In this article, we will take a quick look at the specific aspects of the submission that made it a winner in the Design Competition, despite not being graded on artistic ability.
Conor, the designer behind Prosperity, has consistently demonstrated his artistic flair with amazing submissions each year. However, Prosperity required further design insight to transform it into one of our best-selling designs of all time.
Initially, Prosperity did not receive overwhelming support when it won the 2020 competition. We had to reassure people by saying, "Trust us, once you see the final ring, you'll understand."
One of the first aspects we consider when designing a new collection or individual piece is the incorporation of textural detail. Specifically, we look for overlapping elements that create a pattern, adding depth to the design. In this case, the koi fish scales did exactly that.
Once the design goes through all stages of production and is finally blackened, the polisher removes the high points of the detail, leaving the blackening in the depths. This makes the design truly pop. So, consider texture. What elements can overlap and create amazing fine detail?
This subtle feature was not immediately apparent in the design concept submission, particularly how the tails would integrate into the sides of the ring. However, once we iterated and built the tails protruding through the shanks halfway down, the piece became a winner, going from a 7/10 to a 9/10.
Shank detail completes the design, making it feel cohesive. It's easy to create an attractive design and place it on a simple signet ring shape. However, incorporating the entire ring into the design elevates it to a whole new level. Don't ignore the shanks; extend your design beyond the signet face and bring the whole piece to life.
Admittedly, I hadn't fully appreciated the importance of design concepts for our audience. Of course, we understand the intrinsic value that the purpose of a design holds, but not to the extent that our design competition highlighted.
Design aesthetics play a key role in the initial attraction, but people need to see themselves in the concept. As cliché as it sounds, they genuinely need to be on board with the design message. It doesn't have to be overly profound, but whatever it represents, the wearer will take on that meaning through ownership.
So, focus on a concept that resonates with you. Trust that you won't be alone in your appreciation—people will not only align with the concept but will also back your conviction.
Conor’s concept of balance was a strong motif shared by many and welcomed by our audience once the piece was released.
Think of ‘things’ that have a fine texture that would work well in the design. Google “Things with scales”.
Build out great shank detail. Flow the top design into the sides and don’t necessarily use the standard half round style. Get unique.
Concept, this is important! If people are going to wrap this around their knuckles, it needs to be something they align with.