Work Process

When one(as an ID’er) is working on a product, how long will one stay working with that same product before moving on to another. My question derives from process of production: beginning to out in the market, but for now I’m interested in the ID section. Or another question would be how many products do you guys design a year? Also, the reason for my question is because I want have an idea of how the pace is in the work environment. Is it rush, rush rush, and move to the next or a long process with many drawbacks.

Also, I am aware it might be different in a design firm, than in a Company, or a freelancer, may be even in a manufacturer office. So if you can please let me know what type of office you work in, that would be extreamly helpful.

the answer would not only likely be different for a consultancy vs. in-house but also different for different types of products.

For me, for example, working in footwear, the product cycle is typically much quicker than most ID products (based on my experience also working in an ID consultancy).

typically i’d say 6-12 months (or more if a highly technical performance product) on design/development. to final photosample stage.

normally 90-120 days production. plus 30 days shipping from asia to the retailer.

in total then anywhere from 10-18 months from sketch to store shelves. sometimes quicker and im sure in a larger company like nike, could be even much longer on a new technology base product.


10-15 shoes per year.

about 12 freelance projects per year (I can do about one a month and manage my work load effectively)

There’s no way to lock a number down as RK said.

A “typical” process I have seen for high tech products is between 6 and 9 mos for design and development of a product. 3 - 6 mos for manufacturing and ramp up to full production (FCC Testing, ATE, etc. etc.).

If I were to put a number on a typical ID process length I would give it somewhere around 6 weeks. I have done jobs for tight wads that wouldn’t allow more than a week on ID and I have seen processes that are over 3 mos long.

If you’re talking a lipstick on a pig type job, those are going to be short and quick. Its client driven. They don’t think of design as carrying much value so you don’t get as much time. I just got done with one that was 2 weeks in duration but only 40 hours of billable time.

You can also get into much broader design processes where you’re designing a product line, or creating a corporate brand image. Those jobs take a lot more time. You have to dig into the company culture, target market, etc. It tends to be more story weaving and BS before you even really put pen to paper for desiging.