Eelco Siebring is an Industrial Designer and Concept Artist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. With over 10 years of experience, he has been involved in the design of a wide range of professional, consumer and award winning sports products, both as a freelance as well as an in-house designer. He has branched out into Concept Art, where he currently is the lead designer / 2d layout artist for Undone, an animation series for Amazon Prime. Also, he likes to draw spaceships.
Rice Cookers Concept Drawings
Industrial Design and Concept Art are similar in many ways. They both solve a design problem through various visual mediums that other stakeholders can make decisions on. I think the biggest difference is in the degrees of freedom. Industrial design is for the explicit purpose of producing physical, real-world products. Manufacturability, costs, mass producibility, usability and ergonomics are therefore all critical factors. Aesthetics are, largely, dictated by these components where form and function are interrelated. In film and games, design deliverables often need to look convincingly functional, but no real-world components have to exactly be fitted in them; it’s part of the illusion. Also, Industrial Designers usually tackle the design of a single object or product (line), where Concept Artists often have to imagine whole worlds where the designs are to exist. Prop design in Concept Art however, is in essence very close to Industrial Design. It is at its core Industrial Design, only with a more fantastical subject matter.
There are an infinite number of ways to arrive at nice designs. It is up to the designer to decide which process would work in which situation. Here are a few options:
- The traditional visual 2d Industrial Design way is to start of by generating loads of thumbnails, focusing on proportion and silhouette, either with pen and paper or digitally. Then choosing a couple of ideas, develop them further until arriving at (usually) 3 or 4 different alternatives or concepts. Ideally, all these concepts fit the product brief completely and are in theory successful solutions. One final one can be chosen on either soft (e.g. gut feeling) or harder data (e.g. target group testing).
- An alternative route that is not typically practised in Industrial Design, is to start of with one interesting idea and keep working on that until a satisfactory result has been arrived at. For instance, starting with a silhouette and from that develop the design, all in one sketch. Disadvantage is that not many initial directions have been investigated. Advantage is that the speed and energy of this type of approach can generate a creative chain reaction and achieve a satisfying result as well.
- Another process that is often used in Concept Art but not in Industrial Design involves combining different techniques to arrive at a result in the quickest possible way: gather references, some thumbnail sketching, incorporate 3d models or photo materials, etc…
The sketches featured in these videos are samples of how I approach industrial design sketching, from ideation to fleshing out individual product concepts in Autodesk SketchBook.
I hope you enjoy.