Concept design is a form of illustration where the main goal is to present a design for use in films, games, animation, or products, cars, buildings, before it is put into the final form. Concept design is also referred to as visual development or concept art. A concept artist is an individual who generates a visual design for an item, character, or area that does not yet exist. This includes, but is not limited to, film, animation, and more recently video game production. References to the term Concept Design can be found being used by Disney Animation as early as the 1930’s.

A concept designer is an individual who generates a visual design that does not yet exist. Interpretation of ideas and how they are realised is where the concept designer’s individual creativity is most evident, as subject matter is often beyond their control. Concept designers may use different types of software such as Photoshop and Corel Painter, or hardware such as graphics tablets, even traditional mediums such as oil paints, acrylic paints, markers, pencils, etc.

Conceptual designs may be protected by means of Registered Design, which is also referred to as Design Patents. A South African registered design protects the appearance of a product, unlike a patent which protects the  invention on which an product is based.