Updated: Jun 15
I once read the difference between art and design is that art is for the artist and design is for the people. What that means is that arts aims to evoke whereas design aims to accomplish. When an artist sets out to make a new piece, they are telling a story. By the time they are done, the story is told. It’s then up to the viewer to interpret what they meant. As a designer, when our story is done, there can be little left up for interpretation. When a client approaches us for a project, they typically have a vision or idea that needs developing. In most cases we are not the sole author of our work and thus must work collaboratively to ensure that all voices are heard along the way. The worst nightmare of any designer is to unveil the final project only to hear the client say “that’s not what I expected”. To avoid this, we use what we call concept visualization.
What is concept visualization?
In short, concept visualization is any means by which we can communicate the intent of the design. In the olden days, this was done by hand sketching or rendering. This was a tedious and time-consuming task that often resulted in a hand full of 2D images and a lot of callouts. While we still sketch today, this process has been augmented by slew of cutting-edge technology. Now we have things like 3D modeling, digital sketching, and software that can render realistic images in a few clicks of the mouse.
Why is concept visualization important?
Design is a nothing but series of decisions. As soon as the questions are answered, the design is done. Answering those questions, though, requires us to test our ideas in ways that do not break the bank. With concept visualization, we can understand and study those ideas in a very visual and visceral way. We can explore forms, reconfigure components, apply materials, any much more all without anything more than a computer screen.