Designs win and lose customers before they even know what the product features are. This happens a lot in the automobile industry. No matter how fancy and great your car’s features are, if it looks ugly, customers will be turned away before they even test drive it. But this occurs in fashion too. In fact, it’s more common for people to wear clothes that may be uncomfortable but look great than it is for them to wear clothes that fit and feel great but don’t look so appealing. This is something that refers back to the ethos of design. Are you designing for your product to look great but have limited functionality, or are you trying to sit on the fence and have great features and great design? You can and should want both, but first, let’s explore the design styles and approaches you may find interesting.
The ethos of fashion and style
When it comes to fashion, design is of the utmost importance. They do not have worldwide fashion shows just to talk about how the item you want to wear will feel on your body, but rather, how it will make you feel when you wear it. Of course, material options do come into the design ethos, which is never in dispute. What we want to tackle is, however, the ethos of design in fashion. What kind of things should you be aware of?
- What is the item going to be like to wear? You want to focus on how it will fit onto the customer. So the lines of the product are extremely important. If you are making a dress, how do you want the back, sides, bosom, and hips to look like? Do you want the hips to be tighter? Do you want the bosom to be slightly lower and receive more support from the mid-back? How an item hangs off a customer naturally, is a big part of the style ethos.
- Will it fit the mood you are after? Picture an evening gown that is in black. Now picture the same dress in bright orange. They can almost feel like they are two different dresses for different occasions. So yes color and lines are important for hitting the right style or mood you are after. Lines can be altered by the color that you have chosen.
- Functionality matters. Some dresses you can run in, some you cannot. If you purposefully want to create a dress that is for an evening in a restaurant or perhaps at an award ceremony, you probably do not care as much for the functionality of it. But if you are making a casual dress for the high street, then you do, this all comes into play in the cut of the dress, i.e. how long or wide it will be.
How do you design your logo?
Take a look at both Nike and Adidas. Both of their logo designs are about speed and going somewhere fast. Adidas has its famous triple lines, which are often associated with speed, i.e. racing cars. And Nike has a swooping tick that looks like it’s traveling one way. They do this because they are both sports brands and they want to have their character forged in their logo designs.
Have you done the same? You can do this by studying the geometric style of art deco that is all about speed, futuristic designs and using lines and symmetrical shapes to symbolize the movement. You can also study various logo design ethos’ that have been mixed with research from prominent think tanks about customer or consumer perceptions. Darker logos were seen to be for more mature brands. Mercedes often has their logo of a silver trident mixed with black shadowing, for a more sophisticated and older clientele. For Apple, they want something that is minimalist, bright and with curved lines to symbolize their openness, innovation and family-friendly products. By this same token, the choice of shapes and sizes also comes into play. For a discreet brand you want a calmer font. Prada and Gucci are high-end labels that do not have wild fonts like younger brands do. Rolex is a good example of this.
Placing your logo on products
It’s not just designing a logo that is important but the way you display it. For example, you can place your logo on these custom playing card printing that can be great as promotional gifts. You want the display to get just enough of your logo without it being too obvious. You don’t want your logo to be straight in the middle of the card for example, otherwise, it looks generic and could be taken as a product that wasn’t really thought out. Being too basic can bite you in the future.
So, what should you do? Place the logo in the corners of the playing cards. So you can read the logo no matter which side the card is on. This is something that can be made to look like a mirror effect. Maybe add a ripple in the middle so it looks like your logo is in moving water or a reflection.
Don’t overdo it
As you can see from the last point made, you want your logo and your designs to be comprehensible and coherent. Don’t be edgy for the sake of it. Don’t try to be too modern just because it’s the trend. Think about how your logo and your product designs will look like 5 or 10 years from now. Will they still be relevant? For example, there are some cars made in the late 2000s which still look great now. There are some fashion items that are useful and trendy today because of how well they were designed. So have some kind of longevity in mind when designing your products.
The design ethos of your business will matter more than you think. Having a design philosophy will shape your product outlooks and how you look at making products as a whole.