Developing Subject Work

While working on my degree show I found it hard to find time to develop my IG work. However, I felt that there were some very valid points made in my feedback and I wasn’t happy with my original final outcome. When presenting my work to the client it was highlighted that I hadn’t whole hearted used my colour palette. It was obvious as soon as it was mentioned however I think that when creating the cards I hadn’t given myself the time to step back and reflect. Fundamentally, I use water colour in my illustrations but upon reflection I don’t think it was appropriate for the actual product. I also had only used white cards and envelopes which was another oversight on my own part. I think that because I wanted to learn the new skill of Lino cutting and printing I had forgotten to look at the bigger picture. It has become extremely apparent to me during this project and the degree show the process is just as important to me as the final outcome.  However, when working for a client I must remember that the main goal is to create a product suitable for them.

Therefore in my spare time I started looking into simple changes such as coloured card and envelopes. It was highlighted that the textured card was a very appropriate substrate for my target market therefore when sourcing coloured card I wanted to keep the textured feel. I also found coloured enveloped to compliment the cards. I mixed up the colour card and envelopes and instantly saw the colours contrasting and complimenting one another.

Another point made in my feedback was the passion and interest I had in each individual design. Each card was inspired by a place I visited and chosen due to the information I knew about each one. The original packing list idea was well received however I have decided to incorporate the information I know about each place into the cards. I feel that it will contextualise each card and create almost a mini travel guide for each place. This will be more relevant to my retired target market who are interested in travelling to new places to learn new things. I have also realised while working on this project and on my degree show that the places I have travelled have always heavily influenced my work therefore I think incorporating my knowledge and passionate into the cards will make them more unique and personal to me.

I developed labels for the back of the cards on illustrator. I wanted them to be clean and sophisticated with a few key facts or recommendations. Each label was then coloured dependant on what base colour the card was.

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When creating the original collection I felt that I had to incorporate script cards, upon reflection it narrows down the target market. I also found that when speaking to retired family members they felt that a card that says “Happy Retirement” on it is predictable and they liked the option of a blank card. I feel that this would make my collection more versatile. Therefore, in keeping with the current format of two cards per country, I decided to get rid of the script cards and replace them with two prints from Berlin. I had recently visited Berlin and enjoyed my time so much I felt that it would be an appropriate addition to the collection. I decided to use images of Alexander Platz and Brandenburg Gate. Similarly to the Hong Kong cards, I feel the contrast between the modern and classical images highlighted the deep history and current development of the city.


This is new collection, re-printed on coloured substrates, the new designs and packaged with the coloured envelopes. The colour palette is being used much more boldly on these cards and I feel the cards look more commercial than before. I would have liked to experiment with the colours more and layered blocks together, however I didn’t want it to be at the cost of my degree show. I look forward to developing block printing further as I really like the different textures you can get from printing.

In addition to this, I removed the watercolour backgrounds from my mood boards to make them more in keeping with the new designs.

Review: International Greetings Deadline

Today was the day, the presentation to IG. I was nervous to go first and hoped that I would make a clear and professional presentation. After putting up my work yesterday I made some brief bullet point notes about key information. I really wanted to express the important of process in this collection and that hand crafted feel style I was going for. I also needed to express the importance of each image on each card.

Throughout the presentation I tried to remain professional and settle my nerves. It was definitely a learning curve for me. I found that Sarah’s criticisms were so insightful and constructive. However I feel the stress of presenting to her made me be overly critical of my work and I came out of the presentation feeling down about the whole thing. It is the classic of only remembering the “negatives”.

I was really pleased that the Lino printing style was a win. Within my collection it was noted that the more detailed placement prints had some beautiful aspects and the Lino printing process creating some wonderful textures. It was also stated that my prints were strong enough without script cards. This was lovely to hear and personally I didn’t like my script cards half as much as my prints. I also feel that the all over prints weren’t as well received and upon reflection they look like would be part of a different and some what more graphic collection.  I think that I had gotten wrapped up in the idea of a  “collection” I was trying to check off points like script cards and different formats rather then pushing my strongest designs (detailed placement prints).

