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.
Final Mood Boards
Below are my 4 final mood boards for my IG Consultancy project, overall I am really happy with the way they have turned out and think they really work well with my theme and chosen target market. They also give across that bright theme that I’m after to suit my ‘Exotic Bandits’ theme.
Final Card Designs
Below are scanned in versions of my final 8 scanned in designs, overall I am really happy with how they have turned out. The photo below my scanned images is off my patches after they have been attached to my cards.
Once I had finished screen-printing my final designs onto my recycled denim, I then began to start stitching into each of my square patches, using my drawn out design ideas. Hand embroidery is quite a lengthy process, however with the free non exact style that I’m after luckily hasn’t taken quite as long get a good amount done. Below are some image of my stitch progression throughout.
More design progression showing close ups of some of my designs during the stitch process.
Finishing the Edges
Deciding how to finish of the edges of my patches a bit of a dilemma as I did originally think about overlocking them, however that just wouldn’t give the raw rebel feel that I was after, so after speaking to Stitch tech dem Maggie I decided to go for a triple stitch in a orangey colour as you usually see as a hem stitch for denim jeans – I felt as if it was very fitting and suits the idea. I then thought it would be nice too leave the edges to fray just adding to the rough biker feel, it will also give the patches a nice frame when mounted onto the white cards.
After pre-exposing my screen with my final designs, today I needed to decide what colour to screen print onto my denim in. This was more of a struggle than I originally thought it would have been, as white was just too bold and I felt as if it would take away attention away from my other colour palette colours, as well as the stitch itself maybe? However I felt as if the blues just didn’t stand out enough, so could result in my patterns not being seen. I finally decided to go with a very light blue which actually dried slightly darker and think this works out the best with the shade of denim and also along side my embroidery threads.
The image below shows my final designs being printed onto my cut denim jeans. Overall I am really happy with how they have turned out so far, as the denim has created a really could texture in my prints almost making them look as if they’ve been stitched as well. I also really like how some parts of the denim have taken the colour better in some places than in others. For example in the bottom right photo the colour hasn’t taken completely, but it really goes with my ‘rough and ready’ biker theme. I think once I start stitching into my patches the whole ‘exotic bandits’ feel that I’m after will really start to come to life.
This afternoon I have spent as bit of time drawing out ideas of where to add stitch to each of my design patches. I had so much fun doing this task, as there are just so many different possibilities. As hand embroidery can be a lengthy process I have tried to vary the amount of stitch on each, with 2 being very full of stitch creating a textured background, then the remaining 6 just having embroidery in key areas that works with the background pattern. I want to make sure the stitch enhances my patterns and doesn’t overload.
Today I have spent a bit of time choosing my final designs to expose onto a screen ready to start printing. I have chosen more than 8 designs to expose, as I want to have the flexibility to change my mind throughout the printing stage. It will also given me more options if a design doesn’t come out the way I had hoped. During my mock presentation feedback with Helen, she suggested maybe printing onto denim or leather to give my collection a more ‘rebellious’ biker bandits feel. My plan is to print and then hand stitch onto some old denim jeans to give that ‘do what I want’ feel. The images below show my final designs edited in Illustrator ready to expose, as well as a few of the process and then my test print onto calico fabric to check that the screen is all ok.
This morning we started the day with a quick project brief refresher into whats required on our ‘Mini Boards‘ next week for our IG consultant presentations. The mini boards are to be made using A3 mount board like I have for my other 4 boards and need to display mini versions (prototypes) of my final 8 collection of cards with maybe one of my printed envelopes on as well. During the presentation I made a few notes of things to consider putting on my board. The next week is going to be busy with so many different things that need finishing, however I need to remember that our actual deadline isn’t until next term and that I have another week after IG to make any further improvements.
Also need to consider my NPD (New Product Development), which is on Stage 3, page 5 of my brief. However we were informed that this isn’t high on there list.
After deciding that I’d quite like to stitch into my cards yesterday, I have spent a bit of time looking online at other paper stitch online to see what sort of things are possible and have been done successfully. As with my time frame I need things to work out okay for me. This afternoon I will gave a go at some stitching to see how well it works or doesn’t.
To give myself a clear idea of what my collection will look like as I whole, I have drawn out my general format that I will use for all of my cards. However the placement of the prints will vary but on the whole the inside tag and logo will stay the same, giving my collection a bit of uniformity. I have also decided to display my cards in clear plastic card bags. after a lot of deliberation I decided that this is probably the most professional way and will protect the outside of my cards from getting knocked.
This afternoon we were split into group of 4 with a tutor to give a mock presentation ready for our 5 minute presentations with the IG Consultants next week about our final collection. I was not prepared for this in anyway and had only just picked my final collection of 8 patterns to go on my cards just before, however I think I managed to sort myself out and present about my work ok. After I had finished presenting we were then given feedback by Helen and the rest of the group which was so helpful as they could all pitch different things to consider doing and trying, as well as pointing out what isn’t working quite so well.
Things to consider for next weeks final presentation:
- Need to set the scene – Age/Target, Theme
- Speak about my mood boards last
- Concentrate on the final collection of cards
- Doesn’t need to be in chronological order
Things to consider for my final collection:
- Ruling pen to add into my designs – represents stitching
- Draw out the ideas (in colour) and stitch ideas (scale + type of stitch)
- Put stitch (3D) on some – for the high priced market (some with more some with less)
- Embossing pen? – to suggest texture
- Backgrounds?? – add white to colour palette / biker bandit in the backgrounds / keep the rebel theme in mind throughout
- Print on different substrates – denim, leather, crumbled paper
I have then spent a bit of time this evening sorting out my final collection by picking what patterns in what scale, repeat and placement I want them ready to put on a screen tomorrow.