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Why Concept Development Takes So Long...

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

If concept development takes you a few hours... something's up, or you have magic powers and in that case - DM me. Rome wasn't built in a day and unique brand-focused photography isn't either.


I used to feel guilty for taking a few days to research and let my conscious and unconscious minds mull over a project before mood-boarding or mocking-up concepts. I somehow thought taking time meant being inferior. I finally realised (Alex who is much wiser already came to this conclusion) that things that are done quickly are seldom done well.


Remember those videos where a sketch artist would show what a 5-minute drawing looked like compared to a 30-minute drawing? Yeah. . .

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I find people's minds tend to go first to what is easy, obvious and cliché - and we need time to break through that stage before we get to the juicy bits. Sure, there are those times where I've been inspired enough that BAM! - there's a well-thought-out idea in under 30 minutes. But, sadly, that isn't the case most of the time.


TRIGGER WARNING: I'll be using the word "time" a lot in this post.


Even once I've mood-boarded or mocked-up concepts, I like to take a day or two away from it, so that I can look at it with fresh eyes. This allows me to see things I might not have seen when I was deep into it, and it gave time for my good ole brain to marinate and develop the flavours - making the concepts all the richer.


You can have the most unique, outstanding ideas the world has ever seen, but what's the point if they're not executed well?

There are many reasons why we might have to speed up concept development that are somewhat our of our hands. This is business and there are deadlines to meet. Still, we try to insist on a pre-production time minimum.

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This taught me how crucial it is to communicate to our clients the importance of taking enough time in the concept creation phase. I'm thrilled our clients have the confidence that we can readily knock out concepts, but I have had to take off their rose-coloured glasses more than a few times. After all, getting it right is in their best interest and they'll love you all the more for caring enough to say so.


Concept development also takes so long because we need to consider the the practical side. You can have the most unique, outstanding ideas the world has ever seen, but what's the point in they're not executed well? We believe it's equally important to take the time to look at any potential walls we may hit while developing our concepts. And, if there are any walls, to know how we can overcome them. If we find that an idea just isn't practical, then we move on to another idea. We find this SAVES time and money in the long run.


Though creating can be wonderful, it is hard. Especially when you have to be creative Every. Bloody. Day. I had to rethink my conception of time and it took... some time. But once it clicked, it felt right and I can safely say I haven't guilted myself, once, since.


The only tip I have on saving time is to stay inspired - which leads to my next blog topic 'How I stay inspired and avoid creative burn out'.


That's a good way to plug future post right?


We post blogs weekly so if you would like to know when the next blog is out follow us on Instagram @threebentlegs






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