Last updated on October 29th, 2020
A graphic designer considers many design aspects before finally creating a visual that we like to look at again and again. To create conceptual graphic designs is a lengthy process that covers a lot of phases. Here the designer lays down the foundation of the design.
When we see a logo or any other graphic design, we see a visual only. We often do not know what goes on behind creating it. The fact is that a professional designer takes the design through many phases before presenting it to us in its final shape.
Once a legendary American designer, Saul Bass, described the processing of designing by merely stating that design is thinking made visual. Conceptual part of a design is nothing, but thinking or planning the design. But this is, in fact, the most critical part as it lays the basis for the design.
Here Are Explanations Of How Conceptual Graphic Design Can Catch Your Eye
i. What Is A Conceptual Design?
Conceptual design is the basic work that most designers do at the early stage of putting some ideas on the drawing board. At this stage, the designer determines the broad lines of the design. The designer recalls his experiences and decides the strategies to create the design. This is also the stage to know about the processes that the designer will take the design through. A typical design in the early stage has dozens of sketches and models.
We can say that conceptual design is something that gives us an idea about the problem a product is going to solve. It also shows how the product will solve the problem and gives us a big picture of how it will look when completed. So, this is the stage when everything about design is being conceptualized. The designer is exploring all the possibilities to give the design a unique and innovative look.
ii. Visual And Verbal Concept Design
Conceptual graphic design also involves visual design. The designer tries to foresee the voice and style of a product or brand to bring it to life. It is all about creating a brand identity of the design and sending a visual message to a target audience. The visual part of the concept is about determining a specific image of how a design will look. It involves the choice of colors and shape. For example, you may decide to use circles or squares prominently in the graphic design.
At the conceptual stage, the designer will ensure that there is the underlying logic in place. So, if you want to create a professional website design, first decide how you will design it. You will find out the color and type you will be using. Do determine your design grid. You will also be finalizing the aesthetic elements of the website. The concept, therefore, becomes the framework for the decisions you will take to create the design.
The concept may also be in a verbal form, which implies that the designer uses only some words to describe the design. However, verbal conceptualization is usually of an abstract nature. Mostly, this is the way to decide on the message design is going to communicate.
iii. Different Ways To Conceptualize
But this isn’t the single way to create graphic design concepts that can be applied to all designers. Some designers see an image of design in their mind first. They start with a visual concept. Others want to do some verbal conceptualizing first. Then, they write it down. But, generally, verbal concepts come first in our minds before visual concepts. After all, the visual part of the design is about communicating what you verbally envisaged. But every designer has own ways to start conceptualizing a design.
Generally, a graphic designer takes up conceptual design when the project brief is in place. Also, some feasibility studies are done before starting the design project. Therefore, the concept project is the design team’s response to the brief regarding the project. Then, when the designer takes the concept to the drawing board, some practical and functional considerations are taken on board. When these two steps are combined in one, it is known as the concept design stage or just as ‘concept.’ Once the concept design stage is over, the next step is to take up ‘detailed design.’
During the conceptual design stage, the team considers a lot of aspects. It will develop the design concept. But other considerations also are taken into account. So, the team or the individual designer will prepare outline specifications of the design and a planning strategy. It may also include many other aspects of the conceptual stage such as the cost plan and construction logistics if that is the demand for some design projects.
The team also prepares a concept design project for the client. The report provides the basic concept of the design that the client will review. But the report may be amended in the detailed design stage.
How To Develop A Conceptual Graphic Design?
To develop a conceptual graphic design, here are some crucial steps you must take:
01. Gather Facts
The designer would also like to know about the consumer’s needs from the design. To understand what is there in the consumer’s mind, you need to gather facts. You can give a phone call or send emails to the product’s consumers. You may also send a questionnaire to consumers to fill out. The purpose here is to collect more details for preparing a conceptual design.
