34+ SAMPLE Design Concept Proposal

What is a Design Concept Proposal?

A design concept proposal is an engaging and well-structured document that presents definite goals, objectives, and plans about a proposed design concept for the development, production and completion of a particular project or work . It is usually made by a person who possesses an expertise or professionalism  in a particular design field such as architectural design, schematic design, branding design, construction design, engineering design, artwork design, production design, website design, and many other design fields and industries.

Based on a data report published by McKinsey Global Institute, for every 7 product ideas and concepts, only 1.5 launch and only 1 succeeds, and new products have a failure rate of 25%-45%. The highest rate is in the consumer goods (45%) while the lowest rate is in the capital goods (35%). Project managers and designers need to facilitate effective brainstorming as they figure out eclectic ideas and approaches to solve the issues and problems of their clients. This will increase their chances of searching for the golden idea that could actually transform into a profitable and worthwhile product. Additionally, they need to fully work in assessing market conditions accurately, targeting the right target group, configuring product attributes and benefits in an optimal manner, having a popper pricing strategy, clear insight and knowledge of consumer awareness, realistic forecast of the revenue and comprehensive and well-coordinated marketing plan implementation. 

Thus, if you are currently developing a certain design project for your work and other business ventures, the first thing you need to achieve is to prepare an effective design project concept proposal for your design project. This will help you in attracting more prospective clients to work with you and your design team, and to elevate your brand reputation and visibility in the design fields and industries.

Different Types of Design Concept Proposals

Many business firms and companies utilize several stages in concept development especially when creating new brands, products, and services. The first stage is idea generation which is the inception of a new product idea or concept by generating ideas, and concepts based on the demands and needs of their customers. Next is idea screening or simply, screening or refining the initial ideas or concepts by improving or rejecting them. After that, there is a second round of idea screening in order to select the best among them.  As one of the designers in your field, you  also need to consider what type of design concept proposal that you will use for your design project.  However, there are different forms of design concepts around us in various aspects of our lives. Below are different types of design concept proposal:

1. Cultural Design Concept Proposal

Sara Kulturhus Center,  Haier Global Creative Research Centre, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, Tonghua Science & Cultural Center, Phoenix Valley, and Espace C2 are some examples of latest cultural design centers that are constructed and developed by various award-winning and famous architectural design firms. For example, the cultural design concept of Tonghua Science & Cultural Center is the interaction between man and nature through a multi-zig zag design with solid and virtual crystal shapes, similar to the exploited jade. Developing an effective proposal for a particular cultural design concept is one of the important ways that architects and construction designers should be skilled in order to get their cultural center design concept approved by their prospective client. You need to consult your client concerning the development of a functional program for the cultural center. Make a functional program report that summarizes and identifies the cultural center gross square footage and a range of project costs. Then, present several draft concept designs for the new cultural center. Advance one selected design to the schematic design level.

2. Production Design Concept Proposal

The key role of a production designer in the filmmaking and movie industry is to assist in bringing the script to life through a range of creative and technical choices. The production designer typically lists everything that needs to be researched, find suitable locations, and hire a crew. Simply, the production designer appears to be responsible for the fundamental planning of the overall design of a film or a performance stage. It is essential that you also create an appealing proposal for your production design project so that you may get a thumbs up from your client, and allow them to understand the overall flow of the design concept process and implementation of the conceptual design plan. In your production design concept proposal, indicate the theme, number of pages, design and graphics, specifications, cost information, and production timeline.

3. Interior Design Concept Proposal

There are different types of interior design concepts and styles that exist around us such as contemporary interior design style, industrial interior design style, Mediterranean interior design style, minimalist interior design style, mid century modern interior design style, traditional interior design style, and many other sophisticated interior themes and concepts.  Are you working on an interior design project? We recommend that you create a compelling interior design concept proposal for the development and implementation of the concept design of your interior design work. Tell your inspiration while brainstorming and researching the concept for your interior design work and why you come up with that particular interior design concept.

4. Branding Design Concept Proposal

A statistical report stated that brand impressions matter for consumers as 13% of consumers would pay 31-50% more for your products or services if they were under the impression that your business is making a positive impact on the world. Writing a striking and well-detailed branding design concept proposal for your work will help you in further encouraging more clients to work with you for their branding design needs. 

Basic Components of a Design Concept Proposal 

In this section, you will learn how to craft a proficiently-written design concept proposal so that you are able to gain the interest of the readers of your proposal, especially your prospective clients. However, a proposal has different components. Include the following elements for you to create an impressive document:

Title: One of the fundamental elements of a design concept proposal is the title. It is an engaging, and though-provoking line of the document which highlights the main topic, or subject of the design concept proposal, as well as to capture the client, collaborator or stakeholder’s attention to read and accept the proposal. It is usually set in a size larger than other remaining text elements in the page.Description of Design Concept Goals and Objectives: Describe the design concept goals, objectives and desired outcomes that are essential so that you are able to accomplish the overall design concept project. Explain how your design concept team will achieve the design concept goals and objectives. Executive Summary or Design Concept Project Overview: This part is the fundamental section of your design concept proposal. It provides a brief and cohesive summary of the design concept methods, and strategies that will be implemented while working on a particular design concept project. Include some visual representations to portray the essence and flow of the design concept development process. Another aspect to incorporate in this section is the significance, implications and other contributions of the design concept. Timeline of of the Design Concept Development: Construct a clear and detailed timeline of the activities, and methods based on their time period of the development and production stages of the design concept. Use some graphs, tables, and other visual diagrams to illustrate the status and performance of the design concept project. Accuracy, Conciseness and Precision: Focus on the priorities of your design concept work. Write concisely and precisely. Keep it as brief and specific as possible. Be accurate in your design concept proposal writing.

