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It seems to us that we have written more than once how the point is graphic design it's not just about creating visually beautiful content, but creating a "story" around brenda which will convey the message to consumers in the best way. So the idea is the most important. The process in which we integrate the basic idea into visual identity brand, i.e. all graphic projects, is called conceptual design.


What is conceptual design?

Conceptual design can be the basis of a successful design even if it is not technically perfect, while technically great designs can seem incomplete without a good concept.

This is precisely why it is much more important to design the concept well before starting with the implementation, because an aesthetically well-executed design may not bring results because it poorly conveys the brand message.


What is the goal of conceptual design?

So conceptual design occurs at the earliest stage of design, usually before defining elements such as palette, color, typography or style.

Conceptual design therefore aims to:


  • To lay the foundations of communication between the brand and the user.
  • To define the style and elements for communication.
  • And of course, make the brand unique and original.


Basic steps in conceptual design

After we have defined what conceptual design is and what it is for, it is much more important how it is applied in practice. The whole process can be divided into several basic steps, the sequence of which is not clearly defined, but it is much more important to go through each of them.

  1. Research

Research is the process from which it most often begins. In this step, the most important thing is to define the space on the market (either digital or physical) where the brand will be positioned, that is, the context in which it will fit.

At the very beginning, it is important to gather as much information as possible about the brand, history (if any), mission and vision. Then, based on the target group, we should research what kind of "personality" we want for the brand, that is, what its users expect from the design.

You should also examine the competition and their graphic solutions, both local and global, in order to create a clear picture of trends and a language that is recognizable to users, as well as a space through which you can highlight the brand in relation to others.

Of the tools for this step, besides Google of course, Pinterest can be of great help to you, where in addition to the market itself, you can also search for solutions from other designers.

The collected information should definitely be stored in one place and kept on hand as a guide during design. Some designers use this information to create a "mood board" that can be useful in clarifying how the conceptual solution was arrived at, but mainly increases the value of the project itself.

  1. Definition

Another step of conceptual design is the questions that arise. If you don't install them yourself, there will be someone who will install them for you. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly define what you want to achieve with a certain design.

Try to use your concept to send a message to users as simply, clearly and unambiguously as possible.

"Keep it simple"

Avoid overdoing the design. Instead of needing to fascinate users, try to offer them answers and create a clear image of your brand.


  1. Word generation

Another very important step in conceptual design is to somehow generate and sort the ideas and information that are thrown at the beginning. For example, start with a brand name to which you will add other words or phrases until you create a concept.

The purpose of generating these words is that they can help you arrive at the graphic elements of the design as well as define the visual hierarchy in the project in time.

It is recommended that you share your ideas with someone else at this stage, for example with colleagues. Besides being able to help you generate new words or even ideas, they can in some way evaluate whether your message is clear enough and that you are not deviating from the core of the message you want to send.

  1. Visualization or sketch

Through the very process of conceptual design, you will certainly come to the moment when ideas need to be transferred to paper, i.e. make a sketch.

The purpose of the sketch is to clearly indicate how the final product should look. That's why you shouldn't spend too much time trying to make it look good aesthetically. In addition, when sketching as well as when generating words, it is important that ideas flow freely, which can be a problem if you only focus on one.

In the end, even if the complete process of conceptual design looks complex, you should actually try to spend as little time as possible on it so that you can mainly devote yourself to the realization of the project itself.

Also, don't let the results of a concept discourage you, that's why you don't need to spend a lot of time to be able to repeat some of the steps or create a completely new one.


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Made by Sava Spasic - Senior Graphic Designer @Digitizer