Today I finished off working on my Consultancy project. On Monday I had my cards reprinted at the Print Studio due to unfortunately ruining my cards when trying to edit the paper inserts last weekend. From this experiment I also decided that the second attempt at paper inserts were too white and I wanted to increase the opacity so that more of the colour showed through.
I am now very happy with the results of my cards and happy that I managed to schedule this time in to edit my work out of my busy timetable for my final major project. Hopefully this work will increase my grade in the Consultancy area and therefore overall!
I decided to take time out of the Exhibition Field project to revisit my consultancy work. During my Consultancy Surgery on the 11th February I spoke to Helen and Jayne about what I could do to improve my work and grade. There were a few points that I picked up from my Consultancy feedback which I discussed with them and decided to work on.
“It would be worth opening out the market to include a much wider demographic.” – I decided I would show this by editing my Client Profile Moodboard. I wanted to keep the majority of the imagery on my moodboard so decided to simply change one image of a couple to an older, middle-aged couple. My moodboard now shows that my greeting cards are aimed at couples in general and not a specific age group.
“Insert is a very good idea but perhaps reduce the text contrast and made everything back a little so they don’t overwhelm your drawings.” This was the other comment I took from my feedback that I decided I would work on. Though I had experimented with the paper inserts in my cards before hand-in, I did not show this within the actual cards. Today I printed off my inserts at a 25% opacity level. I do agree that the cards look much better at a lower opacity as the drawings now stand out a lot more and these are the main focus points of the cards. I do however think that 25% opacity is too low and I would like to increase it a little more to show a bit more colour. At the moment the inserts are basically white in colour which I do not like, white is not in my colour palette. During the process of detaching the old paper inserts and adding the new ones, the cards have been damaged slightly and I do not feel happy submitting these as my final cards anymore. I will need to reprint my cards, cut out the sections again and print and attach the new inserts. Unfortunately this is a lot more work than I originally wanted to do for this project as I had originally wanted to focus on my FMP however at this point in time I feel happy with my workload in the exhibition project and feel that I have time to do this within my Consultancy project. I also know that I will not feel happy submitting these damaged cards at the end of the project and want to be happy with the work i’m submitting, otherwise what is the point in making these changes! I will need to wait until Monday to print out my cards onto card at the PrintStudio at university and I will then spend that evening at home re-making my cards.
Previous cards with a high contrast and colourful paper insert
Newer experiments with my greeting cards with lower opacity paper inserts
Today we had tutorials about our previous Consultancy project with International Greetings. We were encouraged to be prepared for the tutorial with ideas of what we wanted to improve on regarding the feedback of the last project. My feedback was in the high ‘Good’ section for skills, context and ideas. This would equate to a high 2:1, I would be happy with a 2:1 but I am aiming for a 1st overall. Therefore to improve my mark I re-read my feedback and discussed a few things I could change in my last project.
In my feedback it stated “It would be worth opening out the market to include a much wider demographic” – I will show this by changing my client profile mood board as the images of my target market revolves only around young couples. I will broaden this out by showing older couples, single people etc.
Also, “Inset is a very good idea but perhaps reduce the text contrast and fade everything back a little so they don’t overwhelm your drawings” – I actually did this before final hand in so was a bit confused about this but when I discussed this with Helen and Jayne they explained that I should actually change the inserts of the cards rather than show the experiments in my folder.
These were the only two things I decided I would change as I felt that I wanted to spend the majority of my time focussing on my Final Major Project. I had planned to do these changes in the first week of Easter however, it has been recommended that I do not leave it that late as I do not know what position I will be with my FMP. I believe these changes will not take me very long so will complete them on a weekend before Easter break.
Today was the International Greetings prize giving day. I am so excited and proud to say that I won one of the four top prizes of 8 weeks work experience and a cash prize!!!
I am so happy that International Greetings liked my designs and chose my project and Sarah gave me some amazing comments regarding my work. I am so thankful for the opportunity of 8 weeks of work experience. After mini panics during christmas about what I was planning to do after university, it feels so good to know I have something planned for after I graduate. I am planning to have a career in Buying after graduating but I wanted to experience what being a Designer would be like so was planning to organise some work experience in this area, so this is an incredible opportunity!
At the beginning of this consultancy module I was very confused as to where I wanted to go with the project. I almost felt that there were too many pathways I could take regarding my theme, occasion and design options. I also saw this as a positive thing as having free reign on what I wanted to do and felt that I could really delve into something that personally interested me.
After a while deliberating on ideas, I chose to design for a New Home occasion using a vintage theme. As vintage is quite a broad theme, I decided to stick to 3 pieces of imagery within my project to help the cards work well together as a collection. This imagery was of vintage suitcases, houses and skeleton keys. I saw these images a lot whilst researching but felt that all the cards were very twee and I wanted to create something that was a bit different and edgy and that would relate to both men and women. The card collection I created is aimed at couples buying their first home however I feel that any age group would like my cards, single or as a couple.
