From Idea to Reality - "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works"

Steve Jobs


THOUGHT PROCESS: HOW I WORK 757 403 Johannes Geisler

When a product or vehicle is redesigned, I proceed in several phases.For me the development phase and the production of a product is just one step in the whole story.I like to work long-term on the product range to bring a certain strategy to the design and development process.This means that the generation after next is already being designed, as a benchmark so to speak, and then work is being done in this direction from product to product.

The end customer’s market feedback and own experiences are carefully incorporated, and each release is optimized anew, comparable to digital products. Furthermore, technical achievements, new environmentally friendly technologies can be incorporated over longer product cycles. For me, sustainable product and industrial design is a new generation.

Status quo

First the status is recorded. In other words: What is the current product like, what is the history of the product, is there an authentic design language and what is the aim of the design. Is it just an overhaul or do you want to take a completely new approach? Also important: Is there data that I can build on immediately in order to be able to work directly and realistically?


After a thorough research of the status quo product, I like to do a market research, what is the status quo on the market. Are there deviations, where are you ahead and where do you need to catch up?

Personally, I include the whole product in my perspective with all its design and functional properties. A fundamentally functional change often gives an optical and functional added value.

Strategisches Design – Design goal

Strategically, the goal of the design is determined together with the client, management and owner. What do you want, what don’t you want, which design directions are conceivable and which are not. A lot of time in the development process can usually be saved in this phase, the more precisely you determine what should come out.

Sketch – Drawing Journey

When the status is recorded, I go on a drawing journey and sketch drafts by hand on paper. Still preferably on paper with a pencil or colored pencil, because I have a very good feeling there and the digital screen surface gives me too little grip to be able to draw curves exactly as I want them.

In the beginning, I don’t want an undo button either, as this has the disadvantage that you would immediately optimize the first sketch of ideas instead of sketching a broad spectrum quickly and generously.

I personally prefer to work like a sculptor: from rough to fine, Depending on the order, the designs should be thought for early future or long term future, which means that each project has different requirements. Sometimes you take a radically new path, sometimes you only slightly revise the design of an already very successful product in order to give the customer confidence.It is important to outline a bandwidth. Various design directions, with various functional improvements. If data is available, I try to work on it as quickly as possible. To do this, I load the data into Autodesk Alias, because of the license I can also upload large technical and design data from the customers. I edit these so that I can use them as a basis for later sketching, rendering and designing.

2D Adobe Photoshop and 3D Autodesk Alias

My specialty is designing based on data using the high-end programs Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Alias. If data are available, I try to make the colored draft drawings correctly proportioned immediately, and to become more and more precise until an image of the product emerges that will correspond fairly closely to reality.I make digital renderings, i.e. views of the product from different perspectives. Perspective, side view, top view, etc…Since I have a lot of experience with organic freeform surfaces, I am able to represent and design complex shapes.

Communication with engineering for the entire design process

Very important is for sure to work closely with the engineering and packaging team. The design has to meet the targets, to have a chance to be produced. Therefor i take care about the wohle product and communicate closely with the complete team.

Selection of the final design

After the preparation of various design drawings, a design is selected by the client and, if necessary, revised again.

Design support CAS 3D data

The selected draft is accompanied by me as a designer in the complete CAD and model phase. Here I can draw on many years of experience in the automotive sector, where i had to optimise all the surfaces regarding design quality and check the final released design. Every Curve, and every surface has to be checked carefully, regarding aesthetical quality and also functionality.

Design support on the CLAY model

The selected draft is accompanied by me as a designer also in the clay modeling phase. I was allowed to accompany cars 1:1 real with clay modelers at home and abroad as a designer, till it was finished and as the responsible designer I was also able to release design data from concept to production data (class A).

Release of prototype & production model

If there is a prototype, I assess the complete product, exterior and interior, from a design point of view in order to optimize and approve the design and quality errors one last time. Then the production model is made. Often it is presented on a show or exhibition to show it finally to the end customers.

Design follow-up:

After the product is before the product.

After the product is before the product.As mentioned at the very beginning, the entire development of a product is ideally part of an entire strategy and a product range. I really enjoy working on the design of future generations, which represent a benchmark for a product range and I am involved over longer product cycles in order to create better products in the long term.

Dummy Image
Back to top
GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner