It’s time for the 2017 Employee Design Challenge!

MAR 31, 2017

Every week, Spoonflower employees watch from the sidelines as you, our creative community, participate in the weekly design challenges. For one week out of the year, the roles are reversed and employees step off the sidelines and onto the design field to create a design for the annual employee design challenge. This year, employees were tasked with creating a design inspired by the theme Opposites Attract. From organic to geometric and sea to sky, our talented staff got right to work creating their design challenge entries. Want to learn more about the designs for this year’s challenge? Read on to see how four team members created their designs and don’t forget to vote for your favorite designs by Tuesday at 3pm EDT! 


Loud / Quiet

Pages from recycled books help bring Leah’s entry, Loud / Quiet, from idea to design.

Leah : Between working full-time, getting a second college degree, and fixing up my old farmhouse, my life is a dichotomy between loud and quiet. I attempted to capture that in my design using materials from one of my favorite things: books. When I worked in a library I saved all the old, discarded books that were destined for the dumpster and have used them in various pieces of art through the years.

I started ripping the pages into small pieces and glueing them to a square piece of cardstock to make two lines across the page. These lines were the loud parts and the empty spaces between became the quiet. Once I had two lines, I cut the page into quarters and pieced it together to create my seamless repeat. Then, I uploaded the design into Photoshop and started playing. I applied the negative filter and was pleasantly surprised. The darkness of the quiet spaces was perfect and the bright blue of the loud words stood out against the black.


Sprout Patterns – Director
Sea and Sky Opposites Attract

Inspired by a trip to Belize, Caroline focuses on the sea and sky for her design challenge entry. P.S. Yes – those are Sloan leggings!

Caroline : Recently I was fortunate enough to spend several weeks on a small island off the coast of Belize. It is one of the last places with a living barrier reef in the world. Seeing sea life up close (yes, that’s me hugging a shark!) made a huge impression on me. Simply being able to look up into a clear blue sky and see the stars, or the sun rise in the morning is a blessing. It’s easy to take the world around us for granted. Thinking of the theme “Opposites Attract”, I wanted to focus on the sky and the sea. There is moisture in the atmosphere and oxygen in a water molecule. It’s easy to think that these elements are opposite, but I think they’re actually inextricably connected.

Caroline is excited to share that 50% of all proceeds from her Sea and Sky collection will be donated to the Sierra Club! 



Graphic Designer
Lines Meet Curves

Organic and geometric shapes lead the inspiration for Alexis’ design challenge entry

 Alexis :
For the Opposites Attract Staff Challenge I wanted to make something that combined different shapes and lines; curved/organic with straight/geometric. I first sketched on paper and then moved into Illustrator to create all the elements, then built out the pattern and made it repeat. The last step was adding blocks of color and coloring the different groups of elements. I ended up going with a color scheme that combined cool and warm color so there was an additional level of opposites in the design.

Social Media Manager
Inhale // Exhale

Why yes — that is a dinner plate being used as a paint mixing palette! Resourcefulness at its finest.

Theresa:  My design was inspired by something I spend a lot of time trying to achieve: balance. When life starts to feel too cluttered I organize. When I get too comfortable I create change, and when I start to feel anxious I breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling to try to find calm. Somehow, that’s what I was trying to capture in this design, inspired by yin and yang–the Chinese philosophy for duality and complementary forces.

My process is to first mix up the colors I want to work with, then take paint to watercolor paper. I then scan it in and arrange the repeat in Photoshop, cleaning up any unwanted strokes along the way before saving it and uploading to Spoonflower.

Inspired to participate in an upcoming design challenge? Get started with our upcoming design challenges.

Vote Now in the Employee Design Challenge.

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