SketchBook: Design inspiration with Tobias France

January 7, 2020

2 min read

Tobias France graduated from Cleveland Institute of Art and began his career in Dearborn Michigan with Ford Motor Company, contributing to exterior design projects, including Ford Focus and Ford Fusion. Tobias followed his passion to Japan where he spent six years as a key creative designer on Mazda’s design teams responsible for developing the “Nagare” and “Kodo” design philosophies.  Tobias is currently a Senior Exterior Designer at Hyundai in Southern California where he contributes his creative inspirations and is credited with designing the Hyundai N2025 Vision Gran Turismo Show car.

For more information on Tobias:

Instagram @TobiasFranceDesign

Youtube Bias Design

Break trends and creating your own.

The challenge of being unique and standing out from the rest of the design community is increasingly difficult.  The internet and social media make it easy to track trends, but the real challenge is to stay hot enough to break trends and to create your own rather than just follow them.

There are plenty of methods for keeping yourself inspired. Every Designer has their own individual influences and techniques to stay fresh, but I have to admit, my own methods don’t always work, so I regularly look for new ways.

In our studio, we regularly search for inspiration conveniently available online, but we periodically invite speakers from different walks of design, architecture, art, and science.

Cultural inspiration can also influence a different form of vocabulary, so jumping out of a familiar culture and into another can bring a different perspective and fresh insights.

I, personally, love entertainment design.  Sci-fi movies, anime and video games are wonderful sources of inspiration, but sometimes those elements can be cliche, so I also pull from architecture, product design and contemporary art, which provide diversity and balance.

Visualization can only be vital if it’s effective.

In all things, infancy is an essential stage… And that’s exactly what a sketch is!

A good concept must be nurtured with supporting sketches that promote its growth. We can better communicate the concept as it becomes more developed with renderings and visualizations.

The sketch is the first step to communicating ideas visually and it’s vital in simply doing that. The sketch is what inspires the Manifesto. Professionally, it is up to the sketch to sell the design before it can move closer to concept and then to production.

The concept is the message that the sketch has to clearly deliver. They both must coexist and if the sketch can’t speak for itself then it’s unsuccessful. But, you can have the same design sketched by two different designers and whoever sketches that design or concept the best will make the sell.

In this video, I wanted to share a glimpse into my creative process and how my sketching techniques blend with the influences I draw upon to express a concept.

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