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Are all designers inventors ?

Discussion in 'Product Design, 3D & CAD' started by Liam_1991, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Liam_1991

    Liam_1991 New Member

    Hi guys,
    I am curious to know some thing.
    Are all industrial designers/product designers inventors ?

    So even know they have all the skills to design and get a project ready for manufacture, do they have good ideas to sell to the world?

  2. AlanNunez

    AlanNunez Member

    I think being able to design a great product and coming up with the great ideas that will sell are 2 very different skill sets.
  3. Liam_1991

    Liam_1991 New Member

    So building from your answer. What would be the best route for some one who has the ideas, but lacks the design skills?

    But keep in mind that cost is a factor, so would it be attractive for a designer to team up with the guy with the ideas?
  4. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    This is something I've always pondered. There was a bloke on The Apprentice a few years back who described himself as an inventor. His 'invention' was a curved nail-file you can find in Boots, Tesco, etc etc. I thought that just made him a product designer but not according to him.

    Personally I imagine an inventor creates new technology from scratch (like Dyson's 'cyclone' technology or Edison's lightbulb) but I think it's a broad term and a fine-line between inventor and designer. I couldn't give a clear definition between the two to be honest.
    pj_arizo likes this.
  5. Liam_1991

    Liam_1991 New Member

    Paul I know the story your referring to, the style file right ?
    Well I'm raising these questions because I have a hand full of ideas, these ideas were neglected due to my last occupation.
    I have made time to commit to these ideas. I've got some as far as hand drawn designs.
    So I just need assistance getting a few prototypes made so I can approach investors and start building the brand.
    The first idea I want to focus on is very simple, no moving on parts and just minimal design. It's Not over engineered and could probably be 3D printed. I have got some law work to do, but as far as I'm concerned it should fly though a patent file.

    So where can I find a individual to assist me ? I know I could pay some one, but I just want a professionall relationship with a like minded individual. Some to work with and Strive for success .
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    There's your difference between and inventor and a product/industrial designer.... (my background is product design) an inventor usually looks for people to pay them for the idea, an industrial/product designer gets paid to create a product (from an idea or brief). You do get some crossover where sometimes an inventor also has engineering skills so ends up going to prototype stages but usually an inventor ends up needing a product designer or engineer to refine their idea.

    Paul, I hate it when Dyson (and apple) are said to have invented something when all they did was take an existing product from a different field and repurpose it for their own needs. They didn't invent it they re-engineered it which is completely different.
    Liam_1991 likes this.
  7. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I'd be guessing (depending on your product idea) that someone with some solid product design experience as well as knowledge of 3D packages would be your best bet.

    @Paul Murray

    I'd see the difference between an inventor and a product designer being and inventor comes up with the concept for a new product, the spark and probably how it works where a product designer would take that and make it into a working product and iron out the functionality and aesthetics.
    I guess it's open to interpretation though.

    When I was about eight I came up with the idea of putting a wedge on the top of lorry and van cabs to make them more aerodynamic whilst on a drive to the coast and listening to my Dad's concerns about the luggage on the roof rack.

    I bet someone wished they'd listened to the eight year old. ;)
  8. Liam_1991

    Liam_1991 New Member

    I under stand, so I'm guessing the most common method would be me paying a designer.
    after the design is handed over to my self, I hold all licenses etc.

    So then no royalties is to be paid to the designer, if not agreed before hand.
  9. Liam_1991

    Liam_1991 New Member

    Yes Scott, some one with that particular skill sounds about right.

    I have spoken to an intern about my proposition, he says he's to busy to take it on.
    That's my naivety, I'm not aware of the whole process. Getting a product from my hand drawing, to a cad and 3D render.
  10. Liam_1991

    Liam_1991 New Member

    Great story about the cab wedge on lorrys, you should be kicking your self right now!
    They are broadly used in today's age, with great benefits for the vechile and environment.
  11. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Same here. :(

    Sorry of going a bit off topic here but that reminds me of a discussion I once had with a Designer.
    It was on an old illustration forum and this guy's friend had come up with a concept for a cartoon band.
    Can't remember the name but it was along the lines of Monkey Business (for arguments sake).

