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Oxford Product Design - The Journey of Product Design

In December 2020, I was commissioned to create this piece for Oxford Product Design. OPD approached me to create an A0 painting that creatively portrayed their design proccess as a journey through a beautiful and interesting landscape.

Oxford Product Design Illustration Commission The Design Process as a journey.jpg

OPD & I worked closely to unpack the various stages of the design process necessary to create a product. Then, I illustrated this process as a journey through a fantasy-esque scene inspired by Oxford city. In addition to understanding these processes in detail with the client, I also collected a range of images for a mood board which served as inspiration when designing the scene which this journey would take place in. Below are some of the initial concept sketches I created to explore my ideas with the client. The black squares represent where the various stages of the product design process would be depicted.


The journey depicts how OPD progresses from the initial stages of research & strategy, into concept design, computer aided design, mechanical engineering, prototyping, manufacturing support, all the way to supporting thier clients in taking the finished product to market. 


The images below depict some of the early concepts that I sketched to try and capture these various elements.


After completing this concept stage, the client selected the environment and the elements he liked best to depict the ideas. We narrowed the ideas down to two final concepts. these concepts were sketched up neatly and 2 quick colour studies were completed for each of the directions. These colour studies are shown below:


Once the final concept and colour scheme was chosen, it was time to move onto creating the final artwork on a large A0 board using gouache paints the painting took just under 1 month to complete.​

It was also vital in this piece to depict the relationship between the designers and their clients. The client (white shirt, image below) is shown in several places within the piece, being taken on the journey. OPD wanted me to highlight the key role thier clients play on the success of a project. 

The designers are depicted (in blue) with many different faces throughout the piece to demonstrate the vast collective of great minds that contribute to the creation of a product.

I enjoyed using symbolism within the piece to add new layers of depth. Upon second and third inspections, you will notice small details telling you more. For example, in the bottom centre of the piece you can see the client strategizing with a  designer. On the board is a piece that signifies the end goal of the project. In the distance in the top centre, the final product is being revealed to the public in an arena, creating a real sense of sceptical, you'll notice the same flags on either side of the stadium showing the visualised goal becoming a reality. The final product, you will also notice, is hidden behind a red veil, this symbolises that when overlooking the process to create a product, OPD and thier clients cannot know what the final outcome will be, but they know that whatever the result, it will be a success. 

One other interesting symbolism you may note is that as the characters and process begins to move up the stairs, past the OPD logos lighting up the path, the project transforms from being simple ideas and begins to take on a tangible, 3D form.

This A0 painting was created using Gouache paint. I really enjoyed working with the client and they are proud to now display it in the guest reception of thier new office. 

Oxford Product Design Illustration Commission The Design Process as a journey.jpg

Watch the video below to see how I created this entire piece!

Olivia Chevallier © Copyright
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