Want to spend 12 days learning how to take the glimmer of an idea to a finished fabric design? Join us for 12 Days of Design!
WHAT? We’re wrapping up the year with 12 days devoted to learning how to create a textile design from start to finish. Take a break during this hectic time of year for a personal challenge as we walk you through each step in creating a design ready to upload to Spoonflower. Sign up to receive daily tips via email starting December 1st, 2014 to guide you through the fabric design process. Will you accept the challenge and create a textile design?
HOW? All you have to do is follow along as we provide daily tips on finding inspriation, creating a design element, and uploading to Spoonflower. If you’d like, snap a photo of your progress and use the #spoonchallenge hashtag each day to share your process. You can use this hashtag on your social media outlet of choice. We’ll be rounding up our favorite shots each week to share on the blog!
Today is all about finding inspiration from your environment. Wherever you are, there is so much to see, touch, taste, smell, and hear. Consider how something you encounter or use every single day—a pen, a favorite coffee mug, or even a set of keys—could be considered an interesting design element. Take some time to identify what it is about something that inspires you or draws you in–is it the colors, the layout, or the pattern? Start collecting ideas, thoughts, sketches and photos. Don’t be afraid to document and collect everything that excites you or piques your interest! For today, just gather.
Now that you have gathered inspiration, it’s time to narrow it down and pick a theme! Did your inspirational images include a certain style or do you see the same motif popping up throughout your inspiration gathering process? Once you’ve settled on one theme for your design, create a Pinterest board or physical mood board specifically for that topic.
Want some advice on picking your theme? Eloisa’s blog post is sure to help!
Color palettes don’t have to be intimidating or complicated. The best way to come up with fantastic combinations is to practice. Set a goal of creating a new palette every day, keeping track of them on a site like Colour Lovers. You can create your own custom palette using inspiration from the world around you using an online tool like Adobe Color CC. Start with a palette of 5 different colors and branch out if you need more. Experiment, go wild and have fun!
You have your theme, so it’s time to choose a medium for creating your design. Don’t be afraid to experiment here! You can create with any tools or supplies you like, from crayons to puff paint to digital design software. Mix different ways to create—collage photos and words from a magazine, scan a painting to add digital graphics and text overlays, or bust your fabric stash to add texture and depth to a drawing. Just be creative and have fun–the possibilities are endless!
See the top ten winners of our thermoses contest and see what medium designers chose!
You’ve gathered inspiration, picked a theme, color palette and decided on the medium you want to work with. Now it’s time to get started sketching your initial ideas. Sketch with pen and paper, grab your digital drawing tablet, or jump in and work directly with the medium you’ve chosen for the finished design. Remember, you’re just sketching at this stage, so use whatever tools work best for you to mock up all of the ideas you have.
See examples of how Spoonflower designers have sketched, painted and illustrated their way to gorgeous designs!
Now that you’ve started sketching your artwork, select your design elements by narrowing down or adding to your preliminary sketches. You will want to make the focal points for your design at this stage, isolating and focusing on the standout features of the overall design. With your elements complete, you will arrange them into the pattern you are creating. Your elements can come together in many combinations, so pay attention to what you’re drawn to visually as you’re creating each element. You may find that once you start, less is more, and that’s okay, too!
To upload your images to Spoonflower, you will need to make a digital copy of your design. You can accomplish this by scanning a hand-created image or creating your image in a digital design program. There are many design programs available that will help you create or manipulate your files digitally, including the ever-popular MS Paint and Photoshop, but there are also plenty of free, open-source design tools available online. We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite free design tools, but feel free to use whatever tool is easiest for you.
You’re almost there! Once you’ve uploaded your digital file to Spoonflower, you’re in the home stretch. Check out step by step instructions for uploading your file on the blog today. Once your file is uploaded, the design tools on our site will allow you to do a bit more tweaking, and, of course, you will be able to print your design on any of our fabrics, wallpaper, or gift wrap! How cool is that?!
You’ve uploaded your fabric design. You’ve played with color and repeat. Now it’s time for fine tuning to make sure it’s not only ready for fabric, but also wallpaper and gift wrap. On the blog today, discover how the repeat options can change your design—how a simple switch between basic and half-drop, for example, can result in a wide variety of alternatives.
You change your mind, your outfits and your hairstyles, why not the colors in your new Spoonflower design? No need to go back to Photoshop or your other tool of choice, you can make color tweaks right on our site! Check out the step-by-step process, because change is good!
Looking for other wonderful and FREE ways to digitally tweak your artwork? On the blog today, we’ve rounded up our favorite design resources and are giving away a Wacom Intuostablet to help give your work that extra panache!
Now that you have completed your design, you may want to share it with the world! There are a couple of extra, quick steps that will ensure that your design is visible, and that people looking for similar things can find it! In our final blog post, learn about tags, descriptions and choosing colors to make your design more marketable. Using these tools, you are now able to make your design available to the world!
Congratulations! You’ve completed the 12 Days of Design challenge and are officially a designer! Thank you so much for coming along on this journey with us. Completing a surface design from start to finish in just 12 days is no small feat, and what a way to finish out 2014!
We’ve rounded up some amazing designs created during this challenge—see what others have accomplished on the blog today!
Now that you have the tools, we hope that you’ll continue to create beautiful designs! Don’t let the creating stop here, why not take a plunge and enter an upcoming Spoonflower Design Challenge?