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$6,776
pledged of $6,151 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Andy Neal
$6,776
pledged of $6,151 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

A1b8a3f00f9b5f3c35c08c017c17914c original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About this project

What’s the story…

Design Dice are a tool to help the creative process – to aid design thinking, idea generation & problem-solving. They are the result of over 25 years of experience as a graphic designer & lecturer, and have grown out of a deep belief in the value of encouraging creativity in others.

The main idea is simple. The dice work when you need a change in direction, are feeling stuck, or want to take a lateral leap in your thinking. You roll one (or more) of the dice – which offers a key-word ‘prompt’, and invites a series of creative responses, encouraging breadth and depth to your thinking. Every word is ‘interpreted’ by you in the light of the project you are working on, so the meaning of each suggestion changes due to the context. Even though there are a ‘fixed’ number of words, there are arguably an infinite number of combinations.

The resulting dice have been tested over the past three years with undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate designers from a range of creative disciplines (not just graphic design), and are now ready for production – save for the funding, and that’s where you come in!


The rewards…

Any support you can offer would hugely welcome, and as a way of saying ‘thanks’ there are a number of rewards that range from the KickStarter ‘warm-fuzzy’ favourite, to a limited-edition-personalised-hardwood-set.

Reward #4; Design Dice ‘Bronze’ set (above).
The full Design Dice production set, in a custom-made foil-blocked box.
This is what we’re working towards...

Reward #6; Design Dice ‘Gold’ set (above).
The full Design Dice production set & box, with a limited-edition, custom-made hardwood desk stand.

Reward #3; Design Dice ‘White’ promo-dice (above).
Limited edition ‘white’ promotional dice (comes with original bumper sticker).
This is a mock-up of the final item.


The driver…

I ended up working in teaching through a deeply rooted belief in championing other people’s gifts and abilities – particularly when it comes to encouraging their creativity. Over the past decade, I’ve become increasingly interested in ‘how’ we design, and have run workshops that explore different process models and ways of working. The Design Dice project has been part of my journey exploring how the complexity of various creative processes can be made more accessible – particularly to students of design.

Teaching is, I believe, most powerful when learning becomes internalised. If something is done simply because I told you so, then it only ever travels so deep. However, if a framework is created that forces you to think and apply ideas for yourself, you own that process and it becomes rooted at a more fundamental level. The dice are based in this latter model, and, if the feedback-to-date is anything to go by, are certainly moving in the right direction.

My hope is that the dice will become part of learning experiences for many current and future designers, contributing not only to their individual growth and development, but also benefitting the world within which they design.

Testing; (Above).
Obviously, with lots of Graphic Designers (undergraduate & postgraduate), but I’ve also worked with graduate Photographers, Illustrators, Writers, Product Designers and Musicians.


Next steps & funding…

If the KickStarter is successful and hits the target, the support & funding will be used as follows;

  • KickStarter as a network.
    Arguably as important as the funding that KickStarter is commonly known for, the launch itself will become the first ‘big’ marketing campaign – of which you are a central part. Sharing the project with friends & family and watching the story spread is worth its weight in gold for sure!
  • Pump-priming the production of the first batch of dice.
    The bulk of the target will go towards producing the first batch of 500 sets of dice. Beyond providing some of the rewards for your support, the main order will go on to sell at the full commercial price – enabling the project to (hopefully) become self-sustaining over the following year.
  • Development of an online sales tool.
    Web-based shop to promote and ultimately sell the production set world-wide. Design & build of the site, and first set of fees.
  • Marketing.
    There’s a huge world of student & graduate designers out there. Connecting with them and sharing the story & benefits of the dice as a creative tool is the next step. Physical and digital promotion.


