what do they ask you to design?

I’ve been doing plastic products for a while and I would like to play around with designing something in another medium like fabric. I want to do it in a realistic and constructive way, so I could learn what that side of the design business is really like and maybe add any good ideas to my folio.

My question is: Can you suggest as a way to learn about the business from the outside? (I can figure this out on my own for sure, but it’s more fun to ask someone experienced)

also, could you suggest any realistic mini-projects that are similar to what your managers ask you to create in your workplace? Im sure they give some criteria or design constraints. for instance, what do they tell you when you start a design on a new shoe or backpack?

Well… for us projects are co briefed, usually a co-lad between marketing and design directors. They hash out a line plan that outlines collections of products that fit a forcasted consumer demand From there briefs are created that zeroe in the soft spots (price, competition, end uses). Design takes the ball and runs with it looking for new ways to squeaze more perfomance functions into the price point, and building a design language that spans the collection.

For you, I would suggest outlining a consumer and figuring out what they could use/want/need, and filling that gap with a product, or even a small collection of three products (ex a light packable trail shoe, hiking boot, and a hiking pack)?

Yo, you know that I’m just an amateur designer so sometimes I try to figure out what the real job could be.

From what you told before it seems like you could have a lot of restrictions in your design. Some are quite obvious (price tag range…) but other, in some cases, could really limit the creativity you could want to put into your design, for instance marketing, future trends previews and collection overall style.

I think that too many restrictions would result in a over-conservative design. In example, on Kicks mag, Kyle Pully said his new TMAC came from a more free design approch, and IMO the final product is much more original than last year model which featuring new tech could have been more revolutionary than it actually was. Similar example comes from european car manifacturer Citroen, that reducing the distance from managment and design staff, removing some burocracy, have been able to gain larger market segments thanks to unconventional and original design style coming from their origins.
Applied to Jordan Brand (which I’m a great fan of and I don’t want to take anyone personally!) it seems like recent team shoes (except the work’m) are quite conservative lacking of the spark they should have to me. So given that you are all great designers it seems like you are not that free to innovate. It seems like that marketing and other stuff are stealing space to designers’ creativity…

On the other hand I don’t really imagine how much a bad shoe could affect a company business…

Any further clarification (by anyone) about how the things work in a footwear company will be appreaciated.

Thanks and ciaooooooooooooooo

Thanks Yo, that sounds like a good practice idea… a small “line” of related products.

One question though, shoes (especially) don’t seem like they are completely style driven… I’ve been reading over some of the design links in another thread and there seemed to be alot of biomechanical constraints and are also sometimes reflected in the styling

is there any kind of rule of thumb for the functional parts of the shoe? Am I thinking about this too much?

I dunno about anyone else but most of my clients haven’t a clue what they want. I usually have to end up having to tell them and then write my brief! :laughing: