Reflective Final Statement

Overall I have enjoyed refining my work in this module, being given the time and chance to completely change parts of it was beneficial to my development and skills. With the short time frame at Christmas, I felt like my work was rushed and could have used more tutor input to improve it, which was made difficult due to illness. With the feedback I was given, I worked to improve every element of my work to a professional level.

My patterns were definitely a strong point in this module, I think I really pushed myself and managed to create a strong set of patterns, finally learning how to do a half drop and learning better to co-ordinate my colours and balance the colours throughout the collection. I also learnt more about scale throughout and put this to better use when thinking of my product mock ups.  My mock ups were also a good point, it can be very difficult to find the right images online, so I made my own paper products and fabric ones too so I could get the high quality images and be able to arrange and place them as much as I want, which definitely worked to my advantage, especially in a time where no one will see them as a real prototype.

I always think my markmaking can be more experimental, I try to expand my techniques every time but I struggle sometimes to carry on when I feel like I have created something right. I struggled with letting go of my old designs after the feedback, the motifs took hours to make each one and I was convinced I could make them work. Looking now at my designs before and after feedback, they have been so developed into something I am happy with, but I had to adapt my thinking and style to let that happen, which was hard to do.

My time management is usually something I am proud of, with my illness I did find it harder to keep on time of things, and then coronavirus caused issues in terms of living arrangements and suitable space to work in my house, but due to being stuck in the house, I found I was able to stick to my personal timetable better and got a lot done each day. I do wish I had set more time aside for stitching, as it is a process that I enjoy but did not feel like it was getting me anywhere towards an outcome, so I did not want to dedicate a lot of time to it. Had I had the opportunity, I would have liked to use the digital stitch machines perhaps over my patterns to see what I could have added to the finish of them for the mini fabric collection. Overall, I am happy with my outcomes and my digital skills in particular being built this module, and look forward to building my final module collection too. K�X0tnj�

Final Mini Fabric Collection

My mini fabric collection was based from the dragonfly designs I created from the hero, originally I created a ladybird design for the giftbag, a dragonfly giftwrap and a beetle giftwrap which I put together as the collection. Some feedback from this was that if each design was put together as wrapped gifts in the giftbag, the designs may clash and look too busy. So I took each of my hero designs, and created a family of patterns from each one. The ladybird ones I used to create the paper collection, and I used the dragonfly ones for the fabric ones. The beetle ones have not been used for anything final, but I still like the patterns I created for that, and thought that I could take a selection of patterns across the three families for the final paper collection, but they did end up being quite different families so I do not think they would have worked so well like this.

collection

I originally tried this mock up, showing the makeup pouch, with some reuseable make up remover pads, and this travel wrap. I like the hero on the pouch, I think this works well with the scale of it and the contrast of the white background with the black zip. The wrap too I think is bold with the yellow background, this works well and will have a blender on the inside to keep it more refined. The pads however I thought it might be a good idea to put three different colourways of the lily blender, but I do not think this worked as well as I wanted to, I think it creates too much colour across the board, and without the other secondary I created that focuses more on the pink, it just stands out too much here.

I refined the pads in the collection by using the plainer yellow blender with the trails pattern, I think this is more simple but it does go better with the colour scheme and the purpose maybe too, white may not be the best colour for a pad that could be stained with makeup constantly, a brighter one might hide that effect a little. I also show designs here for the inside of the travel wrap, as shown it has different compartments for various things you would need, and shows the blender on the inside and the secondary design on the outside. For this, I could adapt it to a more waterproof fabric that could be better for carrying shower essentials too.

flat collection mock up

I created this flat mock up design like I did with the final collection too, this shows all the elements of the fabric collection, including what colour the inside of the make up pouch would be. I do think seeing it like this does show that they go together quite well, much better than with the lily designs I tried before.

PATTERN COLLECTION BOARD

Finally I then put the four patterns I used in this collection together to show them flat on a board, I think they work together well with the use of the yellow and green being particularly dominant.

