Thursday, 8 May 2014

Evaluation of Term 2

Overall, during the second term of the second year at University I have learned a lot about my personal style and preferred way of working. The projects that I have initiated myself have all ended up being based on watercolour. This has been what my second year is all about and I believe I have progressed not only in using the media, but inventing new styles which challenge my abilities as an illustrator. I believe I have taken risks in the sense that I have trusted traditional techniques to make my work professional rather than relying on digital medias to 'touch up' my traditional work.

This term has demonstrated my progression with watercolour and I can see this developing even further in the future and into the third year of University. However, I am still open to other techniques and developments to experiment and challenge myself even more.

Difficulties I have come across include accepting the lack of feedback at the end of the Innovation project brief. This knocked my confidence greatly and I felt that I was unable to progress with that particular work any longer until a new project was initiated. I have found the last year extremely hard with aspects of my personal life disrupting my motivation to do well in my academic life. This is something I want to, and am currently working on. I believe that a positive outlook on life will allow me to take more risks and improve my illustration skills greatly.

However, positives of this term include my new found love of watercolour and my relationship with the media. I have learned to take risks when painting for example, painting straight onto paper without sketching the drawing out first. Also, I am continuing to learn how to control the medium to create what I have envisioned rather than relying on 'happy accidents'. General good points would include myself being more open to the art world as a professional career and getting myself out there more. I am starting to view my work in a more professional setting and stepping out of my comfort zone. Dealing with the missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370 has also allowed my illustration to mature greatly compared with previous projects.

In my third year I hope to continue to develop my own personal style and narrow down a route into illustration which I am passionate about. I will work on being positive to enable me to achieve goals and set high targets. I need to improve the rate in which I work and learn to create illustrations at a quicker pace, perhaps setting myself shorter targets/ briefs. Third year will be all about getting my work out there more, self-promotion and becoming a professional. It is important that I have a strong mind set when I leave University so I can accomplish my dream, to be a successful illustrator known all over the world.

Let's see what next year has to offer!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Packaging Design for Cosmetics Brand

As part of my self initiation to take on briefs outside of my University course, I took on a challenging brief to design for cosmetics packaging. This was set by a third year student at the University of Huddersfield studying fashion marketing. As the work would be for Uni work purposes only I was happy to go forward with the brief without expecting payment.

Here is the brief which was sent by the student:



Distribution: Harrods Harvey Nichols Selfridges Betsey Johnson Flagshire Stores

Competitors: Illamasqua Mac Bobbi Brown

What I need done:    (Could the type/colour/weight be on the outer packaging somewhere)

I want a white base with a coloured illustration, these few images over the next two pages are kind of something that I am looking, so i’ll let you decide what the best thing to do is, since you know what you are doing!
the packaging design needs to be appropriate for the market it will be placed in and and as good as it’s competitors packaging!

To begin with I noted down things which related to each colour of the products so it would give me inspiration for my illustrations.


For the theme of siren I immediately thought of greek mythology and how 'sirens' would lure in their naval prey through harmonious song. I wanted to reflect on the nautical theme in the illustrations as well as focusing on the mascara product. Therefore I decided to only include the eyes in the facial features to highlight the use of the product.

I think both illustrations are effective and even when given a pink hue in Photoshop, the details are enhanced and romanticised. When I had sent the images to the client she thought the first illustration would better suit the foundation packaging but loved them both! Therefore, I didn't need to design a separate illustration for the foundation 'honey' theme as it was already decided that an illustration would be used.


The punk'd theme sparked stereotypical visuals to mind: more gothic, expressive and rock themes. As it is for packaging, I decided to keep to my original thoughts even if it meant being literal as I felt it would illustrate the product in the most effective way.

As the packaging was for lipstick, I focused on the mouth for this illustration. This effectively highlights the use of the product as well as keeping it with the theme. The passionate expression reflects on the stereotypical nature of punks and adds a sense of dynamics. The nose piercing also reflects on the punk'd theme and the stars relate to the print Betsey Johnson often uses in her products.

The client was pleased with this illustration and was impressed by the touch of red along with the blue, suggesting I add red tones into the previous illustrations. As requested I added the tones which I think is effective and breaks up the blue tones.


The goddess theme immediately made me visualise beauty, elegance, romanticism and wealth. Immediately I thought of a peacock's feathers as they are naturally beautiful and demonstrate all of the themes which I thought of.

