For the brief I had to design a range of 8 greetings cards – I chose 4 occasions to design for; new home, new baby, engaged and happy birthday. These occasions are appropriate for the age range of 25-40 I have chosen. I have created two different designs for each occasion and to make my range versatile I have decided to use a variety of fabrics that coordinate with my colour range. Here are images of my final 8 designs;
This project had a brief from an actual design company; International Greetings, this made it feel more realistic to what working for a client would be like, I had to fit my design work to their criteria which proved challenging to start with but I soon got the hang of it. The brief was for either a range of wrapping paper and accessories or greetings cards, paper-based products was not something I had designed for before. I chose the range of 8 greetings cards as I felt it fitted best with my initial sketches and potential ideas. Research was key to this project – I had to research the company I chose to design for (John Lewis) as well as general card design, trends, colours and much more.
This proved a great foundation to pick my theme ‘Enchanted Forest’ and start sketching. I was able to experiment with a wide range on drawing techniques as well as using different media. During this project I have been able to develop my own drawing style and discover what works best for me. In order to make my cards different from whats already on sale I chose to stitch my designs on the digital stitch machine, this required learning a few new skills and practising my existing ones. I became very quick and efficient using the software and setting up the machine. The skills I have learnt in this project are a great foundation for my next ‘Field’ project.
I developed my stitch samples into lavender bags which slot inside the card and can be kept after the card has finished being displayed. I gave a lot of thought to the inside and back of the card – using icons form the digital stitch software created the images with a slightly stitched effect. I did a lot of research into fonts as well, this all proved very successful on my final cards.
During this project I have learnt what it is like designing for a real company, this shall be highly useful after my degree. I have also been continuing the development of my design skills – this time using the media of stitch. I have refined my presentation skills, due to having several presentation with IG as well as group tutorials. I have been able to expand my knowledge of design to greetings cards as well as the fabric based work. Overall I feel I have developed my own style and improved any of my existing design and personal skills.
On Thursday 4th December several members of the design team from International Greetings (IG) came to view and critique our collections. I displayed my mood boards, sketches, samples and final designs in my space, I gave a 2 minute presentation followed by questions. This proved very useful I was able to get a professional opinion from the member of the IG team as well as my tutor and peers on my range of cards. I therefore had a range of opinions on my work and was able to discovered the areas I needed to improve. I also had a one-to-one tutorial with Sarah the head designer at IG, this proved highly insightful – she made several suggestions on my packaging to make it more commercial. Overall the day was highly useful I now have several areas to improve on before the final deadline.
As part of our brief from International Greetings our line extension of 8 cards have to have a new product development, something that makes your cards stand out from all the rest in the shop. As I have chosen to use digital stitch I wanted to make a fabric piece that they could use after the card has been displayed. After doing product research at Made by Hand I concluded that an appropriate gift to have in a card would be a lavender bag. Still very popular, lavender bags are simple to make and fit in really well with the occasions I have chosen, such as new home or new baby.
I have chosen to stitch out my designs, this shall be one of my unique selling points as fabric cards are not available in most shops.
I started off my digitising my designs then stitching them out, I have experimented with different stitches and fabric.
The digital stitch machines allowed for greater accuracy than freehand embroidery and also means it can be mass produced.
In order to develop my sketches I gained inspiration from several areas, art nouveau greatly helped me to create flowing floral designs. I also looked at the surface design on Twinings tea caddies, these have created floral designs out of tea related imagery. I attempted to create several design using the occasion of the card as inspiration.
I tried various occasions such as: new baby, birthday, get well soon and many more. Some designs were more successful than others and these shall be the ones I develop into final designs.
Once I had chosen my theme ‘Enchanted Forest’ I decided on focusing on a spring time enchanted forest, looking in particular at bluebells and blossoms. I started doing some sketches. I have used a variety of drawing media and textured papers to create different effects.
These sketches shall form the basis for card designs.
I have chosen to make a collection of 8 cards for John Lewis, I have researched their products and discovered there key values that I am going to translate into my collection. One company that supply John Lewis that caught my eye whilst researching was Paperlink and their Lacie collection, here are a few examples:
However I needed a theme to connect all the cards and make the collection cohesive. I looked again at John Lewis for inspiration, however this time at their wallpaper department. I discovered several that have inspired my theme of ‘Enchanted Forest’ I have since done further research that has inspired my mood board.
The textiles cohort went on a trip to London to gain inspiration for our project, we decided to go to a trade fair in Olympia. There were lots of companies there to talk to and exchange ideas. I was able to develop my initial ideas from the information I learnt there. We also went to London Bridge to view the poppy installation. I wanted to see this as it relates to the theme of World War 1 silk postcards that I have chosen for this project. The installation was very powerful and thought provoking. Overall the day was highly inspiring and proved very useful for my project. I have been able to put my ideas into context, with the centenary of the start of the Frist World War and also into a wider retail context.
The trip to International Greetings proved highly insightful into what working in the industry is like and also into the style to work they produce. We had a tour round their display rooms as well as their design studios and prototype rooms.
These are just a few images from the tour round that have proved useful – either for inspiration or help on how to create mood boards or the best way to display my work.