BRIEF RECAP & CUSTOMER PROFILE

It’s so easy to verge off from the initial brief, especially when the creative juices flow. However, throughout this brief, I have made sure to stop and take stock of what has been produced and make sure that the brief has been adhered to; for me, this has been an invaluable method to grow as a creative, designer, and a professional. Throughout the brief, I have always understood my client (John Lewis) and customer request, which got me thinking of one of the first sessions I had as a group with Sian and Helen.

We threw ‘buzz words’ around to delve into the world of the customer, and tried to create a profile:

CLIENT: JOHN LEWIS – ‘Create a coordinating collection of 6 patterns to be digitally printed for the female 25-40 age range for Spring/Summer ‘19

CHOSEN TREND: BUSY BLOOMS 

KEY FOCUS: FULL-BLOOM, COLOUR, FORM, TEXTURE, BOLD ALL-OVER DESIGN, MIXED TEXTURES, LUSH LARGE COROLLAS

DEMOGRAPHIC: 25-40 YEAR-OLD FEMALE

BUZZ WORDS (For My Collection): QUALITY, SOPHISTICATED, REFINED LIFESTYLE,  DESIGN-FOCUSED, COMMERCIALLY AWARE, PROFESSIONAL, HOUSE PROUD, CONTEMPORARY, CLASSIC, RICH YET SUBDUED, FRESH, CHIC

By revisiting the ideas and concepts at the early stages of the design process I am now able to create a few customer profiles:

CUSTOMER 1

GENDER: Female

AGE: 26

OCCUPATION: Retail Manager

DRIVES: No Car/ Employment within walking distance

LEVEL OF EDUCATION: College

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Single

LIVES: Trendy Loft apartment within the city centre. A bustling area within the city. Great High Street. Plenty of Department Stores.

HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION: No children. One Cat.

HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Drawing. Design Focused Magazine Subscription. Travel. Animals.

SHOPPING PREFERENCE: Oliver Bonas. Gap. Mango. Tesco

BUDGET: £50-£100

INDIVIDUAL STYLE: Trendy, Well groomed, Fashion Forward

 

CUSTOMER 2

GENDER: Female

AGE: 33

OCCUPATION: ASSOCIATE EDITOR

DRIVES: Mini Cooper S

LEVEL OF EDUCATION: Undergraduate/Degree

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Engaged

LIVES: City suburb. A mix of independent and outlet village shops.

HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION: Fiance. No children. 2 Dogs.

HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Fashion. Travel. History. Design. Food

SHOPPING PREFERENCE: Vivienne Westwood. Zara. John Lewis. Sainsbury’s

BUDGET: £150-£300

INDIVIDUAL STYLE: Sophisticated. Fashion-Forward. Classic. Fresh.

 

CUSTOMER 3

GENDER: Female

AGE: 40

OCCUPATION: HEADMISTRESS

DRIVES: Audi A5

LEVEL OF EDUCATION: Postgraduate/Degree

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Married

LIVES: Country. An affluent area outside the city but close enough to commute. Plenty of Arts and Craft and independent stores. Beautifully landscaped gardens.

HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION: Husband. Two children. 2 Dogs. 1 Cat

HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Travel. Reading. Food & Wine. Socialising at Dinner Parties.

SHOPPING PREFERENCE: Monsoon. Harvey Nichols. Dolce & Gabanna. Waitrose

BUDGET: £350-£500

INDIVIDUAL STYLE: Professional, Simple, Classic, Timeless

Looking back to look forward is my life mantra; it helps me amalgamate ideas, concepts and thoughts into one cohesive principle. The 3 customer profiles above have given me an even greater understanding of who my customer base would be, which will allow me to fine-tune my designs and collection even further. Not only that, I am able to use this market research to build a range of future collections for specific budgets etc.

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS VISUAL HANDWRITING?

Hand-writing is your own personal style. It’s the bit that sets you are apart. That’s the mark-making you employ, or the medium you use. It can also be affected by the style/ genre you are working within.

It is vitally important to have your own Visual Handwriting, what are you without it?

What is Identity? The characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is.

Synonyms of Identity: INDIVIDUALITY, SELFHOOD, EGO, PERSONALITY, CHARACTER, ORIGINALITY, DISTINCTIVENESS,  DISTINCTION, SINGULARITY, UNIQUENESS

What is Identity important? Well, it differentiates between me and the next person. Imagine a world in which we all dress the same, look the same, come up the same ideas and create the same designs; not a world in which I want to belong in. But why is it so important to have my own unique visual handwriting? It defines who I am as an artist and is a direct result of how I interpret the world around me.

