BRAINSTORM: The process of trying to come up with new ideas or solve a problem by thinking of many different alternatives. Brainstorming can be done by an individual or a group.

CREATIVITY: The transformation of current ideas, set modes of thinking, old relationships and patterns into new forms, methods and original thought by using one’s imagination.

CAD: Short for “computer-aided design.” A related term is CAM, short for “computer-aided manufacturing.” Products that were previously designed by hand are today designed and/or made with the help of computer programs.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN: Another word for “product design.” The term was originally used in the 1920s for the design of items made by machine using a system of mass production.

PROTOTYPE: An original, full-scale working model of a design.


Take one of your favorite objects. It can be a shoe, piece of sports equipment, book, food or anything else you cherish. Tell a story about it: how you first encountered it, what you like about it, how it makes you feel when you use it, all the things you can do with it, why someone else might want one, too. Then, do the same with the next item you design. You will have just imagined a product marketing plan!


Research shows that people decide whether to buy a product within two minutes of seeing it. About 75% of that decision may be based on an object’s color. Designers should be aware of how color can influence their customer’s feelings about a product.

Color names can also influence customers. Looking at the bikes above, do you prefer generic color names such as orange, green and blue or fancier ones such as firebird, eco-green and electric blue?


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