Prototyping – an Integral Part of the Design Process

Collaborating with design agencies in the early stages can pay dividends for designers, clients, and manufacturers. We are often asked to push the boundaries of what has been done before. We love a challenge! 

Every stakeholder also needs to know that what is designed on-screen can be implemented effectively and flawlessly.

Our Global Account team worked on this project with a London based design agency for a high-end residential developer client. The concept started with “light” and how it behaves in buildings, reflections, and how it changes throughout the day.

The designer created two design routes to test.

  1. A colour gradient ran through a solid material such as resin or acrylic giving the effect of prismatic light.
  2. Brass letters were painted on the reverse in a high lacquer neon paint to reflect colour against white walls like a glowing light without using energy.

After material testing with adding colour into acrylic to create the gradient, then taking the material and using it in the final font forms to see the effect on colours, the design team decided that it gave a stunning result; it could not be controlled. 

The result would be an output slightly different for each letter, number, or form. Although everyone loved the material and effect, a decision was made that uniform and consistent output was more suitable than an organic result for this project.

As a result, we selected the second option. The back-painted brass letters were the direction we chose.

By prototyping early in the design process, we saved time and cost for the designer and client. It helped to determine which factors of the design were priorities. 

The bonus? The discarded route helped us understand and push the boundaries of material and manufacturing techniques- all knowledge that we will take into our next project.

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Philippa Brown

Board Advisor, Modulex

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