The feedback received from the IG Design Group was invaluable. Having an industry related approach in the critique of our work was really important to me to move from a purely experimental and artistic academic approach to a more marketable collection. I considered every point discussed both with them and the tutors and made my evaluations every step of the way through a balanced approach between the market, the brief and remaining true to my style.
- The first important point to consider was the number of my designs. While this wasn’t a problem for other students, I understood it was for me because of the complexity of my designs. Having 9 complex designs gave a feel of dispersion. While analysing them with my tutor, I realised that some of them might even create a separate collection on their own. So I cut the collection down to 6. I gave up on one of my main designs, the one I found to be less original and skilful. I kept all three of my secondary designs and I cut 2 of my Blenders. It was more difficult to let these two go since I personally liked them but having analysed the why I just saw them not belonging in the collection anymore. The result of this choice gave the unity I was looking for and it gave to each design more consideration than before:
- In the process I realised I haven’t made my own ribbons even though I used an effective one for the collection. I found this to be a another good opportunity to experiment with various techniques. Since I was laser cutting various other things I asked myself why not laser cut a ribbon as well and so I did. I actually loved it after painting it. I then found myself among beads and payette in look for inspiration and started to hand embroider my second ribbon. I was a bit sceptic about whether it would also be appropriate for a male customer as well but the combination of copper beads with the black ribbon gave the balance between a more feminine technique and a more masculine/neutral colour. The angular designs of the constellations I represented did its job, while the transparency of the ribbon gave that elegant and sophisticated touch I was looking for. As for my laser cut ribbon, I wanted my embroidered ribbon to be double faced. In fact I worked on both sides with the exception of the copper thread that connects the beads once on one side and once on the other for a more interesting effect. I found it more appealing to a high end market both as ribbon to wrap gifts or as handles for the gift bag. I combined copper and blue/violet colour for my third ribbon.I decided to use the ribbons on some of the gifts and also as handle of a gift bag but I also wanted to display them as a distinctive item so I laser cut some transparent plexi glass for the display, designing it based on my gift tags shape;
- Another point was to slightly change the contrast of my secondary mustard berries design and eventually the blender berries to give more space to the main designs to show. This consideration though changed radically after refining the collection, interchanging the designs and making some colour balance considerations so I decided to leave them as they were. All the collection has come together harmonically and each design gave just that right amount of colour needed for the whole to be balanced;
- I considered my bows and how they would be attached to the ribbon. Regarding to my ceramic star bows I decided to attache a handle underneath so a ribbon can easily pass through. This way the ceramic artefact can be reused as bow or as ornament. To my origami bows I attached a foam pad so it can be easily attached to a gift;
I wasn’t totally happy with my gift tags so I ended up with loads of experiments till I found the one that would satisfy me in dimension (not to big or too small considering that was also going to be used as book mark), in thickness of paper and details. Too much detail would create an imbalanced value and too less would not be considered for a high end market. I also opted mainly for the mustard secondary designs for the majority of my tags to create a pleasant effect with the quantity of this colour used in the hole collection. I also considered the back of the tag and rounded the corners.
6. Since I did some laser cutting for my messages for the greeting cards, and had some spare ones, I decided (following a suggestion) to use them on their own as an added value to the collection. Customers would be able to purchase and apply them on their gifts, to give that little attention and sophistication more thus keeping in simple, just hand written words with a delicate copper metallic finish. I also considered the packaging which I laser cut on thick card after printing the background of my blender pattern on it. For the words I used 3mm mdf, light and strong enough to serve the purpose.
USP – As by my presentation and feedback from the Design Group, I have multiple Usp points which makes the Collection unique:
- such as my Fluoresent (glow in the dark) paper clips
- my Theme which is an original interpretation of the earth and the cosmos through connections that are related to human connections as well as human and nature through organic and structured elements.
- A dual purpose gift tag that can be used also as book mark
- Ceramic bow that can be reused as bow or as ornament. The purpose, as well as for the gift tags and wrapping papers is to purchase something precious that can be kept or reused.
- Not only a visual but also tactile feel. For this I used embossing and flocking in my stationery collection, that reflects and absorbs light in line with my theme that involves Light.
To these I added:
- Wood Greeting elements that can be purchased separately and attached to whatever gifts. It is for an all year round collection so considering the actual Christmas Holidays I decided to make some greeting tags for this occasion. This can be extended to Birthdays, San Valentines day and all other holidays through greetings that can give clients the opportunity to express their wishes to their loved ones.