What is a design concept?
A design concept refers to the idea or plan that guides the design decisions being made in a specific project. In order to create a cohesive vision, design concepts ensure that each element in the project reflects the goals and values of a brand, product or service. They’re often developed through research, brainstorming sessions and collaboration with stakeholders to ensure the design meets all the needs of its intended audience.
Design concepts can range from simple sketches to detailed diagrams with descriptive notes. It all depends on the scope of the project and the team’s approach to achieving their goals. Regardless of the complexity of a design concept, it’s essential for achieving successful results.
Features of a good design concept
Design concepts should be communicated clearly to the design team and stakeholders so that everyone involved in the design process is on the same page. Ultimately, a design concept helps ensure that the end result is cohesive, functional and aesthetically pleasing. To do this, design concepts by nature should be flexible and iterative in order to accommodate changes.
The design concept should be revisited each time decisions are made or problems arise to ensure the results are in line with the design’s original intent. It’s likely certain factors will be revised, but this type of ongoing review is what keeps projects on track and leads to successfully thought-out designs.
Design concept examples
One example of a design concept is using a minimalist approach, which is popular in technology design. This kind of design concept strives for simplicity and functionality, where forms are reduced to their essential elements to result in a clean aesthetic. Emphasizing user experience and functionality, the minimalist design should be easy-to-use and free from unnecessary details.
Popular design concept examples also include:
Function-first design: Prioritizes the practical functions of a product over aesthetics.
Futuristic design: Incorporates cutting-edge technology and innovative materials to create a vision of the future.
Nature inspired design: Takes inspiration from natural forms, textures and colors to create a harmonious and organic look.
Retro design: Draws from past styles and trends to incorporate vintage elements into the design.
Art deco design: Follows the art deco movement of the 1920s and 1930s, incorporating geometric shapes, metallic finishes and bold colors.
Industrial design: Draws inspiration from raw materials.
What is conceptual design?
Conceptual design is the process of coming up with innovative design concepts. This is a creative process, requiring designers to think out-of-the box when facing a specific design challenge. It involves imagining unique ways to solve it, and developing those ideas into tangible solutions.
Conceptual design can be used in many fields, including but not limited to product design, graphic design, web design and architecture. The process typically begins with research and brainstorming before design teams develop their ideas into physical design prototypes or digital mockups. Ultimately, conceptual design can result in creative and functional solutions that effectively satisfy intended users.
What is a design concept statement?
A design concept statement is a short, concise description of a design concept and its purpose. It typically includes the design goals, elements, target audience and the challenges the design team is presently addressing. Concept statements are an essential part of the design process because they provide clarity to the design team about what their solutions should aim to achieve.
Here are a few examples of hypothetical design concept statements that we've put together for your inspiration:
Minimalist kitchen design concept
“Our kitchen design concept is focused on simplicity, functionality and the elimination of clutter. The space will feature clean lines, a neutral color palette and a focus on storage solutions to design a kitchen that is both beautiful and practical.”
Nature inspired office design concept
“Our office design concept takes inspiration from the natural world, incorporating organic forms, textures and colors to support a calming and rejuvenating work environment. The space will feature natural materials such as wood, stone and greenery to create a connection to nature while promoting productivity and well-being.”
Art Deco-Inspired retail store design concept
“Our retail store design concept takes inspiration from the bold, geometric forms and bright colors of the art deco movement. The eye-catching space will feature metallic finishes, bold patterns and bright lighting. Our goal is to create a vibrant shopping environment that facilitates a stylish and memorable experience for customers.”
What are graphic design concepts?
Graphic design concepts refer to design solutions that focus on visuals. They’re often used to create logos, websites, user interfaces and other assets that emphasize visual design. When developing graphic design concepts, designers should consider trends, brand identity and the preference of their target audience. Because graphic design concepts are visually heavy, designers should aim for coherence and scalability, especially when considering how designs look online and are presented across a variety of devices.
You may also be interested in:
How to create a design concept
Here are three basic steps to take when creating a design concept:
Begin by conducting research of design trends, user needs and the goals of the design challenge at hand. Data collection and analysis is crucial for informing decisions throughout the design process.
This creative step is crucial. Together with your team, brainstorm ideas and experiment with different solutions in order to outline your design concept. Brainstorming is a great way to generate ideas, concepts and potential solutions. This exploration phase will often lead to rejecting some ideas and deciding on which to lead with.
This step involves working with stakeholders to ensure that design decisions meet the needs of the intended audience. Working together from start to finish results in cohesion and the best way to ensure all your design goals are met.
What to consider when developing design concepts
Whether you’re working on your own or with a design team, the following are important elements to keep in mind when outlining your next project’s design concept:
Throughout the entire design process, you should have your target audience in mind. Ultimately, your design must appeal to them and function according to their needs.
You should consider goals such as usability, design coherence, scalability and accessibility part of your design concept. Having these principles in mind throughout the design process will improve your final product.
Stay up-to-date on the latest design trends, since this can help you and your team design products that stand out to users who are in-the-know.
Consider your product’s brand identity to ensure consistency across all design elements, including style and language.
Looking to design a website? Wix offers a complete website design solution with all its site.