One thing I struggled with within this project was sticking to an idea, at certain points I felt lost due to feedback from tutorials. Particularly after the interim crit. Previously, I was focussing on using rust as a texture inspiration for my cards. I was prompted to do this within my tutorials however when it came to the interim critique I was reminded that I was doing a New Home theme and that rust signifies decay.
I quickly had to resolve this issue by finding something else which I could use for texture, this is when I came to focus on using materials which relate to moving home or being in a home. The materials I selected to reflect this was tea, bubble wrap and corrugated card. I used these textures in the card background and paper inserts of my cards to add touches of my feminine colours from my palette to ensure that the cards were not too dull or masculine looking.
I felt I worked well from feedback and made the changes required. My time planning and management was one of my strengths in this project, something I have struggled with during projects. I had all my work finalised, printed and up on my display board a couple of days before the final presentation so that I could tie up any loose ends.
I am really happy with the work I have created during this project and feel that I have tapped into some strengths which I wish to expand on in my FMP. Digital stitch has been a technique I have enjoyed during this project and one which I wish to pursue. To be able to work with a live brief and a professional company has been a good insight into other industries available after I finish my degree.
For this project I chose to design for option two, the line extension greeting cards and decided to design them for the Giftmaker collection of International Greetings.
After deliberating over a few different themes and occasions I came to decide to create 8 cards using a vintage theme and for the New Home occasion. As vintage is quite a broad term and theme, I decided to stick to 3 key pieces of imagery within my project, I felt that this would help the cards to work well together as a collection as the imagery on the cards would not be of 8 completely different things.
This imagery consisted of vintage suitcases, skeleton keys and different styles of houses. The 4 house cards show 4 different style and types of houses, this means that they could appeal to different people and the customer would be able to find a house that would relate to them personally, the 4 houses I chose were a townhouse, a Victorian terrace, a thatched house and a cottage.
My colour palette is from WGSN, the colour scheme is called Pause and is for Spring/Summer 2017. I chose this particular scheme as it encompassed both masculine and feminine colours so would relate to both genders. I decided to predominantly use the masculine colours in my designs with small amounts of the feminine pastels as little pops of colour. I felt this helped to create the vintage appeal I was after.
My product is aimed at the target market of young couples buying their first home but I feel that the cards could relate all ages moving into a new home.
My cards have been created using a range of techniques including digital stitch, hand embroidery, natural dyeing, hand printing and laser cutting which I made into samples. These final samples were then combined to create my cards in Photoshop.
I have included media which relates to a home or moving home, for example, the background of the cards was created using tea staining. I felt that tea was something that makes people feel at home which is why I wanted to incorporate it into my designs. The prints on the paper inserts were created using bubble wrap and corrugated card which are both materials used to wrap up fragile items when moving home.
The overriding theme is new home but I have included a couple of different concepts within my collection, for example, one of the card designs with keys on has the phrase ‘key to the door’ written on the paper insert coming from the phrase “key to the door, never been 21 before” this phrase is often used in birthday cards for ages of 18 and 21 years so could be used for these birthday occasions as well as new home.
I have also included a card which people would give out to let their friends know they had moved and have a new address. Therefore the person who has moved would be the sender of the card not the receiver. I felt it was important to add slight changes like this to some of the cards to ensure they weren’t all the same and there was some variation in the collection.
Each of my cards are unique in that the paper inserts each relate to the card they are on. For example, the colours of the prints are the same as the doors on the houses which I felt tied the inserts and the card designs together. I have also included the bubble wrap and corrugated card prints on the envelopes which I have created on my trend board. Therefore, each envelope goes with a specific card or could be mix and matched.
My unique selling point is that the cards have a reusable function. The main design on the card can be popped out of the frame and used as a fridge magnet. I felt this related to my new home theme as it can be used as a house decoration after its original use. This is also an environmentally friendly factor as the whole card would not be thrown away once it has been used.
I am happy with the designs I have produced and feel that they encompass my vintage theme and would be something different on the new home gift card market.
Over the past couple of days I have been preparing my space for my presentation to international greetings. Below are images of how I presented my collection of 8 greetings cards inspired by a vintage theme created for the ‘New Home’ occasion. I covered my board in brown paper to avoid the boring grey background and make it relate to my theme a bit more. I managed to create a shelf out of foam board which I covered in the same brown paper. I have displayed my cards in a couple of different ways; some are in cellophane to show how they would look in store. I have added a small sticker on the bottom of the packet which says “Includes removable magnet.” Each of the cards main design can be popped out and reused as they all have magnets behind the card. This is my USP for my product and it is also an environmentally friendly element of the card as all of it I’ll not be thrown away after its original use. I chose to have this reusable element as my USP as the magnets will be used as a home decoration therefore relating back to my new home theme. Each of the designs stuck onto the board show what the magnets would look like out of the card. I used two vintage suitcases in my presentation to make my display look more interesting – luckily my sister gave me these for free! I also added a couple of flower potswith artificial flowers which I had painted to reflect the feminine colours in my colour palette to add some colour to my space. I am really pleased with how it looks and hopefully my presentation goes well tomorrow.