I Want To Know What Mood Is

I’ve started to revisit my subject collection, and going back through the feedback to see what changes I can make to try and bump my grade up a bit. First things first, last week I finally made my orange ribbon! I managed to corner Steve and get seem of that beautiful orange foil before all the second/first years used it all up again. I did make two pieces, but the foil hardly came out on the one of them, so I don’t have a smaller piece to fit on my mini product board, but I’m sure I can figure something out.

The next step was to push my mood boards up a notch. My field project has really helped me develop my skills in making mood boards. I used to slap a few images together and think it looked brill, thankfully Irene has really pushed me to research mood boards and see how creative and well laid out they can be.  I know play with different effects in my mood boards, use of layering and text, etc.

I’m much happier with how my new mood boards look, I think they’re so much more professional.

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The Tag In Blue

One of the suggestions that Keireine give me to think about was the fact that my tag was black, and that not everyone had white pens, meaning the tag isn’t really that practical.

With this in mind, I then started to think about how I could bring this practice element into my tag. My swing tag has two layers already, the black front with the laser cut design, and a separate film-work layer all held to other by black and blue foil ribbon.

What I needed was another layer that I could insert between these two, which would work really well with the rest of the tag, and also have a surface which is a much more practical writing area.

I tried a grey insert which I didn’t think worked very well; I also tried white but that was a bit too plain; I then experimented with a insert that was white on one side and blue foil on the other. There was just too much blue for it to be classed as a coloured pop, I think.

I left one tag with the blue foil insert, and started to experiment with another insert, a white one that had blue foil strips on it. I felt like this insert could be the one, but when I attached it to the rest of the tag, there was just still too much white. It looked really lovely on its own, but I don’t think it added anything to the tag itself.

So I was looking at these two tags with their different inserts and decide that the fully blue foiled insert was better, but when I added it onto the other tag, I noticed that when the holes lined up, the blue was hanging over the edge of the black tag, thanks to my terrible cutting/hole-punching skills. However, I actually really liked this mistake!

(I feel like half of this project has come about from mistakes and happy accidents!)

What I was left with was a thin sliver of blue foil above the top and right hand side of the black tag, and I love it. There not too much blue; it makes the black look blacker and it helps to accentuate the blue in the ribbon; it also, gives me suitable writing surface because the reverse side of the blue foil is white card!

So I glued the foil insert to the back of the black tag, making sure I had those slivers of silver and that white backing, which really just bring the tag onto another level. It also mirrors the small slivers of purple foil that I added into my roll wrapping paper. I love having small elements that are repeated in more than one project, it just helps to knit the whole collection together more.


The Sounds of Greeting

My greetings card has been an ongoing mission, kind of like the five year mission on the USS Enterprise, only not quite lasting so long.

It started when I was creating my gift bag, suddenly a new design popped into my head, layers and all. I considered making another gift bag with this ideas, but since I had other things on my list that needed completing before I go off and make any extras, I decided to adapt the idea so that I could use it to create a really cool greetings card.

The idea started with two layers, one with a font pattern, the other with a grid pattern. For the gift bag I was thinking about the orange grid pattern I experimented with, but for the card, I though it would be too much colour, and not enough pop, so I turned to a grey grid pattern that I had printed, and layered this with the font pattern I created, printed not black organdie (mainly because I thought they looked better together than the grid and the font pattern on the white organdie).

Then I started thinking about what this card should look like. Its not good enough to just slap a surface pattern on a card because that shows you haven’t thought about the card itself, and while I realise I have used surface patterns on my card, I’ve also combined that with a font idea that I thought of just for this card, as well as the rest of the card compositions, e.g what card I’ll use to create it, what the inside will look like, do I have a coloured paper inside, what is my box template for the inside going to look like, what colour envelope should I make to match, etc. I have very purposely been thinking about every other aspect of this card, because I know that it needs to be designed differently from the rest of the items in my collection.

The font pattern I used in the background was a design that combines both old and new slang, typed up and printed out. I then scanned this designs back into the computer, but while doing so, I moved the paper so that the writing could get distorted, like a technical glitch or a paper jam kind of effect. This effect is one that takes its inspiration  my research into 80s digital medias. So with a pattern that was both modern and retro, and a retro distortion of that design, I decided that what the card needed now what a modern slang or phrase for the writing that would be on the front.

My collection is an everyday collection so I don’t need to have any holiday or ‘happy birthday’ on the front of my card. I did however go for a phrase, or two that could easily be used to describe an outing or celebration.

Low-key / hi-key

They are modern terms, I know because I’ve been extensive googling modern slang (and wondering what the flip someone it means, but thankfully they have description included).

Low-key is to have an event thats not announced, so a small, quite gathering that could easily be a few friends coming together for a little celebration.

Hi-key is the opposite. A large gathering or party that be announced out loud so that everyone can join in.

These are two modern definition of a way to celebrate, so even though I’ve made an everyday collection, I’m still aware that this card could used for as a birthday card, or other celebration card.

I took inspiration from one of the samples I’d made earlier on, which had bright yellow embroidery on it, I was planning to do that for this card, to have my two phrases embroidered on the front as a colour pop. But then a card I’d ordered came in the post. A plain white card with black font on the front, but with neon orange paper inside. I loved it. And so my idea for my card developed further. While I was laser cutting for my tag, I also cut out my phrases from some white photo paper so that the whole front of my card would be black and white.

I then had to think about arrangement which was was whole lot of shifting letters around, taking pictures and then starting at them and asking other people opinions on which compliments the rest of the card best.

I also wasn’t through with thinking about how I could get my colour pop into my card. And the card I got in the post really helped me along. The outside of my card is black, then inside white, and then in the very middle, I have a sheet of bright yellow paper. Hows that for a colour pop! And it will be the only colour pop with the card because I’m planning to make a black envelope with a white inside, so the yellow is proper surprise when the card gets opened. I think that a pretty cool card, if I do say so myself.

Im really happy with how my collection is coming along at the moment, I’m finding it not easy, but easier to come up with ideas and designs than I usually do. Progress.


Don’t You (Forget About Tag)

It seems like every time I finish one of my designs/products theres another one lurking behind the corner just waiting to come out at me; and this week it was the gift tag!

To be fair it wasn’t as doom and gloom as I just made it sound. It was actually quite cool.

The only thing I knew about my gift tag was that I wanted to use laser cutting to make the designs (if I could ever find a time when someone else wasn’t using it!), beyond that, I didn’t really know what it was going to look like.

The designs that I chose to use was a stylised ‘V’ which I drew, using a pattern from one of my foil on photo paper ‘oh that went wrong, but I like it’ samples. I had to think about what it would look like when cut out, which parts would be kept and then how I was going to use it.

I finally found a time this week where no one was using the laser cutting and I jumped in there faster than, well something really fast. Steve showed me how to set up the machine, how to calibrate it to the type of material I was using, and then sent me on my way to create magical things.

One thing I didn’t realise, which I probably should have since the technique had laser in the name, was that it burnt through the materials (I did realise, I just didn’t think of it), which then caused a slight colour tinge around the edges. Not too bad, most of it wiped off but I was left with paper that wasn’t as crisp a white as it was when I put it into the machine.

Laser cutting is super cool. Its really fast, you get to use a big laser, and the results of the cutting are just, beautiful. The crisps, clean lines that the laser cuts is something that I doubt anyone could cut by hand, especially not me with my shaky hands.

I used filmwork and photo paper to laser cut. I wanted to use embossing foil because I thought that would look boss on a tag, but something about the way the metal reflects could cause certain death to any who laser it. So I went for some less death inducing materials.  I also chose a piece of photo paper which I had previously printed onto to see how that would look combined with the laser cut – I didn’t like it.

The design that I chose to cut is is both complicated and delicate, and the design that was printed onto the paper was quite blocky and only managed to help you lose where the laser cutting was, which was quite disappointing because it wold have been cool otherwise. What I did really like though was having my design cut out of brilliant white photo paper, where there was nothing to distract from the pattern that has been cut out. Mount that on some black card and, boy oh boy, I think I might swoon. I love black and white, the sharp contrast is so stunning in how it both clashes and meshes together amazingly. I took this change to experiment and see if I actually wanted to mount my design onto black.

I did, because it looks awesome. I feel that I would like it inverted as well, so a black design on white card, I think that would be just equally awesome, and both go with my colour scheme which just make me want to do a happy dance! What I also have in my colour scheme however is brightly coloured foils. Where was the foil in this designs, well i’ll tell you. The foil, comes in the ribbon of the tag. The tag itself is made up of layers (hells yas! Loving the components in this collection), the white design on the black card, and then a piece of blank filmwork behind, like those tags that have two layers to have a contrast or something interesting. I also then needed something that would make the tag attachable to whatever anyone would stick it on, which is where the ribbon comes in.

I didn’t want to just use the design I’ve come up with for my actual ribbon product, or the ribbon I used on my gift bag handles because wheres the fun in that. Each product is part of a collection sure, but they’re also individual. So I created two ribbons, one with blue foil on white, and one with blue foil on black, and after a majority vote, the blue and black ribbon one out, which I think is really for the best. The black organdie next to the black cards makes for a subdued background for the bright blue foil to actually be a colour pop and take the tag higher than just being a black and white tag.

I also like that if used in conjunction with the ribbon in going to make, those bright colour pops will clash and make the collection even more interesting.

  • My ribbon designs is hopefully going to be white organdie with bright orange foil! Sounds amazing, I know.

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Handle With Care (Part Two)

I’ve finally made my handles! I’ve only been speaking about them all week, and now I’ve managed to make them *happy dance*

My gift bag is basically white and pink (with some grey in there too), and I wanted my handles to really work well with the rest of the bag, but not be too overpowering. I don’t want something to say ‘did you see the bag on those handles!’. I want them to pop, and I want them to have some attention, but not to the point where I’m transfixed by these monstrous looking things emerging from the top of my gift bag.