Final Collection

The final collection has gone through a lot of drafts and alterations, I think I am finally at a place where I am happy with it and fully planned out everything, down to what colour the bottom of the giftbag is and the greeting inside the card.

finished collection 2

I swapped the flat wrap sheet with the other side of the double sided roll, as the feedback was to make the flat sheet a little busier, and I thought the other side of the roll should be a little calmer due to the boldness of the pink side, so I think this was probably a good decision. I also muted the colour of the ladybird green a little. There was feedback about the differing colours in the backgrounds, but I decided to keep things as they were in this sense, because the pink background may look a little stand out and odd here, but the sides of the gift bag are also pink so I think this works. I suppose the yellow of the card is a little different but I think it ties in with the slight yellow in the hero, and gives quite a nice effect on the card, I do not think the envelope being pink or green would have the same effect because the yellow border is so dominant on the card.

FLAT PAPER COLLECTION

I was advised in my latest tutorial to do this flat mock up sheet of everything, this shows the entire collection and every detail of it which I think would be great to show someone who hasn’t seen any of the collection, because this makes it very clear with every detail. Especially with something like the gift bag that shows it all around.

PATTERNS FLAT BOARD

This updated pattern board shows all the patterns used in the final collection, with the addition of the gift tag motif and the placement design on the front of the card. I chose this card in the end because I think the layout worked the best, I did like some other card designs I did but they would not have gone that well with this particular set of patterns, as they were influenced more from the Dragonfly or Beetle collections.

Next I want to show the final design of the fabric collection in a similar way to this, to make sure it is clear what each piece is and that they go together well.

Updated Moodboards

My moodboards I suppose have been something I have been avoiding, the dread of looking back at them knowing they influence a totally different set of patterns that I originally made. I opened them up a few days ago and they have just been sat in my Photoshop workspace while I do other work around them, but today was finally the day to get them sorted!

These are my old moodboards, the feedback on them was that the layout should be more stylised and with a more uniform border. I didn’t really understand the feedback, as I wanted to avoid the plain nine image moodboards I did in previous years, but I do think after looking back at them they are too busy and disjointed, with a lot of different shapes going on. I think by trying to make them too dynamic they have just become too busy and crowded.

New Theme

I began with the theme board, after adapting my patterns I realised that colourful leaves became a bigger part of it than before so I wanted to reflect this, and still show the three different creatures that I wanted to focus the collection on.

colour and texture new

My colour palette was one big change I made since the last feedback, which was now more of a green, pink and yellow which I think has worked much better than the old one. This reflects the idea of the texture used in the soil and what the insects can leave behind as they move through it, as well as the texture found in the actual insects and the leaves.

competitors new

My competitors have stayed the same, I think these four companies I looked into do reflect exactly what I want my own patterns to portray and target the same kind of age range that I am aiming for myself, which will be covered next. I wish I had had the chance to go into the actual stores of these competitors to look around properly, it would have given me a much better idea at how they place sets and designs together too to show the co-ordination of them, something I have seen especially in Paperchase before.

customer profile new

The customer profile actually changed once before, from aiming the designs towards children, to more of the age range their young mothers would be. The board contains the same photos basically just in this new simpler layout which I think works better.

occasion board new

The occasion board again is more simple but clearly showing the idea of birthdays that I am trying to portray. While probably the most common occasion that requires presents and wrapping paper other than Christmas, I see this as an advantage in the way that it is a wide market, whereas something more specialised like Valentines, or Easter, would probably have the same amount of designs for the short period but not as many would be buying them.

Trying Embossing

I thought about embossing when I was designing cards because I was thinking about how to improve on them once they had been printed successfully, I looked into foiling too with the printing companies, I think i could have looked into methods of doing this at home but with the printing companies they are able to make it a lot neater and embossed as well. I ordered some embossing powder in the light green colour as I thought it would stand out quite nicely from the darker greens in my work.

So this was the pen that I ordered for it, it was only a couple of pounds from hobbycraft. I tried it out on some plain paper first.

The first photo shows the nearly see-through lettering, which is just drawn onto the paper using the pen. My pen has a choice of a pen or a brush-like end, so its whether you want a flowing line or a more rigid looking design. You then add a generous amount of the powder over the top, and then tip it off, making sure you save as much as possible. This is then how they look in the bottom image. You next need a heat gun.