To develop my collection I would adjust and refine the cards so they are all detailed prints. I also like the idea of taking out the script cards as it allows me to design two cards themed around another country. This will allow my collection to explore more cultures and advertise more opportunities with travel.

During my presentation it was highlighted that the packing list was a fun NPD development however Sarah and Helen were interested in the concise descriptions I gave for each card. They felt that it would be a good idea to put on the back of each card information of about each place; a mini guidebook. I really like this idea and I feel that it appeal to my target market and inspire travel. Sarah stated the the NPD could be that they are framed with this information. The cards themselves are strong and enough as pieces of framable work.

The one criticism that was completely fair but I found really hard was that I hadn’t quite got my colours right. I was really disappointed that I hadn’t even noticed this myself. It was highlighted that the colours on my mood board were very appropriate for my target market however these colours weren’t emulated in my work. The inks that I mixed for my prints were on the colour board however the watercolour backgrounds were too light. I have now found a illustrative style that I like working in; watercolour and fine liner; and I got carried away with this in my cards. To develop my collection further I would like to create some cards with stronger backgrounds and possibly use coloured envelopes to bring in the colour palette. I need to have more confidence with working in strong colours. I will start by playing around with the colour in photoshop and illustrator.

Throughout this project I feel that I have been developing a sense of style and way of working. I have also gotten so much better at time management and how to get the most out of my days. I feel that I need to be more reflective of my work throughout the design process. This will allow me to make sure that I am still designing to my mood boards and my brief. I feel that I have developed my printing skills tremendously since the summer. I still have a lot to learn and experiment with however I want my final collection to be handprinted. I find that process is so important to me as a designer and I feel that this had stemmed from seeing the printing process in India.

In the Studio

Today was a good day in the studio. I initially went to Helen’s workshop on repeat prints. I have always been interested in repeat prints due to my interest in textiles for interiors. It was really helpful to see the tips and tricks to create an exact repeat. The standard start size is 30cm X 30cm but I think I will practice with a smaller square. I need to practice with simple motifs and use different formats of repeats and then move on to adding backgrounds. I don’t feel that repeat prints are entirely relevant to my project right now but I really enjoyed the workshop and look forward to developing it.

I finished off some more drawings and a few things in my sketchbook. Then it was Alice Kettles talk. Her work was all about using textiles to draw and therefore portray a message. Since I am doing a more illustrative project at the moment it was very relatable. I also found her collaborative work really inspiring, she was passionate about how other artists have developed her work. She expressed the importance of cross disciplinary collaboration and how this has broadened her horizons.

I didn’t have a tutorial today but I am very clear on what I want and need to achieve in the next week.  Tomorrow I must finish off any initial drawings for Dubrovnik and start drawing out some script ideas. I can then progress this into prototyping next week.  If I have time tomorrow I would like to print some designs in the card sizes and scales I am interested in. My sketchbook is falling apart so on the weekend I need to think of a way to bind it, Irene has been suggesting that I need to think about sketchbook as a part of my portfolio now and should treat it that way.


Script Cards

When deciding on the format of the cards I wanted two to be script cards. I plan for the other 6 designs to detailed but still simple, therefore there may not be room for script on every card. I also like the idea of the cards being as versatile as possible so if they don’t have script on them they could bought for or by anyone interested in travel. I also hope to use these two script cards to tie the line of cards together.

The over arching style of the cards are hand crafted but luxury. Therefore I need to chose the script font wisely to reflect this. I also wanted the line of cards to be more exciting and stylish then other retirement cards already available. I need to research into what sort of phrases I want to use, I will stay away from humour as I want the cards to remain sophisticated.

