Employee Design Challenge, Pt. 6

MAR 30, 2016 updated Dec 17, 2021
Spoonflower Employee Design Challenge logo. A banner of small blue images of a crayon, computer screen, arrow and scissors runs across a white square. A dark blue ribbon with the words "Employee Design Challenge" runs through the middle of the square. "Meet the Designers" in black thin font is underneath it.

We’re just one day away from finding out who will be winning this week’s Design Challenge, made up entirely from Spoonflower employee entries!

Read on to learn about the inspiration of four more designs and the employees behind them!

Suz: Senior Marketing Associate

Design: Soccer Balls and Oranges

Oranges and soccer balls helped inspire Suz's paper cutout design for the 2016 Spoonflower Employee Design Challenge!

Oranges and soccer balls helped inspire Suz’s paper cutout design for the 2016 Spoonflower Employee Design Challenge!

What was the inspiration for your design? 

Soccer and orange slices are a right of passage, right? My nephew is 2 and a half, and I wanted to make him a travel blanket for his future soccer career (plus I’ll probably want one because it reminds me of the good ol’ days.) I had orange wedges in mind, but when I cut an orange in half for juice this past weekend, I decided that half shape would mimic the soccer ball in a fun way.

How did you create your design entry for the 2016 Spoonflower Employee Design Challenge?

For the orange, I traced a water glass on three different colors of cardstock, and cut outside my pencil line on one and inside the pencil line on the other to create the peel and pith. Then, I cut the last circle like a pizza, creating my “orange slices.”  

What was the hardest part of the Design Challenge?

I needed several hexagon-like shapes for the soccer ball, but the roundness of the ball shortened some shapes and elongated others. 

Figuring out how to evoke that look was the most challenging part. Fortunately I didn’t want them to be exact (that’s the beauty of abstract!) so I started with one semi-measured hexagon and copied it several times and then simply freehand cut the shapes to fit where I wanted them to. 


Molly: Print Room Operations

Design: Float Away

Using a combination of marbling and woodblock printing, Molly created an abstract design from paper strips.

Using a combination of marbling and woodblock printing, Molly created an abstract design from paper strips.

How did you create your design for this week’s Design Challenge? 

I’m a printmaker and this design started with paper that was marbled to give it a base texture. I used light blue colors for the marbling so it would be soft but also add depth before layering on top of that.

I then used a woodblock that was carved and printed with darker purple colors on top of the marbling. Once those pieces were printed onto one singular sheet of paper, I ripped the print into strips.

After the print was just merely strips of paper, I layered them on top of each other. I was able play with different designs created by the layers of paper and how I placed them.

How did you turn your paper stripes into digital form to upload to Spoonflower?

Once I was happy with the layout of the strips, I photographed it and uploaded to Spoonflower. Then, I used the mirror repeat option on my design and made it smaller so it would be even more abstract. 

Float Away by Molly
Float Away by molly_coleman


Ashley: Web Developer

Design: Black + White Corn Silhouette

She's got an ear for good design! She's truly the cream of the crop! For her design entry, Ashley used corn for her printing tool!

She’s got an ear for good design! She’s truly the cream of the crop! For her design entry, Ashley used corn for her printing tool!

What was the inspiration for your Design Challenge entry? 

My staff design challenge was inspired by a technique I had seen in college of using fruit and vegetables to create textures and patterns.

How did you create your design?

I started by cleaning all the silk and leaves off an ear of corn. I painted it lightly with acrylic paint so that it wasn’t dripping but had good coverage.

I pushed a chopstick into each end of the corn ear to use as handles (like a rolling pin). I rolled the ear of corn across a piece of paper to transfer the paint and pick up the texture. I tried a few different variations, turning the corn in different directions and overlapping, but the one pictured above was my favorite. 

Did you use a design program like Photoshop to edit your printed design?

After my paper dried I scanned the paint transfers and tweaked them in Photoshop.

I changed the threshold so there were only two colors in the design and copied/ moved some of the markings around so the design made a seamless repeat.

black + white corn silhouette by Ashley

Black + White Corn Silhouette by Ashley


Leah: Web Developer

Design: Illusions

 Leah lets her doodling take center stage for her Spoonflower Employee Design Challenge entry.

Leah let her doodling take center stage for her Spoonflower Employee Design Challenge entry.

What was the inspiration for your Design Challenge entry?

When I doodle, it’s often simple geometric shapes so I decided to embrace my own subconscious with a design full of lines.

What materials and technique did your use to create your design? 

Using a fine tipped felt pen and a ruler, I drew a series of lines in the middle of a small square of paper.

Then, I cut in half and half again, piecing the parts together until my design was on the edges so that I could make a seamless repeat. Then, I filled in the center of the page with even more lines. I uploaded my design and used the Spoonflower color changer to make the colors bold and bright.

Illusions by Leah

Illusions by leahtsdudley

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  • Hi Sonia,
    Thanks for stopping by the blog! We were really surprised to learn that Ashley created her design with just an ear of corn! I think this technique would be great to use with children. You should try using the leftover part of lettuce for a stamp…the results are beautiful!

  • I like the simplicity and experimental nature of the printed corn makes me want to try some vegies and fruit of my own. Could be a fun activity with children an interesting departure from potato printing