I love the delicate tones of the watercolour in this illustration, although once presented to the client I agreed that it didn't fit the brief and strayed from the style of the other illustrations. Therefore, I created a new illustration though incorporating the peacock feathers as a symbolism of beauty and elegance.

Below is the initial sketch and the watercolour illustration. The hidden face behind the face portrays a sense of 'blushing' whilst the feathers signify the beauty and elegance of the 'goddess' theme.

Overall, the client was happy with what I had produced. With a few suggestions and minor changes, I am happy with the outcomes and would definitely produce work similar to this again. Hopefully the client will get back to me soon with mock-up packaging designs and I will be able to show my illustrations in context!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Business Card Case Design

To make my business cards more unique, I wanted to design a simple but effective case that they could be carried in. Through online research, I was led to a blog 'D.I.Y or Don't' (click on image below for link to site) which demonstrated how a simple envelope could be designed to hold a business card.

A template was provided which could be printed on the back of some printed paper to make a fun and interesting case like these:

D.I.Y or Don't's personalised envelopes

Template with instructions

From this, I thought it would be a great idea to create my own patterned paper in Photoshop using my simple logo design.

Personalised patterned paper

I then followed the instructions on how to make the envelope, cut and mounted the two sides of the business card onto card with spray mount. Et volia!

Here is the final product:

Final Designs

Of course, the business cards would ideally be printed professionally which will be done at some point in the future. For now, my business cards are elegant, simple, informative and provide the client with a snapshot of my work. A very successful design indeed!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Designing a Personal Business Card

Initial Thoughts:

For the promotional part of the self-initiated brief, I decided that the best way to get my name out there would be so design some business cards. My aim is so create a simple yet effect design so that potential clients or even those interested in my personal work, get a sense of my style and most importantly provide links to my email and social networking sites, including this blog, which includes my work as a budding illustrator.

First of all, I felt it was important to create business cards based on my current style which I am developing. At the moment I have been creating a lot of watercolour illustrations, therefore I chose to include these as the main feature of the front cover on the business card.

Designing the Front Cover:

Using Canva , the same website I used to create a new cover photo for my Facebook page, I used a business card template to help me start my designs. Here are several front cover business card designs using my own watercolour illustrations. The slightly transparent black strip along the top of the card helps break up the image and allows me to add text in a clear way so it doesn't get lost in the tonesof the illustrations.

The website also allowed me to manipulate some of my illustrations using a filter once place in the template.

I think the filter does enhance my illustrations in interesting ways, though I do like the authenticity of my original watercolours which prove I have a sense of tone.

From all of the designs I created, one stood out to me the most and I feel relates to me personally over the other watercolour designs.

Front cover of business card

The magpie watercolour illustration is elegant yet subtle, just what I want people to see in my work. Personally, I have always loved the beauty of the magpie and so this highlights my interests as an illlustrator, and also my interests in nature. It is simple and not over-powering, alluring any viewer into seeing what more I have to offer. I just want to give the client a taster of my work so that they can use the links on the back of the card to see more and then hopefully contact me for potential commissions!

Designing the Back Cover:

The back cover of the business card is the most essential part in my opinion. This is where personal contact details, websites and blogs are found so that potential clients can get in touch with the artist/ illustrator. I will include my name, email and links to my blog, Facebook and Twitter. This is all the information which I regard as essential at this present time as an illustrator. I will not include a personal statement about me as an illustrator on the card itself as I don't want to make it too busy and overwhelm the design. Therefore, I have included this information in the 'a bit about me' section on this blog and also in the information section on my Facebook page 'Carla Taylor Illustration'.

As I had chosen the watercolour magpie as the front cover of the business card, I wanted the back to compliment the illustration. Therefore, I choose the background colour as a light blue to reflect the tint of colour in the magpie's wing. 

Logo Design based on magpie
The next stage was to add my signature logo which I had designed myself on Photoshop and use as my display picture. However, as I couldn't delete the white background on Canva, I had to change the colour of the logo on Photoshop. To get the correct colour I used the colour code to select the right one.

Matching the colour in Photoshop
New logo design

Logo is now embedded into the background.

 Once I was happy with the background, I then added the details including the same semi-transparent strip along the top to compliment the front cover, and also all of the text. Icons relating to each social media account helps bring more visual to the back cover and uses less space, making room for the important information.

Back cover of business card

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome. The design is simple enough not to clutter the business card too much, but still holds all of the required information. The front cover can be updated to suit the style of the illustrations I am working on at the time, and the colour scheme of the back can be easily altered.