I started looking into a few different companies and what script cards they create:

Creative Feel

Creative Feel is a single designer company mainly operating online. The company specialises in hand lettering and and gold foiling. I like the simplicity of these cards and how they are only script. I feel that this will contrast from my other cards as I am designing them to be detailed and busy. The use of foils on the script adds a level luxury that I wish to achieve with my designs. I have already experimented with foiling and flocking on my block prints and think that I would now like to bring in flocking into script to as well as the prints. The middle card uses negative space to show the script and I feel that using watercolour on the script cards would allow me to bring in the watercolour and hand painted style into the script cards. There is a possibility that the script cards could look very segregated from the printed cards so I think bringing in the watercolour will tie all of the collection together.


This is a slightly different design from the Creative Feel however it shows the possibility of tying in pattern and script. I feel that a wreath design has the connotations of christmas it has given me some ideas to maybe create borders from details within my designs. Then I would add script to the middle.

Apple Of My Eye

Apple of my eye is another small company. The company designs and makes cards. What I found particularly interesting was the type face they use.


It is much simpler then other cards however it is simple and effective. It has a clean look to it. I feel that this may standout well against my other cards and I would like to experiment with this type face on my cards to see how it sits. I feel that it keep the cards simple and sophisticated.


Paperchase is a well know high street retailer. It has a wide range of stationery and paper products. I found some cards when I was in store that have a slightly different approach to the script cards.

The card on the left has an all over print with the script in negative space. I really like this idea of creating a busy all over print and then removing the the script. I feel that this could allow me to create a repeat print to compliment the placement prints and combine script.

I also like the simplicity of the note cards on the right. When looking at other retirement cards the script is usually classic calligraphy so I feel that I need to keep this in mind when designing. I have two cards designated to script so I have the option to have a busier design and a simple design.

Card Sizes


During a previous tutorial I realised that I wanted to make smaller cards. This is for a few reasons; I want the cards to be classic and sophisticated; aimed at travellers so can’t be nuisance and finally I want to keep them simple. All these points were based on my target market and what I think would be appropriate for them.

When playing around with the sizes I started with A5. This size is the largest I would want them to be, compared to the others in seems too large. However, if I am going to incorporate the concept of the card being a gift or something coming off of it to keep then the card needs to be a bit bigger. I like the square cards and the look of them. I feel that they are dainty and sophisticated. However my prints so far have been tailored to a more portrait look. I would have to develop my designs if I decided to go with this idea.  The A6 cards are a great size and will look simple. I think I need to play around with them and cut some out to see how small they are. I want my prints to be detailed without being too crowded so maybe the A6 could be too small.

I was thinking about the idea of having landscape cards. I feel that it will compliment the theme of the project. It will allow for designing and creating a skyline or landscape of architecture. I would have to decide where I would want the fold; on the above image it is on the left but it could be along the top.

I need to decide on more designs now but I can now tailor my designs to the sizing of a card. It will allow me to start prototyping. I also want to start thinking about the layout of the cards and the design. The theme lends itself to placement prints but I can play around with layouts and sizing of the prints. I also need to think more about the inside of the cards and the back. Due to the fact I will be designing for the Tom Smith range there is more options to design all parts of the card as it is a more luxury market. Therefore a higher price range.

Professional Practice- CV

I have to admit I haven’t been keep my CV up to date. Before this session I decided to have a quick look at it and realised it was about 3 years out of date and absolutely not relevant to the Art and Design industry. At the beginning of the session we looked into avenues to find jobs and I was surprised to find that there are graduate schemes in art and design. It got me thinking about what I want after uni and I really like the idea of doing a masters. However I think I may take a year or two out to get some experience.

We went through all the key aspects of a CV and what we should include. It was interesting to hear that it should be on 2 pages maximum and one page is even better, it highlights that people don’t have time to look through loads of pages. Its important to get the relevant things on there and not over crowd it. We have another session on CV building and Es wants us to bring in a rough CV. I feel like this will be more helpful to me as I am not sure what things I should be including and what is the most important. I have done a lot more things within my time in uni and gained more experience in a range of things.

