An illustration to be screenprinted on Tote Bags at Clerkenwell Design Week, conveying the idea of Clerkenwell being a blend of old and new traditions, always updating itself through its buildings.
3 Submitted Designs in the Prescribed Pink Colour
Key Things You Learned:
Working with a client and dealing with issues of taste.
Extrapolating information from a live pitch.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of Illustrator.
Conducting research by scouting the place.
Clerkenwell Design Week Marketing Team
Testing the impact of the designs by pinning them up and looking at the from far away. Making sure there is a pay off when you see them up close. Asking lots of people what they think it communicates.
Influencing your Future:
While I’m not the greatest fan of the pink, I enjoyed the project because I haven’t illustrated anything in a long time. I realised that I’m not too bad at it and, for once, it was nice to go back to doing some good ol’ illustrator work. This is a skill that I wouldn’t have included in my toolkit if it wasn’t for this project, now I know it’s something I can offer in the future. Mainly, I can rely on it when working on larger projects to work out some of the details.
Feedback on Designs
- Good Impact of Large C
- Scaffolding is not clear, change colour.
- The texture of the cutout C in the split levels design has potential. It could be used as a background, a surface texture, maybe with specks of white?
- design week, reminds of layers, something to do with construction is clear.
- lighter colour background is best, more contrast.
- Add a bit more depth and meaning to the layers. Place it more in the realm of construction. neither here or there at the moment.
- key lines, rethink for practical reasons. Might not be screen printed properly. Make it more blocky and impactful.
I chose to stick with the more impactful design of the letter C because of the distance at which it would usually be seen on a tote bag. While the other designs might have been more interesting, this one clearly stood out from far away. At the same time, it also had some good detail for the more in-depth viewer, hopefully holding the interest for a while.
I used the white only in the main letterform to make sure that the C is what you first see and understand, the darker pink then revealing extra information. I tried to tie it more to construction and building by adding details of the scaffolding and measurements, although now I’m really regretting that skewed type. I’m a bit concerned about the thin white key lines in the printing process. For this reason, and also because I don’t think the pink block looks great on a tote bag of unknown colour, I made a second design on white. While the first looks better as an image, the second looks better as a tote bag print, I reckon.
A few members of the marketing team of Clerkenwell Design Week pitched us a project, this one more branding-oriented than the others we are currently working on. They challenge us to create an eye-catching design in their trademark pink that is to be applied onto tote bags at the entrance to the event, by Farringdon Station. The successful designs, which will be screen-printed on top of the existing designs on tote bags provided by the public, will be inspired by the Clerkenwell neighbourhood and its growing creative scene. Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is, in effect, a reunion and celebration of the design studios in the area, in particular architecture firms and interior design companies, although it aims to bring together all types of design.
The idea of the tote bag recycling stemmed out of a need to raise awareness about their negative environmental impact; although having been conceived as an alternative to plastic bags, they are equally as harmful. Instead of being an event that carelessly gives away tote bags as souvenirs, CDW attempts to simply recycle and update the ones people might already have lying around.
I think getting people to bring their bags to the event is quite a hard manoeuvre to achieve, especially because I feel the concept isn’t completely solid itself. In any case, the idea of public screen printing is an interesting one, especially when it’s using just a specific colour to create a bold effect rather than normal branding. It was interesting to be able to negotiate with the pitching group, who, like many clients in industry, weren’t 100% sure of what they wanted. A few details, like the size and number of colours possible, need to be established. For now, I will limit myself to idea generation by visiting the area and trying to pick up on its character.