Martin Houlden

Lots of design companies don’t really understand the concept of having a concept. Confused? They sure are. After all, we all know that good creative design can make a difference, but all too often designers just focus on trying to solve one singular project brief, without understanding the need to be able to apply that same thinking to the clients other business areas, and help contribute toward creating a strong brand by using a consistent message.

All to often a designers’ work is a solitary solution, and whilst they may address the current problem (with varying degrees of success), unless your idea has been generated from a strong conceptual idea, then it will always just be a one-off. This is where the concept is required – right at the start of the design process, front and centre!

Copenhagen ZooTake the wonderful example here for Copenhagen Zoo. To most designers a brief which says “New advert for a bus” elicits all the excitement of a weekend in Grimsby, and the only skill that a Creative Director would apply to it, would be to cunningly hand it down to the office junior to practice his artwork on!¬† But with a bit of very clever thinking (actually, probably rather a lot), the design team that produced this wonderful advert have given themselves a concept which could run and run.

I think this example is probably one of the best pieces of public transport advertising I’ve ever seen. It certainly grabs your attention, though If you counted the number of accidents resulting from other drivers and pedestrians staring at the bus (instead of paying attention to traffic or where they were going) you might be inclined to disagree!

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