First Post: Help With Idea & Product Life Cycle

Hi everyone, my name is BJ and I’m an interactive art director. I’ve got a degree in communication arts and know lots and lots about the web, data, Flash and php etc. I know very little about industrial design. That said, I have a few great ideas (in my opinion) and can draw/sketch etc.

I have been trying to do some research and get quotes from places I know little about for creating an idea I have which lead me here. 1st) Is this the correct forum to post in? If so I will follow up. I need to ask questions about after explaining the product in regards to research on materials, prototyping, specing and then getting this produced over seas.

Thanks for ANY help in advance.

Just to follow up… I’m looking to hire someone to help me bring this idea to reality after I get some questions answered.

It’s as good a place as any to start.

Let’er rip…

I can only give a pretty good analogy of what I want to make. Think of a watch and a wrist band. There has never been a watch so this is the first one in history and they are on backorder… every last one on ebay sold for hundreds more than it was worth before Christmas. It’s a hot item and I’d like to make custom bands for the watches.

I need someone to be able to research and recommend materials for the bands based on the OEM bands that come with that watch and a clasp. So textiles and plastics or possibly metal is involved for say the clasps. It will be very basic all in all and based on the OEM so no major CAD or prototyping needs to be done. The key selling point are the new colors, prints and overall look. There is no functional gain with this new band, just the fact that yours looks different, and the key focal point of the audience is young so it’s a big factor.

My target audience is 12-35 year olds. I can handle the branding, website design and programming, marketing and advertising because that’s what I do. But the A-Z of product design is what I don’t know. I believe a freelancer can do this for under $2k. The bigger question is if the freelancer can help with getting this item into production through his or her contacts.

Another key factor is the quantity I have to order to get these made. Take the following complete guess for example…say they cost .20 to make each and my minimum order is 5,000 units. That’s $1000. So the question I have is, do I have to order 5,000 black ones? And if I want red and green ones, do I have to order 5,000 of each color as well? What I hope is that I can say I want 10 colors and they can produce them at .20 each with a minimum order of say 10,000 and I can get 1,000 made in each color totaling 10,000. Make sense?

Am I totally off base here? Can I not get this done whatsoever? I have contacted a few studios and they are quoting $3k to $5k for the R&D and prototyping / CAD phase. That’s over my budget if I have to pay another $5k to get the MOQ (I think that’s minimum order quantity).

Anyone interested in working with me on this or pointing me in the right direction?

What you want to do is go direct to a manufacturer with this specific category of product. Google “nylon strap” and this is the first hit:


Awwwwwww, com’on MrB … dry those tears. This isn’t that tough. Its a totally DIY project; you just have to be motivated enough to do it. And if you do it, you’ll be familiar with all the details (which is always a good thing in a small business venture, don’t you think?). Think of it this way; You can sample a helluva lot of watchbands for 2Large. :sunglasses:

The key selling point are the new colors, prints and overall look.

Another key factor is the quantity I have to order to get these made.

Since this is basically a “purchasing” project, I suggest you contact a trading company. If you can graphically convey the “designs” you want, they can handle the “mechanical” details (strap materials, deployments, artwork, samples, etc.) with a manufacturer (who’s probably a cousin).

i.e. here’s one I found on Google using the phrase, “trading companies”:

Or, if you prefer, you could do all the leg work yourself … again, Google is the tool of choice.


Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of these parties.

Good luck.

Also recommend looking a mobile phone lanyard manufacturers. There are billions of these things out there, plus the “charms” that go with them.

Chinese manufacturers:

Thinking of making Wii straps are you? :wink:

If the product is as simple as you’re making it sound, you don’t need a designer as such. Find a decent manufacturer (this is probably the hardest part), give them detailed specifications (including packaging) and they will give you a quote and send samples. Specifications in this case would probably just be graphics and basic dimensions. Minimums are probably a lot less than you are guessing at. I don’t have experience with nylon straps, but (among many other things) I’ve had little custom cast metal plates made in China, and the minimum order was basically 1. For a $2 part. And they would have had to make custom tooling, provide samples, etc. Also, requesting a color mix within an order is usually no problem.