Eyes on the Prize

I won a prize, can you flipping believe it?!

Thursday afternoon was the long awaited International Greetings prize giving. Super exciting stuff, and really kind actually, to give out prizes to students just because of a live brief, they could have easily not, which is just really amazing of the IG team and Sarah Barker.

With 5 big prizes and 5 smaller prizes to give away, I was excited to see who would win the internships, and quite curious as to what the smaller prizes were and what new ones had been brought in for our year. So the time came for the prize giving and I was nervous for everyone. I’d walked around our room and had seen what had been created for IG, It was all pretty greate and all really different. And the people who won the prizes, well their work was so good and they truly deserved it.

And that’s where I come in. I will be honest. I can’t believe I won the prize for trend development. I always kind of thought my trend choosing was one of my weak points, but I guess that’s changed with third year because I’ve chosen two trends this year and I’ve loved both. And IG liked my trend just as much as I did, which has just given me a confidence boost with my current collection. I’m so happy!

Thank you Sarah and the IG Team.


I’m still standing – Reflective Statement

I have enjoyed this project, and though it’s duration I have realised that I’m not interested in just one area of textiles, say stationery or fashion, but I’m more interested in surface design, and how that can then be used. For this project, I very much worked with design first, and then thinking about how I could use and manipulate these into the surfaces as needed, and I’ve loved it.

Not only was I able to carry on using and developing my confidence and skills with screen printing throughout this project, but I also experimented with other hand printing techniques, such a woodcut and collagraph, which I haven’t used very often. I like the time it takes, with screen printing and woodcut, to be able to ready and create my designs. The long process of coating and exposing a screen, and the even longer time of carving a woodcut is something that’s unavailable through digital processes, and is one I enjoy. I’m able to work through every step of the creating process with these hand printing techniques, and that’s something that I always want to be able to do.

I’ve been doing something new this year, and I can’t quite pinpoint it, but I’ve enjoyed this whole project. I think it’s a combination of the theme I chose, the client, the colours, the techniques and materials; which have all resulted in a collection that I’ve found easy to be inspired by. Last year I thought that I was inspired by nature, that was nothing compare to how much I enjoyed this very urban and modern collection. I’m a city girl, why I thought I would get more inspiration from nature than the city I don’t know, but I’m just glad that I’ve found what I’m actually inspired by at the beginning of third year. My presentation skills have definitely improved, and I feel that I’m much more confident in speaking about my own work, and I think that this project has helped with that.

This project has prepared me for the degree show, its shown me the style I like to work in, what things I find influential to my designing, and given me the freedom to think in term of surface pattern design which can then be taken into any field. I like the thought of working in whatever discipline your inspired to by a certain brief or idea, and not trying to force an idea onto a certain product, for example I doubt my collection would have been as successful if I’d been making an interior collection.

I have really liked working on a live brief, it’s a sort of introduction into what a designing career would be like, and while this wasn’t a collaborative collection, I still like that I’d been able to speak with others near me, brainstorm and help each other. It makes me think that this is what a team dynamic would be like, helping each other to be better, and to encourage. I’ve also loved seeing what other have created and how different everyone is, it’s inspiring.

Things Can Only Get Better

My presentation with Marie and Keireine went really well. From what I can remember (post-presentation mind fog had descended). I spoke clearly about my collection and used up the whole five minutes (though I was glad when it ended). I would have said more, but when that timer goes off, all thoughts of what I was about to say next vanished, its the strangest thing.

My display was set out really well, even if I do say so myself, I made sure that entering I used that was part of my collection, matched well, like the mesh memo board I used to click all my products too.

Keriene has mentioned before that I didn’t experiment enough to begin with, mainly because I kept having a lot of happy accidents, but I’ve tried to think about, and show, different ways I add colour into my wrapping paper, or on my sheet wrap how I could add another layer of designs; all of which are laid out in my sketchbook. I just have to make sure during the next project, I experiment as much as I can (which doesn’t seem like a difficult thought at the moment because I have barley an idea).

One thing that was pretty clear from my feedback was that I still need to work on my gift bow. That blasted thing just doesn’t have the same feeling as the rest of my collection, its too pretty, or as Paige would say ‘its too hipster’.

So how do I make a bow that’s not pretty, or hipster, matches with my collection really well and isn’t something I want to throw at the wall?

At the moment, literally as I’m typing, I’m in the process of making metal bows. I’ve made a few bow ties with metal or out of metal, now I’m doing something thats not a bow tie at all, but is metal and well it’ll stop me from going crazy (which is why I’ve taken a break from the bows to blog).

I have a good feeling about the bow I’m making, maybe because its not actually a bow, just something a bit unusual. And maybe its because I get to play with metal and superglue in the hopes of making mesh. Thats always fun. It also involves a weaving, kind of, which is also fun, and relaxing, but more to come on the bows later.

Back to my feedback; I was really pleased with the overall comments; both Marie and Keireine liked my collection, and where really positive about what I’ve made, which was just really amazing to hear. I’ve really enjoyed this project so it hasn’t really felt like work work (except the bow), its been enjoyable work and I’m glad to see that is not all be for nothing. *happy dance*

This Must Be The Bow

The quest for the best gift bow is upon us. The rules are as follows; use only grey, black, white and purple; include organdie and embossing foil; be creative, be inspired and, embroidery is allowed.

You have 1 day to complete your task.


Four bow ties later and I was ready to give up for the day. My mind was literally crying out for me to stop looking at bows; to stop making bow, and for the love of all things glittery, to stop looking at bows!


The first I created as a tester, to experiment with shape. The second was combining embossing foil, with white print and purple thread. The third, black, white and grey came into play, along with some font and foil. The fourth bow was getting better; made from printed organdie with a purple foil backing and silver foil holder.

It wasn’t until after my tutorial with Keireine (a most welcome break) did I make the bow to surpass all other bows. A masterpiece made of white organdie, with a white printed font design; combined with colour pops of purple embroidery and wrapped safely in a silver foil holder.

I can’t take all the credit mind you, Keireine told me what she liked most about the other bows, which was the printed font pattern and gave me a few ideas on how to combine the colour pops and from there, there was a lot of finger stabbing and squinting.

I definitely think that the colour pops are ingenious. I can think of a few other ways of trying to add colour to the bow but none would have been as effective and good looking as embroidering a few random letters. The purple takes the bow into a whole other level of interesting. The colours work well with both of my wrapping papers, and while my roll wrap also had purple colours pops, these aren’t enough so that my sheet wrap looks like the odd man out.

Im really happy with my bow, and how this has made my collection process. I’m very happy with the direction it is going in and I can’t wait to see what feedback I get from the I/G visit coming up.


I Knew You Were Waiting For Feedback

I’ve really enjoyed this project and think that shows in my collection.

I’ve managed to find combination of different events that has really worked for me. I really like the client that I’ve chosen to create for, kidults both male and female; I love my choice of inspiration for my graphics – urban grid patterns and typography; and I really like that I’ve been taking my inspiration from modern and 80s slang/phrases and technology.
I’ve especially lied my colour scheme which composes of monotone colours with bright 80s colour pops. I have a really fun time combining different colours and patterns together and I think I’ve done quite a good job of it.

This confidence I have in collection is what I took to my tutorial with Keireine, who liked what I’ve created so far, which was really great.

She really liked the colour scheme that I have used, and gave me a few pointers on how to best use the colour pops, and she also gave me a few ideas for experiments with my sheet wrapping paper.

I was really happy with my feedback, and how little I need to change, which is amazing because it means that I’ve chosen my theme and client really well.

I did however test out keireine’s suggestion of giving my mood boards a grey, industrial background. I thought it might make the other images less noticeable, but it actually really liked the result, which means I will totally try out every suggestion that Keireine gave me, because lets face it, she really knows what she’s on about!

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.