Designing products is SO much fun! It’s definitely a huge passion of mine. However it can be quite tricky to get started. Never fear! I am here to help and guide you! I thought I’d share with you some advice on designing products- sort of like a “a step by step guide” and how to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Do Product Research!
First off, as I’ve said before, it’s super important that you are creating a product for you! Don’t create something you don’t love, if you do this, your passion isn’t there and you’ll find it a lot harder to sell. This being said, you also need to do some product research. Have a look to see if anything similar has been created. Is it doing well? Is that market already overcrowded? Its perfectly okay to make something within the same category. For example a Bumble Bee Enamel Pin (random but its the first thing I could think of!) A lot of people have created these, but it doesn’t mean you can’t create your own design! Just check to see if your product already has a lot of competition.
Another way to take part in product research is to share it with your family and friends, or even your followers. Show them your design/tell them about your idea. What do they think? They could offer some advice to make it even better, or lead you in a different direction completely. Not only does this help you to adapt your design for the better, you will also find a lot more confidence by talking about your passion! People will also beging to spread the word if it’s a product they love, meaning that more people will see your work.
2. Find your style
It’s important to have fun when designing your products, as it is such a fun industry to be in! One thing to note is to not get caught up on what other people are doing. When your doing your product research, dont copy other peoples styles. Find your own style! This can take practice and a lot of trial and error, but overtime you will find a unique style that you are happy with. Having your own style also helps people to instantly link products back to you.
3. Sketch Sketch Sketch!
Always sketch out your products! Never go straight into designing it perfectly first try. By sketching down your ideas, you are getting everything in your head, out onto paper. I say this with graphic design too. Splurge out all of your ideas so that you can see them all in front of you.
I say to do this even if you think you know exactly what you want your product to look like. You never know what other great ideas you can come up with by just sketching out some extra ideas! Then, once you are 100% happy with your design, start to finalise it and add colour.
4. Pantone colours are your saviour!
Once you are happy with your final design and you’re deciding on colours, always work with Pantone! Pantone colours are colour codes that stand for a specific colour/shade. By providing your pantone colours to your manufacturer, you are ensuring that your product will come out with the exact colours you designed it with. Without these, you will find that the final, printed product will look different to your on screen colours- and that can be very frustrating!
5. Print Your Design First!
Leading on from using Pantone colours, always print your designs first. Doing this isnt necessarily for colour purposes, as your printer may not be full on ink. This is more for your sizing aspect. Once you have finished designing your product, size it up on your computer to the size you want it made. Then print it! This works with printed products (postcards, posters etc) and other products such as enamel pins and keyrings- I know these arent going to be printed on paper, but by sizing them up and printing them, you are able to hold your mockup and adapt your sizing a lot easier. This will ensure that you are more likely to be happy with your final product, rather than annoyingly wishing that you made it 5cm larger!
6. Finding a Manufacturer
This is the part people seem to find the hardest. Designing the product is all down to you, but getting them printed is in someone else’s hands- Unless you have the equipment at home. It took me a lot of trial and error to find a manufacturer that I was happy with. Even still I like to look around and test other manufacturers from time to time, as there are so many out there. Take the time to research the best manufaturers for your product. Alibaba have some amazing manufacturers. Pop people a message, get quotes and give it a go! Some places will provide you with a sample before you go through with your order. It’s all trial and error, over time you will find a manufacturer you are happy with!
Hopefully these help you on your way to designing products
! Remember that it’s okay to not get things perfect first time. It takes a lot of time and investment, but it’s a super fun journey so try not to get too bummed out if your product isnt as you expected. But hopefully these quick tips help to get it right, faster!
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