The conceptual phase includes researching the design. It is a time-consuming phase with an intense project that requires expertise will take even months. After a lot of research, the concept design team will gather data, which will be evaluated to find out which one is valuable to the design project.
When you hire a freelance graphic designer or do the work in-house, the first step is to have an idea that you want to realize in the finished project. So, the idea will pass through the different design processes for its realization. Therefore, communication with various people even consumers is essential at this stage.
After gathering the facts, it’s now the time for the professional graphic designer to take over. The designer will think creatively to give the concept a concrete look. At this stage, the customer’s goals are kept in mind. The designer may want to do some more research so that the best outcome can be realized.
03. Know The Issue Or Problem
This is about knowing the problem that a graphic design services intended to solve. You should come out with a problem statement. But the statement is based on the client’s project brief. The designer will also take into account the communication strategy. The statement is revised many times until the issue has been scrutinized thoroughly.
In preparing the statement, the conceptual graphic designer will consider the communication challenges that need to be addressed. Then, the designer will pinpoint the target audience. The audience is the one having the problem and for which the statement is prepared. Right at this stage, the designer is able to see how the audience is going to react and response after viewing the design.
One of the graphic design jobs at this stage is that the designer tells the team member about the design concept and clarifies the members about their role. So, the team leader will create the problem statement and ask the members to give their views with some background details. The ideas presented during the brainstorming sessions are noted down and compiled into a brief report.
But the brainstorming cannot go on for a more considerable duration. Instead, the members are requested to give their ideas quickly. A member or the designer himself can come up with an image or an idea to reach the audience. The aim here is to generate as many ideas as you possibly can. At this stage, you should welcome and encourage all opinions and not just the good ones. Later, you can pick the right ideas.
05. Refine The Ideas
Once the designer has many fresh ideas about how to approach a design, it is now the time to select one or two best graphic design ideas. At this stage, the designer will evaluate the ideas from the audience perspective. The idea should address the communication objectives. Find out if the idea will be suitable for multiple media channels. At the same time, it should be fresh. Make sure that it is flexible enough for further expansion when needed.
06. Prepare Visual Presentation
A graphic designer then prepares a visual presentation of the concept so that it can be tested with the audience. If required, the designer will come up with a headline and a tagline. It will also include a key visual.
When the first two steps of research and processing are completed, the designer will then put the best ideas on the drawing board or the computer screen. At this stage, a client will receive many fresh ideas from the designer.
The client will approve one of the sketches or ideas that the designer will further develop. This phase of the design, when you create a logo or any other design is often going on for many days.
08. Refining The Design
After the designer sends the design to the client for his opinion, the client may give suggestions about what more can be added to the design or subtracted. This refining process continues until the client is fully satisfied.
For example, if the client needs a label design, the suggestions may include the removal of a particular image or a font for some specific reasons. In that case, you must remove the element even if you do not like to keep it. After all, you are working for the client.
So, these are the stages through which conceptual graphic designs need to go to lay a solid foundation for a finished design. People engage with an exciting design more as they find it appealing. We can say that conceptual graphic designs are all about presenting information in a way that interests target audience.
When you create a sticker design or any other design item, it should be telling a brand story. Just an image or some useful words such as a brand’s mission statement tells a story of the company. So, the design should be such that its words and images convey something about a brand. All of its elements should connect together to tell a story.
If you one who is looking forward to having a wide category of designs to build an identity of business, Designhill can help in the process. This is a leading freelance graphic design platform where hundreds of professional designers come to find work.
Hundreds of business owners launch design contests at this site. You can also create your contest at the site to attract talented designers. In a week or so, you get a winning logo, etc. design that is worthy of representing your brand.
Conceptual graphic designs are actually the first stage of finished graphic design. The designer prepares a lot of ground at this stage with the help of many rough sketches to get inspirational ideas. Right from visualizing to researching and making a strategic choice of colors etc. elements, the process of conceptualization of graphic design goes through many phases.