My Creative Process: Product Design

June 02, 2015

My Creative Process: Product Design

Gathering Ideas
I gain inspiration from a whole heap of unrelated sources - design, illustration, photography - I just look at nice things and let it all sink in. Eventually the pieces click together and an idea forms. There is no formula or sense to it, I just have to feel my way through a collection of unrelated sources and let new ideas develop independently. I actively avoid looking at other jewellery shops as there are a lot of crossovers in regards to design and it’s easy to feel as though it's all been done before. You've just got to put your head down and get on with it.

Drawing Rough Sketches
Whenever I have an idea for a new design, I sit down and create (very) rough sketches. I note down the general shape of the design, it’s components and the materials I am thinking about using. I play around with the original idea and see how other combinations could work.

Discovering Themes
Often a clear theme develops - the designs are geometric or classic in style - and I can create them as new additions to one of the existing collections - Classics, Geometrics, Geological, or Rarities. Other times it takes a little work to figure out whether the designs could form a new collection. Since I do not stick to the tradition of releasing seasonal jewellery designs, launching a new collection of designs takes a lot of consideration.

My Creative Process: Product Design

Sourcing and Sampling
Once I have considered the materials I wish to work with, I contact my existing suppliers and/or find new ones. If I need to find new suppliers, this process can take a lot of time and patience. In some instances this process has taken one or two full days of sourcing, which often feels like a waste of time but finding high quality materials is an incredibly important part of my design process. Once I have found the right suppliers, I source the materials required and order sample amounts to check quality, size, and suitability. I create sample pieces, which I tweak and rework as needed. Once I’ve confirmed the materials are high quality and I’m happy with the final designs, I place bulk material orders.

Creating Products
My production process changed from ‘make-to-order’ where I would make each piece as it was ordered to prevent cutting chain unnecessarily and I now create dozens of each design, which are ready to ship. This takes the pressure off and doesn’t require me to make and send each order on the same day. Once my materials arrive, I create dozens of each design. Each individual piece goes through quality checks and once I’m happy, I take photographs for product listings and promotion, write product listings; label, bag, and store each design ready for sale.

[ read all posts from the My Creative Process series ]

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