A Conceptual or Lead Designer is an individual who works on the overall conceptualization and design of a media project. Projects may include a game, web site, interactive CD ROM, film, video, or other type of multimedia product.
A person taking on the role of Lead Designer assumes a high level of responsibility. He or she is the creative driving force behind the conceptualization of a product.
It is the task of the designer to take a basic idea and develop it into a planning document that details every step required in the production process. This forms an structural plan, or blue print, for all the effort to follow.
The conceptual/lead designer is responsible for ensuring that the product a studio produces meets the client's requirements. This includes gathering specific information within the project cycle and designing solutions to meet the needs of the client or user. This requires good communication skills with clients and an understanding of design and technical issues that the team must address in the design process.
The Designer constantly evaluates the project's over-all look, feel, and aesthetics. This may include, for example, a "fun factor" when a project is designed for entertainment purposes. The Lead Designer will divide his or her time between design work and supervising the work of the design staff working on the project.
Those who become Conceptual or Lead Designers come from a variety of professional experiences within the industry. Give the field of multimedia designers need to have:
- A vivid imagination that is feed by a strong curiosity about the world around him or her. Such designers enjoy exploring ideas and have a passion for searching out new perspectives and processes. This skill contributes to making a product informative, exciting, and an effectively pleasing experience.
- The skill to transform a verbal idea into a multimedia experience. This requires an understanding of users and how they will interact with the product being developed. Skills in interface layout and designing the overall structure of a project are needed.
- The ability to thrive off a challenge and enjoy designing solutions.
- An understanding of design tools and techniques. This includes a knowledge of technical restrictions and specifications of the hardware and software used.
- Strong management and communication skills. This includes the ability to work with others and to manage tasks the production team must accomplish.
Interview: Ricardo Delgado, Conceptual Designer and Storyboard Artist who has worked on films like Men in Black, Tom Rader, Dinosaur and Atlantis.
Interview: Eric Feng from Feric.com talks about his work, where his influences come from and his future plans. He is an Animation Designer from Square Picture (creators of the "Final Fantasy" movie)