Stretch goals…

Beyond my concerns of having created what appears to be a huge (albeit necessary) target, the idea of extending my thoughts of funding beyond this seems nothing short of ridiculous. That said, if the target is exceeded, it brings some interesting options into play;

  • Digital Printing vs Screen Printing.
    Initial costs are using a digital printing process. Once the production numbers start going up, there is a tipping point where the small-run digital option eventually matches, and then is overtaken by, a screenprinting option. Sadly, the screen costs are prohibitive at the small-run end (where I’m starting), but become cost effective once we start hitting over one thousand sets, and means the long-term production costs drop by almost 50% in a relatively short time. I’d need to almost double my target to do this, but you never know!
  • Marketing support.
    Everything thus far has been a labour-of-love, filling evenings, weekends, bike journeys to work, and the early hour’s ‘couldn’t-sleep-again’ moments. Having seen Marketing Specialists put the right Ad, in just the right spot, at just the right time, or use clever social campaigns in a really smart way is proof enough that bringing in the experts will definitely be worth the time. It just needs the money! Target-and-a-half for this one!
  • Dice App.
    Part of the original development for the project included fairly detailed sketches for a mobile App-version of the physical dice. I shelved the progress part-way through – largely due to costs, but the original hope was also to make a creative tool that took us away from screens rather than encourage us spend more time with them. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback during the testing phases from both the UK & Europe was for an App to complement the dice, so it’s back on the table. Triple the target and we might be getting there!

Risks and challenges

The current combination of words, colours and themes is as close to ‘functionally right’ as is possible (if there ever is such a thing as ‘right’!). The production itself is relatively low-risk; the dice manufacturer is one of the leading producers in the UK, and the packaging supplier is a specialist family-based business with over ninety years experience in the industry.

The current schedule is aiming for production over Summer 2017, with delivery sometime during September 2017. There are obvious risks with any production process – particularly regarding timescales, which are at the mercy of supply-chains, seasonal trends and quality control. The main risk revolves around delays at various stages of the production process and could have a knock-on regarding delivery.

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    Pledge £1 or more About $1.30

    Share the love!

    The classic ‘kick-starter-for-ten’, or just ‘£one’ in this case. No actual reward – simply support for the project, but the warm fuzzies are never far away!

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    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    Clever Thinking!

    1 x original ‘Design Dice Clever Thinking’ bumper sticker. Perfect for laptops, skateboards or bumpers. Spread the word!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Design Dice ‘White’ promo-dice

    Limited edition ‘white’ promotional dice, plus original bumper sticker.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $32

    Design Dice ‘Bronze’ set

    The full Design Dice production set, in a custom-made foil-blocked box. This is what we’re working towards... This option can also be gifted to an individual of your choice.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $39

    Design Dice ‘Silver’ set

    The full Design Dice production set, in a custom-made foil-blocked box. Includes the ‘white’ promotional dice, plus original bumper sticker. This option can also be gifted to an individual of your choice.

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    Pledge £45 or more About $58

    Design Dice ‘Double-Bronze’ set

    Two full Design Dice production sets, one for you and one for a friend. Shipping is per address.

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    Pledge £60 or more About $78

    Design Dice ‘Gold’ set

    The full Design Dice production set & box, with a limited-edition, custom-made hardwood desk stand. This option can also be gifted to an individual of your choice.

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    Pledge £100 or more About $130

    Design Dice ‘Personalised’ set

    The full Design Dice production set & box, with a limited-edition, custom-made hardwood desk stand – personalised with your name; ‘Design Dice Your Name Edition’. This option can also be gifted to an individual of your choice.

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    Pledge £200 or more About $259

    Design Dice ‘University’ set

    Ten full Design Dice production sets, individually boxed and suitable for School, College & University course leaders. This option can also be gifted to a Library of your choice.

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    Pledge £395 or more About $512

    Design Dice ‘Workshop #01’

    A one day process workshop (6hrs teaching) for a College or University group of up to 20 students anywhere in the UK. Includes all associated costs.

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    Pledge £495 or more About $641

    Design Dice ‘Workshop #02’

    A two day process workshop (12hrs teaching) for a College or University group of up to 20 students anywhere in the UK. Includes all associated costs.

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    Pledge £495 or more About $641

    Design Dice ‘International’

    A one day process workshop (6hrs teaching) for a College or University group of up to 20 students anywhere in the world. Includes all associated costs except travel.

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