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LEGO Creator Designer seminars in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham (UK)

caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
edited May 2012 in Community and Events
Posted this in a comment, but now I have links to all 3 events, I figured it deserved a thread. I'm in seventh heaven at the sound of these seminars and will be going to Bristol; would be great to meet Bricksetters there too!
Senior Design Manager at LEGO Simon Kent offers a unique insight to the world of LEGO and how his own training as a product designer led to having one of the best jobs in the world on the LEGO Creator design team. Simon takes you through the design processes at LEGO and uses case studies including the LEGO Creator house design, direct modular building, and world building design models. Simon will talk about how design details are added to houses and introduce the growing LEGO Architecture series.


  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    Wow. I would love to meet Simon and learn about the life as a LEGO Designer. I also have dreams of meeting Jamie. One day, that dream will come true.
  • johnsbricksjohnsbricks Member Posts: 210
    booked my ticket for Bristol....thanks for the heads up.
  • SilentModeSilentMode UKMember Posts: 542
    Damn, I'm going to be at work for all three days. Someone film it for me please!
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    This was a great lecture full of interesting facts, so thought I'd share the bits I found of interest.

    Simon Kent joined LEGO as a junior designer in 2004 and is now Senior Design Manager managing a team of eight. About half of LEGO’s designers are Nordic and the other half from the rest of the world. Jamie Berard is on Simon’s team.
    In this lecture he discussed the Creator series, D2C (Direct to Consumer, i.e. TFOL/AFOL models such as Modulars) and also the Architecture theme, which he indicated is part of his remit but I’m not quite sure to what extent… see later.

    With Creator houses, they have two internal distinctions of model; Classic & Niche. Classic are like LEGO models of your youth; traditional and suburban in design. Niche have an idea behind them and are not suburban, and less ‘realistic’ colours; Log Cabin is a good example of Niche.
    Models are initially built in white (and a bit of blay for parts unavailable in white). Tis practice is no longer done for houses; they are built in colour initially.
    Tests on sketch models (prototypes) are done with children in Legoland in Germany AND WINDSOR. Ask to sign your children up, and ogle them jealously as they get to build prototypes!
    ‘Alternates’ is the name given to the other two models you can build with the 3-in-1 Creator series. With houses, the Alternates are built after the main model, whereas with the small Creator sets the Alternates are done all at same time as they all have the same theme e.g. aeroplanes. The limited number of pieces also influences this.
    The primary market for these sets are boys, but ‘Gift-Givers’ are also very important. Gift-Givers respond to the 3-in-1 aspect, as it heightens the good value of LEGO. Consequently, the front of Creator set box art shows the main model largest so that the boys are not confused what the model is. Alternates are placed in ‘Callouts’, i.e. smaller framed pictures, alongside the 3-in-1 branding to attract Gift-Givers. On the rear of the box, the main model is shown smallest and the alternates are highlighted.
    Compare this with the back of the Modulars boxes… almost nothing but callouts, for AFOLs!
    Creator are not allowed new moulds, i.e. no totally new pieces in their sets. The upside of this is that they have more money to spend on the actual model as new pieces are obviously more expensive. They are allowed new colours/prints however, so they like to give us new colours wherever appropriate.

    Part of model testing involves BAKING the models at 60 degrees! This weakens the clutch in much the same manner as leaving the model on a sunny shelf for months. Then they play with the model again to discover weak points in the build. Taj Mahal was too big to fit in the oven, so was taken to the local Billund pool to be put in the sauna!
    The Winter Village series, whilst aimed at fans, is proving popular with families to build together. So expect this series to become more oriented towards this. Simon felt this wouldn’t have much impact on the models themselves, but more in the packaging and instructions e.g. perhaps separate books for each part of the model so everyone can build concurrently.

    This series came about because of a drive for LEGO to expand into new areas. Adam Reed-Tucker proposed the idea to LEGO and he is responsible for pretty much everything up to the point when he hands it over for testing & production. So it is not really your regular LEGO Theme. Maybe this accounts for the relatively high cost of these sets?
    The series has been successful. Hence Slovenian designer Rok Zgain Kobe has been added as a second designer; he will focus on European models and Big Ben is his first.
    Testing with kids is included for architecture sets, even though they’re not aimed at kids, as LEGO know they’ll get their hands on them anyway. I guess this explains why so many regular sets that are aimed at the older kids still have very basic instructions; a pet hate of mine!

  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    That's really interesting! thanks @caperberry for the lowdown :)
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    Great summary. Very interesting facts I have not know about before. Thanks @caperberry!
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