First let me explain the above, a great concept is a great idea and I am not saying in today’s world we come up with better ideas than those before us. What I am saying is, now by using our skills alongside technology we are able to present to clients concepts that are so polished and realistic looking that they can be mistaken for a final product.

Today realistic looking visuals are the industry norm, and as such clients expect highly polished visuals.

These days a client doesn’t have to work hard to visualise the final outcome of what the proposed concept is, be it an advertisement on a billboard or a new sporting uniform design.

As the saying goes a picture paints a thousand words, so it can be easier to get a client to run with the concept because they can see it there and then.

The negative aspect is that because it can look finished and fully developed clients may well think this, and therefore get really hung up on an aspect which isn’t as yet resolved, and this can bring the whole concept crashing down.

As an example, we can take a quick photo of a person holding a product to promote, give it bit of a touch up and insert it into the visual to show the concept. The client can then spend more time worrying about the colour of the outfit the pseudo model is wearing than the bigger picture.

In the good old days we would have sketched (yes that’s right, actually hand drawn) the model holding the product to present. As the term ‘sketch’ implies it would be little more than a rough drawing that we would need to weave a story around to create the idea of the final outcome in the minds of the client, there would be no misleading details to get hung up on and in the way of discussion.

Even though a visual may look like a finished job, it is not and a client may find it difficult to see that it is still only a concept and needs real photography inserted etc and much more to get it to a usable finished artwork stage.

I have had clients send visuals off to a printer only to have it rejected as it doesn’t meet the quality required for a real production process.

But by far the biggest concern is that because they look good, glossy polished visuals get approved to proceed even though the actual idea behind it is weak.

As an industry we must continue to push the quality of the idea and not resort to using style over substance.