Out of the four ideas I had for my handles, I made all four. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve made a bag that I’m really happy with and I think works really well with the overall atmosphere of my collection, and I didn’t want that to be ruined by a pair of handles (am I thinking into these handles too much? Have I become obsessed!).

One set of handles had the same pattern as the back of the bag – and my roll wrap; another designs marries up to the samples I’m planning to use for my greetings card; another again marries up to the greetings card but also co-ordinates well with the design for my ribbon; and the last handle options was just to have a complete pink foil handle.

It wasn’t really four choices for me. I wasn’t very keen on the wholly foiled handles, it seemed to garish and a bit lazy, so I was looking towards my three patterned handles, and trying to decide a.) which would look best with the bag as a whole, and b.) which set of handles marries in with the other designs for my collection without making it seem like I’m using the same design over and over.

(I really do think I thought about these handles waaaay to much)

The pink on my gift bag is the wow factory shall we say; its the colour pop, what makes the bag stand out, and I wanted to have this on the front of the bag, as well as in the handles, but I didn’t want there to be so much pink that I just wanted to lock myself in a dark room and never look at pink again.

In the end, after taking all these different things into consideration, I chose the handles that has the least amount of pink on them (which I only realised as I wrote that sentence), but I think they work. The design I chose doesn’t match any other part of the bag, but it does marry with the greeting card I’m going to make, albeit in different colours, and I think it works better for not being the same as anything else on the bag.

I think that the limited amount of pink on the handles makes it that much more interesting, as does the way that the pattern isn’t fully formed as its quite patchy (which was on purpose, just saying). What is quite interesting, now I’ve actually out the handles on the bag is the contrast between the organdie fabric and the acetate bag itself. I can’t explain it very well but it makes you notice just how different both materials are.

I love my gift bag, just incase that didn’t come across in the obsessive way I’ve been trying to make the perfect handles! I think its really interesting and really fits into my theme. I think its evident that I’ve been relying on my mood boards to help me which is exactly what I should be doing. All I need to know about this collection should be on those boards and the fact that I can see how all most all of my collection is going to unfold, is pretty good, I think. It means that I’ve found good concept for this project and Imo noting having any difficulty relating to it. *yay*


Handle With Care

On Friday I went into the print studio with some new designs and just wanted to experiment. One slight draw back, all the foils has been used, there was none left, so it looked like I was just printing in back, white and grey.

I had four new designs, one of which had two layers, which looks really cool (modesty at its best), so I was quite eager to get printing.

From there I started to think about what I was going to be making from these designs, instead of just printing for funsies. That’s when I got the idea for a gift bag. One of the new designs would go on the back, I had a previous design that I/G and Irene liked which could go on the front, I just needed to grab my material for the gussets and make some handles, easy right?

Mostly it was easy. I used a A3 acetate sheet, for the structure of my bag, through which my designs could be seen, and they wouldn’t start peeling off the front because I’d planned to affixed them to the inside. Just the handles, the inside template and the actual construction to do.

I went in today in the hopes of making my gift bag handles, I’d brought my white organdie fabric, my hot pink foil and myself, all with the view that today I would have my handles complete, and then I’d make my gift bag when I got in.

I haven’t decided on how I want the foil on my handles yet, whether I want just a continuos foiled handle, or handles with surface patterns on them – I’m leaning towards the latter – so I selected three of my designs to print onto my strips of organdie and a blank screen so I could cover the fourth strip completely in glue.  Looking good!

Now was the time to actually transfer my foil onto the fabric except …

I’d run out of foil. What looked like a roll that still had plenty actually didn’t have enough foil for even one strip, let alone four. So there went my plan for the day, no foil, no overlocking, no pretty handles. Muh.

I did however, make a sample gift bag. I also drew up a template for a little foldable box which I fixed to the back of the front designs on the bag, so that when the bags use is up, it can be transformed into a handy little supply box.

Now my gift bags not perfect, a tad messy but that could just be me being finicky, but I think its a really good attempt; it just doesn’t have any handles yet.

I don’t know what I was imagining in my head, well I was imaging pretty much the bag I made, but there’s just something missing (and I don’t think its just then handles). I like the gift bag, I think the shiny surface of the acetate is really cool and fits in well with my theme, as does the colour scheme I’ve used for the bag and then one colour pop, soon to be two. I think, somewhere in my mind, I still wanted to be able to feel the samples, even though I’d decided to cover them with the acetate to have a clean finish. I love the back of the bag, I think the velum, white ink and the acetate make a really cool combination, but on the front, I feel like the acetate had dulled the foil a bit? I don’t know, I could be insane but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I think it will however, look better once it has handles!

I also happened to make a little mini version of the gift bag, just incase I need it for my trend board.