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  • Product Design Ideation at Chalkboard

Product Design

Product design entails many elements: industrial design, 3D CAD, prototyping, manufacturing, and so much more. Our talented design team is experienced in all of the design disciplines and can apply them to a project for just about any market.

Product design is an elaborate process, always striving to strike a balance between form, function, and business objectives. This delicate dance requires a skillful designer with vision to understand human factors, trends, feasibility, human behavior, and yes, aesthetics. Our accomplished design staff understands that the role of the designer requires much more than applying a colorful skin to the outside of a product to make it reach its full potential.

Concept Sketches - Exploring function and broad ideas

More Than Just Pretty Pictures…

A project starts with an in-depth dive into understanding everything about the task at hand. We focus on the end users, how the product is to be utilized, the critical functions, features and benefits, and any other relevant design drivers.

We question everything. These foundational insights offer the product design team and client better overall resource management and quality of outcome.

We understand that design is the essential link between person and product, and must be considered from the perspective of all constituents involved throughout the process from manufacturers to retail stores, but most importantly the end user. It’s about creating the right aesthetic, not just a pretty aesthetic. It’s designing the full interaction, not just the visual. This has universal market relevance, applying to everything from consumer products to industrial machinery. We don’t just draw pictures: we make, try, prototype, and apply our collective expertise to the problem to devise a comprehensive solution.

Concept Renderings - Aesthetic industrial design drawings

…But They Sure Are Pretty

Our team has the utmost respect and appreciation for attractive, visually appealing design of all kinds and a passion for bringing beautiful products to life. We truly believe that form should serve to accentuate the function and enhance the overall experience for the user in every way.

Do product aesthetics affect your bottom line? Yes – studies have historically shown that spending in design pays dividends in multiples of the investment. A product is a company’s representation of brand and face to the world, and deserves to both look and function as perfectly as possible.

Design process from hand sketches to computer renderings from CAD - Brainstorming ideas before converging

Finding the Right Design

Often, the key to arriving at a good idea is to have lots of them. It’s like panning for gold, where not every attempt renders a large golden nugget. Our industrial design process begins with a creation of quick and dirty thumbnail sketches that explore various ideas and solutions. As many as 100-plus sketches can be developed, each with different ideas to convey.

It’s not always easy to create numerous ideas, and it’s even more difficult to narrow them down.  A handful of different ideas are selected to take further into refinement. This selection or narrowing stage in the process often requires prototypes and or 3D CAD models for functional and or ergonomic evaluation. In the end, after enough scrutiny, one final product design direction is determined. The success of this process hinges on our team of experienced design staff.

High fidelity painted and functional prototype - Resolving design details

The Final Touches

The devil is in the details, and product design is no exception, where every little detail must be scrutinized, often to a painstaking level.

What shape and size should the buttons be? What color, materials and finish should be used to maximize overall appeal, while still keeping the production cost within budget? What elements need to be considered to follow a company’s established VBL (Visual Brand Language)?

As a finished product gets closer to completion, the worlds of design and engineering begin to merge.
Contrary to common practice, we keep the industrial designer involved throughout the entire product development process. Designers and engineers work seamlessly as one from start to finish. The engineer or the designer is not left to their own devices to interpret the product design on an island. Involvement by engineering right from the start gives deep insight to the designer so an unrealistic or impractical design doesn’t become the focus early on, potentially wasting time and money. This product design partnership ensures a healthy balance is struck between functionality, manufacturability and aesthetics.

Product design when done right involves a lot more detail, time, experience, and energy than you would imagine, if you are not regularly involved in the process. By no means do we just draw pretty pictures in our product development process. We make the products real, aligned with all constituents’ needs and with greatest perceived value possible.  We systematically iterate and refine the product designs until we and the client know they are right and complete.

Product Design Services We Offer

  • Industrial Design
  • Brand Development
  • Product Strategy & Road Mapping
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Creative Brainstorming
  • Concept Sketching & Rendering
  • Shape and Form Studies
  • Soft Goods Design (fabrics, sewing and more)
  • Human Factors & Ergonomics
  • Usability & Feature Enhancement
  • Aesthetic Development
  • 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design)
  • Prototyping (3D Printing and more)
  • Photorealistic Computer Renderings