Friday, July 23, 2010

Designing a Shoe: Part 3

Now that we’ve designed the shoe on paper and on a computer it’s time to hold it in your hand.

This is the final installment of design a shoe. Please see parts 1 and 2 for the previous steps. 

Step 6)

Once the specification sheet is made, you have the necessary instructions to make a model. The model is exactly what the shoe would look like if it was to be ready to be sold in stores. The model is used in the next step, testing, to ensure the shoe performs and as holds up as it’s designed to. The model also shows what the shoe looks like on the foot and allows design elements to be changed to make the shoe more visually appealing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Designing a Shoe: Part 2

It’s time to continue learning how shoes are designed.  (For part 1, visit here) Now the shoe starts to come alive. Although black shoes are classic, who doesn’t want color and decorations?

Step 3)

Once a rough sketch is made, the color and materials are picked. Rough sketches are often done quickly just to get an idea down. The further sketches make the idea for concrete.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Designing a Shoe: Part 1

Although we regularly buy shoes and discuss their design merits, most people do not know how the shoes they wear were created. “On average, every man, woman, and child in the United States purchases more than four pairs of shoes each year, a level of consumption that establishes the U.S. as the world's largest importer of footwear,” (Infomat, 2008). Because Americans and people worldwide buy so many shoes, they should understand how they are made.

This is a now a new series of posts (with pictures for the first time!)  to illustrate and explain the process.

As an overview, shoes are created through a multi-step design process, which begins with concept and a rough sketch. Computers are then used to make the shoe three-dimensional. From the 3-D design computer aided drawing (CAD), a model is made. Next the model is tested to ensure proper design and performance. After testing of the model, the shoe becomes a finished product, which is sold to customers. Finally, the process begins again, often based on the previous design.

Step 1)
The first thing a shoe designer must do is come up with a concept. This concept can come from anywhere. In the above drawing, the idea for a sneaker came from a car. Sometimes ideas spontaneously come to designers. Other the times they look for inspiration, such as at an art museum. Most often, the inspiration comes from another shoe. The concept does not have to be drawn out, like the image shows. However, this image illustrates the concept process for one designer.