It is quite hard to tell the difference here but there was a slight lightening to it after the heat gun had been applied for a couple of minutes. I thought this was quite a long time and googled it and a found a little tutorial, that showed the results within a couple of seconds, so I decided to try a different paper, and printed out the front of one of my card designs.

This next example on the happy shows it off much better, the colour difference and the fact that this took a couple of seconds to lighten and visibly look like it was melting together.

I tried one last example here on a different substrate, using the front of my sketchbook to try it out. I think it would look good if I practice my lettering, I used to do calligraphy and I think this style would look a lot better. I also think the powder that I ordered is probably not the best quality, I did not want to spend a great deal of money testing something like this out if it was not going to work. I think a nice gold would look good instead and a better quality would give the finish that I want for it. I would probably order that again if I create something that I would like to put some pattern and texture into.

Contest Entries

As part of the professional practice module, contests are important to show development into a professional surface pattern designer. Even though I was not taking the module yet this year, I had started looking at some contests before and decided to enter a few now that I have a lot more spare time than I did before.

I entered the dragonfly and ladybird design as pillows in the Ohh Deer Pillow Fight contest, I think they looked good and it gave me automatic product mock ups as well which was nice to see. I also tried the Spoonflower ‘Pastel Cafe’ contest, inspired by the 50s French and Italian cafe idea.

I have a few more upcoming too which I am pleased about as it gives me some time away from my main module to look into my personal interests in surface pattern design, which is relaxing, especially in a time where we cannot leave the house at the moment.

Deciding on the Final Collection

Producing my own product mock ups has been great to see all my patterns together and how they look together, I think this has definitely helped me to decide what I want to put together for a final collection that Mat wanted, which is a giftbag, a tag, a card, a roll of paper and a flat sheet of paper.

This photo shows my idea for the final collection, with some other photos showing some details, as without the physical products printed due to the circumstances, it may be hard to tell some details. The giftbag is shown here with a side view as well, showing the green background hero design featuring the ladybirds on the front and back of the bag, and the pink squiggle blender as the gusset of bag. I also decided on a complimentary pink ribbon handle, with a ladybird tag attached to it, with dark pink tissue paper inside the bag. The next couple of photos show the card in detail, with the bold design on the front and the inside of the envelope in a small scale printed blender, with the rest of the envelope in a light yellow colour. There is also a white square on the front of the envelope to put the address or name in neatly. The inside of the card has a simple “Happy Birthday!” greeting, with a few decorative leaves in the corners. The large full collection image shows the flat sheet design in the soft white blender, and the roll design is shown here as double sided, so the both sides have a roll each with the corner lifted to show the design on the other side as well.

I also thought about my mini fabric collection, the dragonfly hero I thought would be perfect for this. I made a small makeup pouch, a few re-useable make up pads and a travel wrap to show this in mock ups.

These were done quite quickly but I think they will be effective to show the idea of the designs on the products here.

So the small make up pouch here is done in the dragonfly hero design, with the three little make up pads each showing a different colourway of the lily pad design, and finally the travel wrap with the yellow secondary lily pad pattern on the outside, and the white blender on the inside. I am not sure whether this all work together as well as they could, so I might look into this again and maybe put a more simple blender on something to make it a little less busy as a collective.

Card Designs and New Product Mock Ups

My photos were taken for the purpose of creating my own mock ups, which I have learnt to do through online tutorials and through workshops in Uni with Charlie, Sian or Matt. This is another thing that has a few ways of doing the task, much like pattern designing. I think it is useful to learn a couple of ways, as it helps with the individual project as which way could work better. I find that I used a different technique for a card than I do with fabric for example and its important to see the difference in the results of this.

I also worked more on some card designs, I think I improved greatly from my very first card design that I handed in last time, but I definitely wanted to refine these further and create more to go with each family as well.

I think I was quite successful with these designs, again just little tweaks and changes to help them improve a little more. I particularly like the first couple I did with the leaf designs as well as the beetle repeat, I could see this working as a design because it is eye-catching as a pattern.