How to Create a Design Concept Proposal 

Understanding the overall design process which includes concept design development can be challenging because it involves assessing questions like how designers come up with ideas and concepts, what techniques they use to develop concepts into usable products and structures, and why design is integral to the society. Aside from setting up an elevator pitch in proposal writing, a design concept proposal can effectively outline what your definite design goal and aspiration is all about. In this matter, we suggest that you follow the simple steps below while freely using one of our sample design concept proposal templates in this article:

Step 1: Set Goals, and Objectives

It is important that you discuss the design project with your client to assess their needs and preferences. After knowing their needs, you will be able to set realistic goals and objectives for the project.  Some examples of design objectives are being accessible, aesthetics, cost-effective, functional, historic preservation, and sustainable. Inform them about the functional and non-functional quality targets of the design concept work.

Step 2: Develop a Summary of the Design Concept Work

Your design concept proposal should include a clear and concise summary of your design concept work. Explain your design concept ideas especially on how you brainstorm them, and tell an interesting and meaningful story of the overall concept design process and production of the design concept work. Consider your prospects carefully while writing this part. Then, finish your project summary with reliable information.

Step 3: Demonstrate Design Concept Solutions and Strategies

Discuss your viewpoints and comments with your design team about the proposed design concept solutions and strategies to solve concerns and issues which are linked to your design concept work. After that, include these details in your design concept project proposal. Or if you are just working as a freelance and independent designer, brainstorm and prepare an initial draft of your design concepts and ideas about innovative design concept solutions for the project.

Step 4: Indicate the Project Timeline and Budget

Indicate a clear timeline and an estimate of the financial budget of the design concept project that you need in order to start the design and implementation of the design concept project. Explain the stages of the concept design process and the costs of the concept design development work.

Step 5: Highlight the Significant Value

The next step is to highlight the significant value of your design concept project and why it is beyond comparison to other concept design projects. Emphasize the part on how your concept design work will immensely influence your clients and others while supporting their needs and preferences with the production and realization of your design concept work.  This is a fundamental aspect for many business firms and organizations as they opt for collaborating with designers who can definitely make a huge positive impact on the people through an enticing and functional design concept.

Step 6: Prepare the Final Draft

Work on some finishing touches to the final draft of your design concept proposal. Make sure that the document provides compelling and meaningful details about your pitch. Attach any supporting documents as well like an aesthetic design concept online portfolio. Set a schedule of a meeting with the members of your design agency and/or the prospective client or firm who will have your design concept proposal. Then, use some editing and revising tools for efficient proofreading and revision of your document so that you can submit your design proposal in an orderly manner.


What are the fundamental elements of a design concept proposal?

The fundamental elements of  a design concept proposal are the name of the business firm, agency or organization, title of the proposed design concept, introduction of the design concept, design concept project vision, design concept project scope, design concept desired outcomes, methods and strategies, timeline and milestones and design concept project management.

What are different types of design concepts?

Some different types of design concepts are golden ratio / rule of thirds, symmetry, contrast / similarity, simplicity, form and direction, emphasis, balance and alignment, repetition, proportion, movement and white space. There are five vital design concepts that every designer needs to know and these are harmony, rhythm, balance, focal point, and proportion and scale. Harmony evokes a sense of unity and restfulness as the colors, style and overall theme complement each other. Rhythm is about continuity, recurrence, and movement like progression and transition. Balance sets a feeling of stability and equilibrium. Focal point means creating an emphasis or highlight. Lastly, proportion and scale refer to the ratio between the size of one part to another and how the size of one object connects to another.

Why is the design concept essential?

Design concept is an essential factor in every project because it acts as the basic DNA or identity of a project. From the early schematic design phase to the construction or execution of a project, it demonstrates the overall design intent and brings direction for everyone on the project team. It is important to have a cohesive and unified design concept so that project managers are able to formulate clear and logical decisions.

How to brainstorm a design concept?

When you are brainstorming a design concept, set a time limit then begin with a problem statement or needs assessment, point of view, a specific plan or a definite goal. You need to put off your judgment or criticism and allow weird and extraordinary ideas to flow while brainstorming and focus on the quantity of your design ideas and concepts. This will be helpful when it comes to developing each others’ design ideas and concepts.

What are some examples of design concept proposals?

Some examples of design concept proposals are cultural design concept proposal, design concept technical proposal, design concept development proposal, market design concept proposal, production design concept proposal, payload design concept proposal, design concept request for proposal, multiple design concept proposal, original design concept proposal, design concept brief proposal, integrated design concept proposal, model design concept proposal, public work design concept proposal, website design concept proposal,  preliminary design concept proposal,  art work design concept proposal, interior design concept proposal, construction of design concept proposal, product design concept proposal, and many more.

Micha Commeren, a designer, said: “The function of design is letting design function.” So, writing a clear and striking proposal for your design concept project is a significant communication tool to entice your prospective client in your proposed design concept and increase your chances to have a successful execution of the design concept project. We suggest that you follow the aforementioned tips and steps here so that you are able to craft an exceptionally-written design concept proposal. Plus, download our sample design concept proposal templates here today including graphic design concept proposal examples, website design concept proposal templates, interior design concept proposal templates, cultural design concept proposal templates, design concept development proposal templates, branding design concept proposal templates, production design concept proposal templates, and more!