“Privacy doesn’t have to be boring…”
– Sarah Conrad, founder, takecvr
I met Sarah through bark.com, a web-based services platform designed to connect clients with suitable business providers. I have a professional profile on there and I get sent potential job leads daily. I am yet to define a way of figuring out which leads are worth following up, but something about Sarah’s post intrigued me. After an initial phone conversation to talk through the project, it became apparent this was going to be a fast paced and exciting project I wanted to be a part of.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform where creators can share and gather interest on a particular creative project they’d like to launch.
It’s entirely driven by crowdfunding, meaning that the general public (and their money) is what sends these projects into production. Every project is independently crafted while friends, fans and total strangers offer to fund them in return for rewards or the finished product itself.
Quick fire concepts
Sarah had a clear idea of what she wanted from her designs. She had a clear visual style that she liked in the forms of geometric shapes and animals, had the target market pinned down and clear visions for colour schemes and textures. My first job was to extract all that information and combine it into viable concepts. I mainly focussed on different attachment methods and styles, and I can’t give too much away here as we may well revisit some of these at a later date! Once we were happy with the attachment design, we carried this through the range of designs.
Design refinement and detailing
The next stage was choosing the top 5 concepts from the range I produced, and honing down the details of the chosen geometric concepts to make sure they fitted together as a family before starting the computer modelling (CAD). With the project being so fast pace the CAD started running in parallel with the concept development. As one design was approved and signed off, I modelled it up on the computer whilst the other designs were still being refined. This process continued until we had a whole family modelled up in CAD.
For every project, understanding the material options available is so important and can really make or break the design. Even if you don’t know exactly which one will be used, it is a good idea to narrow it down to a couple of choices at an early stage. It affects the way you design, the way the products will look and last but not least; the unit cost. I did some preliminary research based on the client’s requirements. The key players here were sustainability, premium and tactile feel, and most importantly; it needed to be slightly compressible so that if it was dropped on a laptop, or the laptop was closed with the cover still in place it wouldn’t cause any damage either to its self or the computer. I produced mood boards of reference visuals for the material selections, along with a comparison chart weighing up the pros and cons of each of the materials to aid the client in making an informed decision.
The last leg of the kickstarter race was making sure we had fantastic looking prototypes and great visuals. Once the computer models were finalised, I used my connections in the model making industry to send the files to a top prototyping agency Amalgam modelmaking. The designs were 3D printed, hand sanded and sprayed in specially colour-matched metallic paints ready for the photoshoot.
Rounding up the troops
Sarah is a very well connected lady! She pulled together an amazing team to work on the kickstarter campaign. Consisting of copyrighters, graphic designers, branding experts, videographers and photographers to all work together on the super fast-paced project. Once the prototypes were shipped out of the model makers studio, it was over to the videographer and photographer to work their magic. It all tied together beautifully, and everyone who played a part in the collaborative team did a sterling job.
We have lift off!
The entire kickstarter campaign was taken from initial contact through to kickstarter in ten weeks. It was a super exciting campaign to work on, and the rest is yet to follow! We are currently working closely with UK manufacturers to develop the production tooling, and further research is ongoing into sustainable materials for the range of products.
For more information visit www.takecvr.com