The importance of concept
“Practise safe design, use a concept”
A concept is the founding idea behind a design. It’s the why and the how, and it informs decisions until completion. Many of our clients know that a concept is an important part of design, but often tight budgets limit the value placed on this phase. We believe that in most cases, great looking design isn’t enough to build lasting relationships with your customers. It must be paired with a concept and strategic thinking in order to gain the attention of your customer, and hopefully make them return.
As a creative agency, we value this concept stage very highly. It’s a process in which we use lateral thinking to brainstorm, discuss and critique the ways in which the project could be approached. Very often at Ambition this involves every member of the team, ensuring our clients get the most out of our services.
A logical solution.
The initial planning and conceptual phase of a project is where your idea begins to come to life. This phase is where the logic, the reasoning and the core idea behind your product or service is realised and/or evaluated. Building a concept is such an important step, as it determines decisions throughout the rest of the project, and will be referred back to the whole way through. It is the defining problem that we will solve.
A tried and tested solution.
5 brains are better than one – and when you hire a creative agency to develop a project, it could be said that the concept phase is the one that benefits from this the most. At Ambition, it often involves all of us gathering together using creative/lateral thinking, to come up with solutions. This means that every part gets reviewed – the content, the format, and the design. It’s our job to make sure nothing is left unconsidered.
This also gives our clients the opportunity to benefit from our existing experience across a large range of sectors. We have the ability to apply methods that we have seen working on previous projects, and evaluate the ideas based on what others in the industry are doing. We believe that it’s this stage of evaluation that makes what we do so much more valuable than just ‘making things look pretty’.
A believable solution.
Having defined and evaluated a concept that informs what our designers, developers and marketers do to create your project is the perfect way to employ consistency. Consistency = believability. Having a strong concept alongside your brand message is important to gain customers’ interest and loyalty. An ‘empty’ campaign with no defining concept will inevitably become disjointed and leave your customers confused about what it is you are trying to do. Worse yet, they’ll miss it entirely.
As I said in the beginning of this post, many of our clients often find it hard to rationalise the value of developing a concept for all projects, especially when budgets are restricted. However, we believe that coming up with a concept is a scalable process, and can be applied to smaller projects as well as large scale campaigns. Sometimes all it takes is a morning to sit down, brainstorm and sketch up some ideas, to better understand what our clients need to achieve.
Lana Fowler - Junior Designer
After completing an internship in Denmark, Lana joined the Ambition team. She loves the creative thinking part of the design process and has a personal soft-spot for print design. Her experiences have inspired her to forge her own path and she is passionate about inspiring others to do the same. Read more about that on her blog, The Juniors.