How to make your shoe design a SLAM dunk.
Sneaker Design: The 4 elements of great shoe design: S.L.A.M.
Silhouette[ sil-oo-et ]:
The outline or general shape of something:
Sneakers come in all shapes from super sleek to ultra puffy, it is the designers choice.The silhouette of a sneaker is determined by the shoe last, the shape of the pattern parts, and the padding. Fashion trends, manufacturing techniques and footwear technology are all at work. with your eyes open you can see the Classic shoes with iconic silhouettes and the New shoes with Dynamic unmistakable shapes.))
Shoes built for the same function can have radically different silhouettes.
Let us take for example three running shoes produced by Nike in 1980, 1990 and 2020. Of course we see vastly different manufacturing techniques and material combinations, but we can see that all three have unique silhouettes. The shoe silhouette is delivered by the shoe last, outsole geometry and most importantly the pattern.
The shoe pattern is how you deliver the silhouette. What is the pattern? The pattern of a shoe is shape of all the shoe’s individual upper parts. The shoe factory will use the pattern information to cut the parts and build the shoe.
A simple pattern makes clean silhouette, a complicated pattern makes wild silhouette.
Design a logo strategy
The logo maybe the most important part of your shoe, The logo maybe the only reason a customer looks at your shoe design or the only reason a shoe exists is to carry the logo. If a new shoe design is uniquely radical or special is some way the logo may just be along for the ride. In some cases the logo may barely presents itself, Think of Yeezy or Prada.
Logos on shoes will have a specific functions. The logo lets the customer know the brand that made the shoe, The athlete that endorses the shoe. Logos are used to communicate a technology, a special feature or partnership with another company brand or personality. The design of you logos may help you communicate a theme or principle, like sustainability for example.
Every shoe design needs a logo design strategy. The design brief may give specific instruction or the shoe brand may have a specific policy established as part of the overall corporate design strategy.
Transform your design into a shoe
The accessories of your design are a key elements that make your shoe design into a real working shoe.The main accessories of your shoe design is the outsole componentry. The outsole of your shoe is the single most expensive part to design, develop and manufacture. It is usually the most expensive single part.
The outsole determines the price and actual performance of your shoe. The casual solid rubber cup sole unit may cost only $2.00 while the 4 part running sole with airbag may cost Nike $15 dollars.
Accessories can also be lacing systems, running computers or injection molded upper components. Anything that delivers your technology or the theme of your shoe design.
What is your shoe made of?
The material selections for your sneaker design will determine the construction, price, performance, weight, and import duty. There are thousands if not millions of material options for the shoe designer. Your shoes functional requirements and design theme will help you make your selections. The performance requirements and price targets of your shoe design will help you narrow the selection.
The important things to detail specifying materials are the color, texture, thickness, backing type, backing color, price and MOQ. (Minimum Order Quantity). We have written an entire book on the subject of footwear materials.
See the Shoe Material Design Guide