I had a go with putting the cards into context here with an envelope inside to go with it, usually using one of the blenders from the same family I was designing the card for. I think I prefer these to a bold design on the outside of the card, it works a lot better, although I could look into the outside of the card just being the lightest colour on the card.

These were the designs I was excited about, as I got to see the designs in the same family working together in context, I think all of these work well together nicely and I was careful to show off the different scales too. I think the next step would be deciding on the actual five piece collection, whether that is just the one family or I could get some designs from the other families to mix in due to the similar colour palette throughout the three, just got to be careful that the five designs do all go together in a way that is got too busy or clashing.

The bag is tricky because there is a lot to think about here, the front and back, the gussets, the ribbon type and colour, and the tag, and even what else could be inside the bag, I think I would try this again with pink tissue paper inside it too as it would cover a little of the untidy top and also compliment the colour scheme nicely.

Redefining Patterns and Creating Mock ups

Following a short tutorial yesterday, we identified some areas for improvement with some of the patterns I created in the collections, and also some further feedback on the logo.

The points on the Ladybird designs were that there was only one yellow pattern in the collection, which I did notice and needs another one to go with it. There was also a point about one of the blenders with just ladybirds not being needed, just putting the ladybird in flight into the secondary that had leaves in a very similar colour and shape.

Ladybird Collection

I think this does look a lot better with a little more yellow in the collection, I think they all work with the hero and as independent designs, I would like to put them on a mock up next together and make sure they do work.

With the dragonfly family, we noted that the lily repeat blender could have some different colourways. The busy blender could also be less obvious as the block repeat was not as attractive as it could be with a brick or half drop repeat.

So I included a different colourway of the lily blender in this one on a much larger scale as I thought they are pretty and could be seen a lot better closer, the lilies and the pads blender is now a half drop so I think this is much more interesting and appealing to look at.

Finally, the beetle collection secondaries are all the same scale, all white backgrounds, and quite similar looking in terms of how much white is showing in each one. They are all different in the way that the top one is tossed, the second is a brick kind of repeat and the leaves half drop down from the columns next to them, but they do look quite similar to the eye initially. The scale needs to be looked at a little too with less of the background showing maybe.

Beetle Family

Adding yellow to the background of the middle secondary has helped a lot here and the change in scale makes it look very different, I also changed the single leaf blender to white from pink because I think it suits the colour much better now.

I had a go at some mock-ups earlier in the week, I found them very difficult to try and do, the images are very hard to find in the right position and quality, and this is a big factor in the end quality of the pieces.

This was probably the best one that I managed but the quality was just not there, so I decided to try creating my own to use, I wanted to have a few rolls next to each other so I can see how the patterns work together, as well as have a good shot of the bag and a card design to work on.

These photos were taken in a little photoshoot in the daylight, which got them a good mix of shadows and highlights which I think will be useful, as well as the quality of the images being higher than what I am used to from google image searches.

Redefining Logo Ideas

My logo is a massive part of my identity as a designer, I want it to reflect my interests and my strengths, but also be recognisable and versatile whether I am using it on my pattern designs or selling it on small handmade products.

Initial Logo Draft

This was the design I created initially, using my pattern work in the antlers and a rose at the end to finish the design and to add the nature elements to my designs. The feedback on this however was that it was quite masculine and stark compared to the pretty, light designs I do for patterns. I thought I wanted to do with the natural brown background, however again this appears to darken the design when actually through my patterns I have shown that my motifs on white do work quite well.

New Logo Ideas

So with the feedback, I decided to try and feminise the antlers, by adding more flowers around it I think these do look a lot prettier with a big of colour injected into the design too. I also tried a far simpler leaf approach, which I like but I think the antlers does show more of me, it shows my patternwork and my motifs, combinging the two styles of artwork that I love to do.

I did an Instagram poll to my followers for an opinion on this, there was a 70% preference to the antler design, including fellow designers. I think this is important as it would be the audience that would see my logo. I think I will try to print this out to see how it looks on different sizes too, as this is important on a small scale business card, which would determine whether the design needed to be simplified.