I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own today. If I copied the work, specifically floral designs of other artists, would the work look identical or would my visual handwriting create a new story?

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Is my identity the marks I make in my art? Is it how I interpret the subject matter through my own two eyes? I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this Tulip/Floral arrangement; it allowed me to expand my mark-making repertoire, which in turn will allow me to become a more experienced and creative artist.  Cabinet (Oak, veneered with marquetry of various woods, copper, pewter, tortoiseshell, horn and lapis lazuli), 1680 – Andre-Charles Boulle. 

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I was instantly drawn to this design; having spent nearly all of my childhood spring/summer in my garden,orchards or woodlands abroad, the imagery of apple blossom is synonymous with warmth and magical nature adventures with my Dad. Drawing this allowed me to pour some of my happiness into the drawing in the form of adding a little pink and purple, which strangely in the past I would not consider. Apple/Pirus malus en Peer/Pirus communist, 1905, Lithograph – Theo Nieuwenhuis

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I did not want to incorporate the colour from this design, but rather tried to encapsulate the essence of the corolla and large petal size (looking at the WGSN Trend forecast from BUSY BLOOMS). For me, the most important aspect of this exercise was learning which of my own preferred techniques could offer the most dress, unique and new take on a traditional process. For example, I would love to see how COLLAGE could transform this linear drawing into a fully rounded and highly textural design.

What medium would I use for the collage? Could I spend a day creating a varied amount of different exploratory mark-making studies? Could these studies serve as the medium I use to deconstruct and then reconstruct this design?

Spending time utilising the visual handwriting of others has been invaluable; not only have I a new found respect for the creative processes of others, but I have also improved upon my own way of working.

SAY IT WITH FLOWERS: FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT

The Day arrived to share my progress with the group; at 37 I should not really be nervous talking about my work, but for some reason I thought that the work produced so far was not up to my usual standard, hence why I was slightly nervous.

The group was split into 2 ‘teams’, with the sole purpose of documenting the creative and research journey of each person so far. Helen and Sian were available to direct and funnel my ideas into a more coherent design.

WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THIS GROUP CRIT? I found it extremely useful in how we could all help each other progress, not just within our own ideas but rather as a collective. Sharing best practice allowed us all to gain valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each others as artists; knowledge is power, and knowledge deserves to be shared. I was actually really surprised at how positive my feedback was from the tutors and really took all of their advice on board.

AREAS TO CONCENTRATE ON? I need to completely reconsider my Moodboard to allow  a cogent style to underpin my individual style/theme/handwriting. The overall theme was fusing way too many styles, genres and colours…LESS IS MORE!! I completely agreed that the concept needs to be concentrated and more thought out, although I do wish that the tutors had mentioned this in the first place, saving time, energy and resources.

As I had described how much I have enjoyed continuous line and observational drawing, I thought that this could be one of the core values of my collection. Helen told me to research into designers and artists featuring this style within their own work and to deconstruct these concepts, with the prime goal of reconstructing ideas in my own fresh, unique and contemporary way.

What I will need to explore in conjunction with my linear observational studies are the elements of rich, yet subdued colour, bold all-over print, texture and the theme of GENDER FLUIDITY.

What I want to encapsulate within my collection is the core value that GENDER SPECIFICITY no longer matters when looking at design. The roles of Men and Women have blurred, and this will become obvious within my designs. Who says that the target of audience of a 25-40 year old woman has to incorporate pinks and ornate florals. Would my choice of colours, heavily influenced/inspired by the COMMON GROUND trend, allow a greater audience to enjoy, and ultimately buy into my my brand/me as an individual.

SEASON COLOUR

NEXT STEPS? To combine observational studies with a palette of colour.Sian mentioned having a look at a company called TIMOROUS BEASTIES, which are comparable to the gender fluid designs I aim to create.

http://www.timourousbeasties.com

The company acts as a global design studio tackling commissions for Interiors, Exteriors and Exhibition, and also collaborates with other stores, consultancies, studios and artists. Founded in 1990 by Alistair McCauley and Paul Simmons Both Textile Designers), the company has gone from strength to strength and is now considered an Internationally Acclaimed Icon of Design. I genuinely think they are creative pioneers, covering the whole market; is there anything they cannot do? Their designs span to areas such as stationary, commissions for hotels, aeroplanes, gift sets, eateries, luggage, book covers, wallpaper, fabrics, soft furnishings, designs for food vans, music programme visuals, confectionary wrappers, luxury cake and biscuit tin design….the list goes on.

I must now push on to consolidate my style, theme and visual handwriting. My task this week will be explore/experiment in mark-making and incorporating all the elements I have discovered to make this a fresh and exciting take on a classic idea. WATCH THIS SPACE.

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