I have always been fascinated by design. All types of design, from architecture to fashion and of course stationery, invitations and gifts. One of my favorite things is the chat with other designers about what their process is for coming up with new ideas. Many take inspiration from the world around them (I certainly do), some look for trends in other areas. Everyone has to come to their own process of how they design. But I thought that it might be interesting to share what our process is. It typically starts with an idea about a new personalized gift product that we want to create. So first comes the leg work of finding and vetting a manufacturer for the product. That part is challenging in itself because we need to make sure that the product that we put out there with the Confections name is only top notch. Once that is worked out we start coming up with the ideas for what the end product is going to look like. Is it going to be pattern based (my specialty) or are we going to have a fabulous illustration on there (that's Amy's department). Who are we thinking is going to be the user of the product? A girl, a boy, a grandma, a new graduate, a mom? Who is our target market and what would they like to see? What would appeal to them. We get as much information on our market as we can. That means for us asking our family, friends and clients what they think. Not the most scientific way of conducting research, but we like it that way. Armed with our information we look to colors (this is one of my favorite parts) and decide what colors work together for the look that we are trying to achieve. Next comes either the drawing of the illustration or the start of a pattern. Amy starts her illustration process with bristol board and some number 2 pencils. I start with a blank Adobe Illustrator artboard. As any designer will tell you there are times when designs just flow, ideas are pouring out and you are sure that there is no way that you will be able to get it all out fast enough. And then there are the other times when you are stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. When that happens around here the team at Confections turn to each other and say "help". It's amazing what good old fashion brain storming can do for a stuck designer!
Once all the creative processes are done then we get to do sample products. I love that part. It is always exciting to me see the new product sample come into the shop. Does it look like we had hoped? How do the colors compare to what they thought they would be? Do we like it in person as much as we thought it would? Now most of the time we are pleased with our samples and take the necessary steps to add it to the personalized gift line. Occasionally we get a dud, and that is always a bummer. But it gives us good motivation to keep looking for the next great product!
One of my favorite things to look at is the Pantone Color Forecast....love it!
This is what Amy's illustrations look like before we make them "Confections" ready....here also is the finished product with her illustration. A fun Cinco de Mayo invitation!