In the latest edition of our Meet the Designer series, we discuss the creative process with Vince Desjardins (Vinpauld), a designer living in Bloomington, Indiana inclined toward trees, birds, and vintage items. Vince recently also made the top 5 in our Aurora Borealis Design Challenge. Visit his Spoonflower shop and read on to learn how he incorporates wildlife into his imaginative ditsy and toile designs.
This week we've got a unique designer and illustrator interview to share with you as part of our SpoonChallenge: Creating a Collection with Bonnie Christine. She attended SCAD, she hails from Brazil, and her name is Sarah Watson. Sarah has done everything from wedding calligraphy, children's book illustration, and packaging design, but her true interest is still, and will probably always be, in textile design. Now, let's delve a little further into Sarah's creative process, her greatest fear (hint: velociraptors), and current aspirations!
We’ve launched into week three of our August SpoonChallenge: A Month of Drawing. If you’re just now joining us, it’s not too late to sign up for the SpoonChallenge to receive daily drawing prompts, creative inspiration, and interviews with amazing illustrators and pattern designers. Share what you’re sketching with the hashtag #spoonchallenge on your social media platform of choice, and see what others are drawing. If you’d like to jump in, follow the link after our artist interview to sign up for the SpoonChallenge!
Meet Leah Goren, a Brooklyn-based illustrator and surface pattern designer whose painted ladies, animals and florals feature in commercial artwork, publications, textiles and other goods.
contest this week for arrow fabric has a special prize, presented in
partnership with Adobe. To celebrate the new seamless repeat tool in
Adobe® Illustrator® CS6 (check out the video on how it works if you missed it), the winner of this week's contest will win a
one-year membership to Adobe Creative Cloud™
as a prize. While it's too late to enter, it's not too late to vote for
your favorite arrow designs! We'll let you know who won next week.
The participants this week are:
1. Endless Op Art Arrows by
2. 15 Minutes of Moxie by meduzy
3. 5 by going_home_to_roost
4. A Boy's Own Archery Set. by
5. A Little to the Left – Blues
in Linen by shelleymade
6. aarows by rar1013
7. Abstract Arrows by saenzdesign
8. Airport Arrows by candytree
9. akhaskett_waikiki by
10. Akkerman_Arrows by
If you haven't checked our upcoming contests page lately, you should know that we've got a couple of amazing prizes around the corner. Our most recent contest partnership is with Adobe, a company whose products have touched all our creative lives, which has introduced a feature specifically for creating repeat patterns as part of their new Adobe® Illustrator® CS6 software. Check out a video on how it works:
The theme of this very special contest will be fabric designs using arrows as a design motif. The amazing piece of all this is that the nice folks at Adobe have agreed
to put up a one-year membership to Adobe Creative Cloud™
as a prize. The membership gives you access to all of Adobe's creative products and services, including Illustrator. Apart from the necessity of submitting a seamlessly repeating design (no centered
designs, please), this one is wide open for your creative interpretation. You
can even explore the new pattern tools in Illustrator CS6 to create your
design; a free 30-day trial is available. Entries will be previewed at the scale of a fat quarter (21" x 18"). Deadline for entry is Tuesday, October 23, 2012. See our Upcoming Contests page for details on how to enter:
Mastering a Master Layout using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop
It’s a great idea to combine several design files into one main file if you know what you want. Specifically, you’ll need know the fabric type you want to print on and its printable width as well as your design size. For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be working with six individual designs that will print onto one yard of our 54-inch wide cotton voile.
Step 1: Know Thy Fabric. Spoonflower fabrics vary in their printable widths. I started this project knowing that the cotton voile is our best hankie material, so I knew that my design would need to fill a yard of voile that measured 54 x 36 inches.
Step 2: Math is Good. Some simple math is required to size the design to print correctly. Our default print resolution is 150 dots per inch (dpi), and the printable width of the cotton voile is 54 inches, so I multiplied 150 dpi by 54 inches to figure out the file width of 8100 pixels. I did the same to figure the file length: 150 pixels x 36 inches = 5400 pixels. I guessed that the handkerchiefs would print three across, but 18-inch hankies (54 divided by 3) seemed more like dinner napkin size than hankie size. I decided to make them 16-inches square instead. 16 X 150 = 2400, so this means that my master file needs to measure 2400 x 5400 pixels at a resolution 150 dpi.
Sub-Step 2.5: Math is Still Good. Now that I know the dimensions I’m working with, I can figure out how to size the individual designs within the master file. I decided on a 16-inch square because that allows for a half-inch of seam allowance all around each design. 16 inches x 3 across = 48 inches, and 52 inches – 48 inches = 4 inches to spare along the entire width. So the inch measurements went: 1 + 16 + 1 + 16 +1 + 16 + 1 = 52 inches total width. My length measurements went 1 + 16 + 1 + 16 + 1 = 35.
This left a bit of extra width and length around my 52 X 35 inch file, but I decided I would simply order the file as a centered design to avoid another partial repeat starting. I’m not much of a perfectionist.
You’ll notice that I created smart guides at every intersection of the aforementioned measurement. (Those are the blue grid lines.) You can create guides by clicking your cursor within the rulers in your workspace, then dragging out the line and dropping it at the mark you want. There is a guide dropped at the first 1-inch seam allowance, then another at the 17-inch mark (1+16=17), and then another at the 18 and 19-inch marks, and so on.
Step 3: Obey Your Master. It’s definitely worth mentioning that your designs need to be sized using the same specifications as your master layout. I also made sure that my individual designs were all in an RGB color space, and that the resolution of 150 dpi and the pixel dimensions agree. In this case, my designs needed to be 2400 pixels square (because 16 inches x 150 dpi = 2400 pixels). When I’m done designing, I always save in the native format (like .ai or .psd), and then also as a .jpg or .png.
Step 4: Come Together. It’s just a matter of importing your completed designs saved as .pngs or .jpgs into the master document now. I prefer using the “Place” function found in the File toolbar menu, but it’s possible to simply drag and drop your files into the master layout canvas. For maximum flexibility, I create a new layer for each individual design. The layout will be likely be rearranged, and keeping organized in this way takes a lot of the work out designing. One thing I’ve learned is to never cut corners and to bite the bullet when it comes time to defining layers, using color swatches, etc. It slows things down, but imagine having to untangle elements into layers later. Yikes!
Step 5: “Importer/Exporter.” (Seinfeld reference – sorry, nerd alert.) Now that all your designs have been carefully imported and placed into the 16-inch square guides, you can save the file and export the master file. The file will be large due to the sheer number of designs it contains, so it’s best to export as a .png or – more likely – a .jpg. Spoonflower’s maximum file upload size is 40MB. Again, make sure that your dpi is 150. This resolution prints well with us and will also help keep your file size down enough to upload to Spoonflower.