The Design Brief
Our make-believe company Ficticious Games Inc. has come to you and said: “We want coasters to sell on our website and giveaway at an upcoming gaming conference. And we need your design ideas within the next 10 days!”
Ficticious want you to design a set of four coasters to fit its target market needs:
The Brand: Ficticious Games Inc. provides software tools for gaming designers and developers. It also sells gaming-related merchandise on its website (and gives it away at conferences).
The Event: Game Developers Conference is “the world’s largest professional game industry event.”
Product Purpose: To sell on the Ficticious merchandise website; To draw crowds of people to the Ficticious booth at events; To give away to 500 lucky conference attendees; To create social buzz for Ficticious.
The Prizes: $2,470 Free Laser Cutting
1st Place – Judge’s Choice: $1,068 Free Laser Cutting
$600 Ponoko voucher + $468 Ponoko 12 months of Prime (55% off laser cutting).
2nd Place – Judge’s Choice: $868 Free Laser Cutting
$450 Ponoko voucher + $468 Ponoko 12 months of Prime (55% off laser cutting).
3rd Place – People’s Choice: $534 Free Laser Cutting
$300 Ponoko voucher + $234 Ponoko 6 months of Prime (55% off laser cutting).
How To Win (Judging Criteria)
Design is all about balance. The winning designs will have the most market potential for Ficticious, based on a smart balance of these three traits of successful commercial product design:
Can your design actually be made (at scale) and used by real Ficticious fans?
Your design needs to be:
1. Formatted for lasers (use these design guidelines).
2. Ready to sell (no assembly or finishing required).
3. Functional as a coaster.
Product / Market Fit
Does your design achieve all aspects of the Ficticious brief above?
Your design needs to be:
1. Remarkable to your audience (gaming designers, developers and players).
2. Something users feel they can’t do without.
Profitable And Competitive Pricing
Does your design minimize cost so Ficticious can set a retail price at least 4x the cost?
Using these cost reduction guidelines your design needs to be:
1. Efficient: Simple straight line shapes cost less than complex curved line shapes.
2. Nested: Share cutting lines, place parts close together, inside other parts.
3. Engraving Savvy: Small simple areas close together cost less than big complex stuff.
Step 1: Create Your Laser Design File
– Use a vector design software tool such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Corel, etc.
– Fit all four coasters inside a 7.1” x 7.1″ square.
– Use blue line for cut line; red line for line engrave; black fill for area engrave (raster).
Step 2: Apply Your Material Color
– Select (from here) the material from which you wish to make your coasters.
– Copy/paste your laser design, then apply your material’s color to the copy.
– In these examples we’ve selected the Aqua Acrylic and Amber Bamboo:
Step 3: Submit Your Screenshot
– Screenshot your laser design and material image side by side (see examples above).
– Submit the JPG or PNG screenshot as your design entry (no vector design needed).
– Each of the four individual coasters in the set can be the same or different.
– If submitting multiple entries, each entry must be a completely unique design.
– Coasters don’t have to be round, blue or brown (like our basic examples above).
How It Works
Design Submissions And Voting Are Open!
– Design a set of four coasters that achieve the design brief, the judging criteria, plus the design requirements above.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 13, 2018 at 11:59 pm PT
Design Submissions Close (While Voting Continues)
– Submit a JPG or PNG screenshot of both your laser and material designs side by side.
– Answer the questions within the submission form below.
– Share your entry so others will vote for you (optional, but useful if you wish to win).
– Your “firstname.lastname@example.org” email will display publicly as “pretend.name”.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 20, 2018 at 11:59 pm PT
Voting Closes And Judges Deliberate
– All entries are open for People’s Choice voting now plus seven days after the entry submission deadline of October 13, 2018.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 25, 2018
– 1st and 2nd Judge’s Choice winners are determined by a panel of Ponoko team members.
– 3rd People’s Choice winner is determined by the popular vote.
– Winners will be emailed first, then announced here and by our media partners.
Design Challenge Rules And Guidelines
– Enjoy reading the details over here.
Say thanks to our partners who are promoting your design entries far and wide: