The One Concept Method – What and Why?


I just recently made the switch to the one concept method, and gosh I’m glad I did. No idea what this is? It’s ok – I didn’t either. The One Concept Method is where the designer only presents one concept. The name is pretty self explanatory, but also a bit of a mindblowing concept for some of us. In more blunt terms, it’s where the designer takes charge and presents what they know to be the best concept. I know, I couldn’t fathom it either.

Up until very recently I presented three to four concepts. Then I learned about the one concept method.

THREE to FOUR. Guys, that’s insane.  When I was considering making the switch, I did some brainstorming to think how I could provide more value to a one concept presentation to justify it. I took a look at the presentations I had been sending out, and realized they were chock full of value (5-10 mockups for each concept). Essentially I was creating four different brands for each presentation.

It’s a lot of work to come up with several concepts that still fit within the visual direction of the moodboard. In my opinion, it’s unnecessary work. It’s confusing to the client and almost always results in a ‘Frankestein’ logo. That’s when the final result is a little bit from each concept. The presentations I had been sending out were full of value, but they were confusing and gave the client too much say.

Don’t get me wrong here.

The client should love the logo, but when they see four different options, emotions are going to get involved (more on this in a later post). It took a lot of courage to move to this method. I had to tell myself ‘You’re trained and you’re good at this. Act like it’.

So far I’ve tested this with two different clients and had wildly successful results. Both concepts were approved almost immediately, with minimal refinements. I’ve never been prouder of my work than with these two projects. Making this switch has saved me time, further positioned me as the industry expert, and made me more confident in the work I’m sending off.

I had heard of this a few years ago and thought ‘wow, that sounds ideal’. I’ve been waiting for the ‘ideal’ time to introduce this to my clients. Spoiler alert; there’s no idea time – you’ve just got to do it. Here were some of my excuses: I’m not confident enough in my work to only show one concept, that’s not what people expect, that drive potential clients away, people want a say in the process, etc. So, what are your excuses?