    They'd done the background story and a lot of the character designs but they wanted to step it up with the illustration and animation and handed it over to a comic artist called Jamie Hewlett for consideration.
    Jamie was sharing a flat in London at the time with Damon Albarn.
    Nothing happened with the project and then Jamie and Damon came up with The Gorillaz. o_O

    The guy I was talking to had links to the original character designs on the web along with the whole story of what had happened.
    He said that his friend had tried to take legal action against J & D but could not fight the might of the record company and afford the cost so he settled for a token settlement that hardly covered his legal costs and he was made so sign a gagging clause.
    A while after I went to look for reference to it on the web and it was all gone.

    I've just done a search and found the guy was called Kevin Saunders and the band was called Monkey Tennis.
    All reference to the case and story of what (allegedly) happened are now gone from his site.
  12. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    My knowledge is not that great on the area as the only product design I did was a number years back or just one company.
    It was all concept sketches and elevated plans back then.

    It's all 3D CAD and 3D printing now.
  13. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    You bet!

    Time is a great healer though. ;)
    Liam_1991 likes this.
  14. Liam_1991

    Liam_1991 New Member

    So this for the moderators and staff.
    Would it be ok for me to post an exclusive offer for a designer? it would be nice for them to review my ideas and then talk about payment options.

    I've also contacted a company that gets your idea off the ground for you, i don't know how these company will bode with my goals. I will lol forward to hearing from them.
    scotty likes this.
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Say for example you chose to work with me (from limited info it does sound like something I'd be able to do) you would send the idea/sketches/prototype/images, basically as much info as possible that I can use, to me and I would then refine the workings and/or work on the aesthetics and could produce a 3D render of the product or supply stl files (usual format) for 3D printing which you could either outsource or print at home via an off the shelf printer. Your idea would be safe because you can put it under a non disclosure agreement (I do this automatically anyway) where the other party would be liable for info leaking out. You'd be surprised how often I've worked off napkin sketches lol

    You would pay me at a set price and the only thing that I would retain as 'my property' would be the work files which aren't part of the job (ie [edit for clarity] the stl files/2D plans etc you would need, not my files for the rendered image) unless it's agreed in the price that these are transferred over. Depending on the project the price can include a percentage of the sales from the product but I'll be honest and say I personally don't like this because there's no guarantee that there's any return.

    I would also be careful when dealing with companies that focus on getting your product off the ground, they sometimes work out very expensive for very little gain. To be fair there's probably enough people on the forum to deal with all aspects of that side of things outside legal. We've got people who deal with marketing, we've got cad/3d (me), we've got printers (Boss Hog is one) and we've got people like Scotty and Paul (there are others) who specialise in things like branding, graphics and illustration.

    As to the exclusive offer yeah feel free stick it in the tenders section or if you'd prefer to keep things quiet until the legal stuff is done you can PM me for my email address to just take a quick look and give you some ball park costs.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
    scotty likes this.
  16. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I'm not as qualified or experienced as some others on here but until anyone else advises you I'd urge caution about airing your ideas with companies as I've heard of people getting bitten.
    BTW. It's actually quite refreshing for someone to come on here and ask for advice on how to go about engaging a designer.
    They usually jump jump in with something like "Design me this and I'll throw you a bone" before @Levi deletes them. ;)

    EDIT. @Levi got in before me.
  17. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Oh yeah forgot to say. Make sure you get any person you deal with to sign an nda (non disclosure agreement) prior to doing any discussions and make sure they sign it name and if possible some photographic evidence of the person linked to the name. Yes it might seem extreme. DO NOT send anything to china or similar unless you have to as it will be on the market before you even get your made :)

    Scotty I'm not that bad with deleting people asking for actual help rather than trying to get things done for free or on the cheap (ie crowdsourcing)
  18. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    No @Levi. I'm talking about the ones that want something for nothing or touting not help and advice.
    They don't usually last long. ;)
    Levi likes this.
  19. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    So I should send all the ones looking for free work in your direction hey @scotty :p
    scotty likes this.
  20. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Yep! I'm always interested in "getting something for my portfolio" with the chance of more unpaid work in the future. ;)

    Actually. Scrub that.
    Last time I was sarcastic like that on the old forum I got people PM-ing me to ask me. o_O
    Levi likes this.

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