IG Consultancy Final Reflection

Overall I have really enjoyed this IG Consultancy project, as it has really given me the chance to not only design a collection in keeping with a upcoming trend from WGSN along side my own theme, but to also work for a client in industry on a professional standard project where I can gain industry feedback on my work and areas that need improvement. This project has most definitely been a step up from first and second year, however it’s really given me the opportunity to learn so much about myself as a designer, as well as about professional practise and industry presentation styles.

We were given the choice to either pick to design a collection of gift wrap including bows, bags, ribbons or to create a collection of 8 line extension cards. I chose the card option as it’s unlike anything I’ve done before and card design is something that I’m very interested in as I make a lot of cards for family and friends. From my initial research and our visit to the IG headquarters I had the chance to see the level of professionalism we were aiming for and the design styles commonly used. After researching into different WGSN stationery and graphics trends, I decided to go with a S/S 2018 Print & Graphics trend KINSHIP – Women & Young Women Biker Bandits and combine it with travel themes, in particular my trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam that I went on in September. The reason for this combination was that whilst I was away on holiday I was so inspired by different patterns, colours and motifs that I filled a sketchbook full of illustrations and felt it would be a great starting point for a project. Ho Chi Minh City is also iconic for the vast amount of mopeds on the roads, so I felt an exotic take on the WSGN trend would work quite well.

When designing our collection of 8 cards, we were asked to consider what will make the stand out from other cards on sale. So I really liked the idea from the start of creating something that could either be adapted so that it could be passed on easily or something that could be framed and given a second life. Creating a collection using artisan skills with a contemporary edge was also very important to me, as I feel that a lot of cards on the market these days are mainly digital and if I’m spending above the average price for a more luxurious card I want it to be unique. This is when I began to play around with the idea of scanning my original illustrations in illustrator to live trace and manipulate ready to expose onto a screen to hand print and to finally stitch into. I felt that using illustrator was a good decision as it gave me the chance to tweak parts of my drawings, as well as to thicken lines and the chance to play around with the scale and layouts of each of my 8 designs. It also saved so much time as I could generate art boards with a range of layouts for each design so quickly compared to if I had done it all by hand.

Having to take 2 weeks out of the project whilst I was on the 2nd year field module to South Korea, most definitely wasn’t the best timing. However I feel I made it work as I’ve had to be super organised with my time in University to make sure that I’m meeting each weeks criteria. Although it meant that I missed the initial  presentations to the IG consultants, I felt that the Textiles staff were able to help me get back into the project after the trip with appropriate comments and based on what they had heard the consultants feeding back. With not doing the first presentation with the IG Consultants I felt slightly thrown into the deep end initially when it came to organising our displays and planning our 5 minute talk to the consultants and I wasn’t 100% sure what they wanted me to talk about. However my mock tutorial with Helen and the other girls was so beneficial, as they helped me to realise what I needed to focus on my final collection of 8 cards and less about my mood boards and just to link them in where most relevant.

After our mock presentations the week seemed to fly by as I spent a lot of time in the workshops printing and stitching my final collection of 8 cards. Overall I was really happy with how my presentation to Consultant Sarah from IG, lecturer Helen, as well as to the other 3 girls went. I felt that I spoke at the right speed, engaging with the audience. Public speaking isn’t something that I’m too phased by, however when it’s for something as important as this, I found myself planning my speech so that I could be as prepared as possible. Sarah seemed to be happy with my work and only pointed out a few areas in need of development which I actually agreed with, and felt that they were parts I wasn’t 100% about either. For example, changing the colour of my envelopes from white to different colours (Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink Etc from my colour palette) to help my cards stand out that bit more in the packaging – white edging around the patches got a bit lost in the white envelope. We also decided that my labels weren’t good enough and need to be bolder with a bit more information on to really promote my unique frame me or pass me on idea, as well as the fact that they have been handmade. This is something that I will change in January once I have received my full formative feedback, so that I can look at the project after month away and make all of my improvements at once rather than doing some now and then.

This project has most definitely been so vital in me developing my own design style, as I’ve been able to push myself to develop different skills such as lino-cutting, screen printing to hand embroidery. Time management is something that I have also learnt so much more about, especially working on a brief for a client in the industry and taking 2 weeks out of the project. I have also kept up to date with my blog and sketchbook annotation throughout the project which has just been unbelievably helpful as it’s meant that I haven’t had to stress at the end to try and reflect back on the positives and negatives. After handing all of this work in last week I have started to really look forward to the final field module to create our final collection, as this project has made me realise that I can work at professional level and can achieve a lot of work in the timeframe given.

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