I am currently setting up a Linked In account. I want my CV to go hand in hand with this.

Organising My Schedule

Today was a lot of organising myself and schedule. Since coming back from Korea I have spent a lot of time catching up. I feel like I’m starting to get there, my dissertation still needs a lot of work and time.

We help out first Summer Degree Show meeting today with the committee. It was successful in getting some ideas down on paper and getting the ball rolling. We have done some quick research into ideas and also how to sell work in uni. I feel that the process of fund raising and working together is good work experience. We have some exciting ideas to talk about in the co-hort tomorrow.

I have been reflecting on the tutorial that I had last week and there a few things I need to do tonight:

-Research Card Shapes

-Finish Mood-boards

-Split board into eight and decide whats going on each card

I also need to continue drawing and developing design ideas. I still have a lot to do but if I keep going at this pace I will keep up and hopefully more.

My Space

I wanted to organise my space so I could clearly see the progression of my work. In previous tutorials I have decided to have 2 cards for 3 different places and two cards for script.


I decided to move my mood boards to the side so I could use the whole pin board. It made it very clear which areas I had more initial research for. I need to do more research into script as I haven’t thought about it yet. The script cards are highly important and will bring the whole collection together. I also need to draw more of Dubrovnik.

I have plenty for initial drawings for Hong Kong and experimental prints.

Independent Study day

I forgot that today wasn’t our workshop day anymore so I felt like I was a bit in the way. However I managed to get some more prints done. The purpose of today was to develop my printing skills by using layered blocks. I also wanted to develop the backgrounds I have been using and the possible textures that can be created.

After doing a test print I to print on backgrounds that I had already created.

I’m currently struggling with the colour mixing. I’m finding it easier to get the colours mixed to match my colour palette with the inks but I am still struggling with watercolour backgrounds. However I still like the outcome of these prints. The first print is on a simple spice coloured background painted with watercolours with the wet on wet technique. I printed only the outline block and I feel that the detailing of the print is very clear. The second print is the same process however I decided to use the two pink shades in my colour palette. This is because when talking to Keireine I realised that I need to use colour to bring in the female target market. The third print and forth prints have a more controlled background but still watercolour. To create the first background I printed the background with watercolour. The watercolour kept the shape of the block well but had a softer and freer edge. The fourth print is of the background block and I feel that the combination of the pink and navy compliment each other well but aren’t quite in my colour palette. The background was created by drawing loosely around the block and using the wet on wet technique. I like the contrast between the detailed blocks and this simpler and blocky print. I put a lot of ink on this block and I like the textured edges of the print. I would like to experiment more with the creating texture with the blocks.

I then went onto to use the two blocks together. I was really pleased with the outcomes. I need to develop the colours more but I really like the aesthetic of layering blocks together. I need to practice printing with these larger blocks so I can get sharper and clearer prints. The blue on blue print fits well in my colour palette and has come out relatively clear. I feel the subtle blue wash background breaks away from the white. The mulberry on navy print is really bold and looks very modern. I particularly like the soft pink background as it contrasts with the print and gives a more feminine edge. I feel the print could be clearer however I do feel the speckled effect adds to the hand crafted feel.

I want to bring in a lot of texture into my work as IG are looking for a textiles spin on their products. Therefore I decided to experiment with flocking and foiling. In the paper industry foiling and glitter are used a lot to enhance the products. I wanted to use some high end finishes as I am designer for the Tom Smith range and that has a more luxury feel to it. I used the glue used for screen printing. It is very thick and difficult to roll on so I wasn’t sure how it would work or how it would look. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes. Some detailing was lost but overall the outcome looks good and has a new texture to it. The colours of the flock work well in my colour palette and add a luxury feel. The foiling lost a lot of the detail however I feel that I would like to experiment with the foiling again and see if I can get more detailing. I think I need to cut a block with deeper groves and for the details to be more spaced apart. I do feel that the brown paper combined with the foils looks to christmassy for my card range.