what’s in fashion. If you ever hope to make a big statement with your design, whether it’s clothing design or video game design, it is important that you keep up with trends in the marketplace. Knowing what’s working and what’s not working in the industry will help you to either trim the fat from your design or add a unique twist to what is already working with other products. Knowing what’s in fashion also gives you an edge because it will keep you from repeating the painstaking design process of what’s already been done, thus saving you the trouble of spinning your wheels. Instead, you can use your precious time and inspiration to brainstorm the next big idea, creating something no one has ever seen before.
Make it affordable. A big part of the design process is the factor of cost. How much is it going to cost for you to produce and distribute your design? How much are people going to be willing to pay for the final product? These are all questions that, as a designer, you must ask yourself during the design process because it will influence the course of your design, as well as the final product. While you won’t want to compromise on the quality of your design, it is important to consider the cost, especially if you hope to make a profit.
Create a design that will last. Don’t rush your design. Spend time looking at it from every angle, anticipating issues, challenges and concerns. Try to answer as many of them as possible during the design process, saving you from having to answer to your customer. Just as it is important to design an affordable product, it also is just as important to design a quality product. Building a reputation through your design begins and ends with the quality of the product itself. People are more likely to spend more money on a quality product than they are to spend less money on one that isn’t as dependable.
Natalie June Reilly began writing professionally in 2000 for the "Arizona Republic" and most recently with "Phoenix Woman Magazine" and "Chicken Soup for the Soul." She has a background in corporate communications and publishing. Reilly is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Arizona State University.