I’ve been following the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course since late April, and we’re now reaching the end if module 2; “Creating Your Professional Identity.” There’s been so much information packed into this module that I’m taking it slowly, absorbing the lessons and taking some time to consider the exercises. Having come from twenty-five years as a graphic designer in a busy and high-pressure environment, with a fast turnaround on all projects, usually to someone else’s brief, I’m happy, for once, to have the time to let the ideas develop at my own pace and for my own style to begin to find it’s voice.
This week, after several weeks of doodling, I started to tackle one of the briefs from Module 2 to design a range of sophisticated stationery. I tried not to be influenced by anyone else’s styles and just go whichever way felt right for me. I think this feels right, it comes from my love of rich, deep colours and ornate designs, fused with a bit of vintage/Art Nouveau or Art Deco, texture and pattern. I suspect it’s still influenced by some of my favourite styles in the likes of Paperchase; I could see it fitting in on their shelves quite happily (as long as they don’t copy it!). I can also imagine the notebook or diary being manufactured in fabric with embroidery or jacquard satin for the background detail and the flower motif in appliqué, or the ring binder cover having a spot UV varnish on the flower and icon elements.
It’s still a little bit random, initially I envisaged something a little more formal (as on my initial rough layouts, shown below; these were more symmetrical), but I like the variety and looseness in this. I’m still wondering if I should play around with some more formal arrangements, or re-trace the elements more crisply to get a more sophisticated look. These are scanned and traced and a little bit wobbly. I probably still need to go back and try and get them traced more cleanly at least. I think I’m going to throw it open to my fellow ABSPD students for their feedback, as I’d really like to know what they think, they have all been such a great source of support and constructive criticism on this journey so far.