At what point do you class yourself as a Conceptual Designer?


Thoughts and examples on Conceptual Design


My introduction into design was from studying Fine Art at University. Whilst there, the term conceptual was flung about often - with seemingly a universal understanding of what this word meant. A lose definition of a conceptual artist is one that favours the idea of a piece of art, rather than concerning themselves with a materialistic finished end product.

The conceptual revolution was famously pioneered by Duchamp's Fountain in 1917, and this was the first time that an artist had tried to exhibit something that he did not produce or craft himself - it was the idea that this urinal was a piece of art because Duchamp chose it and intended it to be so. He purposefully placed an everyday object in an environment which instantly makes the viewer see the urinal in a different way.

In design, labeling somebody as a conceptual designer seems to have many different definitions from one person to the next. Concept in design has only really been present since the 1960s, initially with the notable Volkswagen 'Lemon' advertisement in 1960. Here Volkswagen show a Beetle in its apparent glory, although it is only when you read the copy that you realise that this car was rejected because of a scratch on the chrome. Advertising that your company makes mistakes was a brave move compared to the typical adverts of the day. The reason that this advert is conceptual is because it has a strong idea rather than typically showcasing a product. It is engaging with its audience and is making them think (and laugh). Even though they advertise a 'lemon', an outcast, a reject - it still conveys the message that at least they do test their cars and get rid of the ones that are not up to standard.

It is a blurred line as to what might be classed as conceptual in design. You could go so far to say that any idea or brief that is produced is conceptual design because it originated from a thought - but is this true? Does being creative mean that you're conceptual? A concept is needed in certain design in order to connect with your viewer, wether this is to convey a certain message, intention or representation. It is often thought that conceptual design can override the practicality in design, and can be a little 'off the wall' or 'cutting edge'.

I think that a design is conceptual when the idea behind it, message or intention, is as important if not more important than the aesthetic and actual design itself. Here are a few that I found courtesy of www.graphicdesignblog.org

match.com:



Ogawa:



SBP: Will Work For Food:



Friends of the Earth:



Papermate - Ultra Fine:



McDonalds - The Real Milkshake:



Nothing wakes you up like Nescafe:



Please share your thoughts!

Alex Fisher @orchard_alex




Comments...

  • Hi there, Really interesting article...will pass onto my brother who is studying Art at the University of Westminster and also onto my friend who owns his own graphic design company. Amy @ www.daytoweekend.wordpress.com
    16/01/2011 by Amy Armitage
  • Hi there, Really interesting article...will pass onto my brother who is studying Art at the University of Westminster and also onto my friend who owns his own graphic design company. Amy @ www.daytoweekend.wordpress.com
    16/01/2011 by Amy Armitage
  • Hello! Very interesting article. It makes you think... how the concept became more important than the product and how we arrived today to pay for the concept and not care so much about the crappy products. Because you have to admit that most products today are not made to last!
    21/01/2011 by marydoll
  • Hello! Very interesting article. It makes you think... how the concept became more important than the product and how we arrived today to pay for the concept and not care so much about the crappy products. Because you have to admit that most products today are not made to last!
    21/01/2011 by marydoll
  • love the cow and frog adverts very orginal and fun!
    31/01/2011 by joanne.warne@virgin.net
  • love the cow and frog adverts very orginal and fun!
    31/01/2011 by joanne.warne@virgin.net
  • Hello! Very interesting article. It makes you think... how the concept became more important than the product and how we arrived today to pay for the concept and not care so much about the crappy products. Because you have to admit that most products today are not made to last!
    21/01/2011 by marydoll
  • Hello! Very interesting article. It makes you think... how the concept became more important than the product and how we arrived today to pay for the concept and not care so much about the crappy products. Because you have to admit that most products today are not made to last!
    21/01/2011 by marydoll
  • love the cow and frog adverts very orginal and fun!
    31/01/2011 by joanne.warne@virgin.net
  • love the cow and frog adverts very orginal and fun!
    31/01/2011 by joanne.warne@virgin.net
  • Hi there, Really interesting article...will pass onto my brother who is studying Art at the University of Westminster and also onto my friend who owns his own graphic design company. Amy @ www.daytoweekend.wordpress.com
    16/01/2011 by Amy Armitage
  • Hi there, Really interesting article...will pass onto my brother who is studying Art at the University of Westminster and also onto my friend who owns his own graphic design company. Amy @ www.daytoweekend.wordpress.com
    16/01/2011 by Amy Armitage

Add a comment


Name:   
Comment:   
 

Jobs we know about

Things we know are happening

  • Tech for Good 13 - Education for Good

    This month, Tech for Good are going to be taking a look at education and the great tech for ...

    28/06/2017 | THE ROOF! 24 - 26 Lever Street M1 1DW

    This month, Tech for Good are going to be taking a look at education and the great tech for good innovations in the sector.

  • McrFRED 51 | Mike Byrne

    This month Mike Byrne will be back at McrFRED to talk about Front-End philosophy, the relationship ...

    29/06/2017 | SpacePortX, 24/26 Lever Street, Manchester, M1 1DZ

    This month Mike Byrne will be back at McrFRED to talk about Front-End philosophy, the relationship between design and engineering and A17’s code boilerplate.

  • #homelesshack

    #homelesshack is a 2-day event for anyone interested in helping tackle the problem of homelessness ...

    30/06/2017 | Valtech UK, Basil Chambers, 65 High Street, Manchester M4 1FS

    #homelesshack is a 2-day event for anyone interested in helping tackle the problem of homelessness in Manchester and support those currently facing it. This event builds on the London Homeless Hack but seeks to engage the ...

  • Motion North Showcase 26

    Motion North are Vera-Maria Glahn from FIELD. The amazing work they produce will ensure we ...

    12/07/2017 | Code Computerlove Sevendale House Dale St Manchester M1 1JB

    Motion North are Vera-Maria Glahn from FIELD. The amazing work they produce will ensure we get a look into something we've not seen at Motion North before.

look at all events Go to our calendarlink

Things we tweet about

  • orchardjobs - 2 hours ago

    Digital Designer in #Manchester, up to £32k. - @Orchard_AJ #digitaljobs https://t.co/HtqLdlEmPF

  • orchardtweets - 2 days ago

    We're still looking for a recruitment consultant to join the team here in #MediaCityUK... get in touch! https://t.co/CJL0k88ZGi

  • orchard_laura - 4 days ago

    We're still recruiting for a consultant in our #Manchester office... could it be you? https://t.co/R7zm81HHBi

  • orchard_mike - 4 days ago

    Warning!Cunning fishing mail from “https://t.co/2hHa9VQWhu” they spoofed the email address correctly but links to a… https://t.co/W82a4cCr3k

  • orchard_aj - 5 days ago

    My @Spotify Summer Rewind playlist is nothing but SENSATIONAL. Really enjoying it, but of course it always going to be superb! #greattaste

  • orchard_tommy - 10 days ago

    I'm looking for a Creative Artworker/Designer for a retail company in #Manchester paying up to £25k. #designjobs https://t.co/3AuIobsfDt

  • orchard_andy - 16 days ago

    SEM Manager £38-45k, Manchester, clientside, luxury home improvements sector, SEO, PPC, Paid Social #jobs Please RT… https://t.co/dWJQwfqA0A

  • orchard_davido - 23 days ago

    Are you exceptional Creative Artworker based in #Manchester? Apply to my latest role below! #designjobs https://t.co/23CvPS7j0O

  • orchard_lucy - 38 days ago

    Currently looking a #freelance Email designer/Builder for w/c 5th June to work with a Cheshire based client. Please get in touch for details