Monday, September 9, 2013

Fat Boy, a behind the scenes look at my design process

So I often talk about all of these projects that keep me constantly busy & overwhelmed at times. But until a few of you started asking to see what I was working on, I hadn't thought about sharing my workload. I'm not even sure why, really. I love seeing what everyone else is working on, especially process/progress posts and snippets. So I thought I'd share a project that I'm currently working on for class. 
This is where I'm at for my progress critique (that's today, actually! Wish me luck!) where we have to have a rough version of our "mock-up". I'm redesigning a cigar brand. "Fat Boy" has been quite fun to work with thus far. When I first landed on this idea for the project, I immediately went to one of our local "high-end" cigar shops in Nashville. 
I'm quite a fan of hands-on research, whether that be visiting a place, testing the product (though, no cigars for me, yuck! heh), or interviewing as many people as will allow me. There's just something amazingly helpful about getting a deeper, first-hand look at something you're working on. Especially when I see some of my class-mates who are more often just leaving their "research" up to the first page of google search. You just can't understand a product or brand that way. 
But anyway, the cigar shop was wonderful but I felt really out of place, hah. There's a smoking section with old leather chairs and dark wood furniture & darkly painted walls for the men who frequent the place. & There were quite a few of them there and none were really excited when I, a peppy, frilly dressed gal, busted in with a sketchbook, a camera phone & a million questions. 
I was lucky that the owner of the place was  just happy to have someone listen to him and his ideas of what would make a more helpful design from a shop-owner's point of view. He also talked to me about the history of cigars, the different brands, why a wood box vs. a tin, the width and length, etc. We talked for well over an hour and he was lovely enough to let me take pictures and sketch a bit, provided, of course, that I promised not to post the photos online. (I think he was worried he'd get robbed.) 
But that all brought me to pages and pages of notes and doodles in my sketchbook, an Evernote notebook full of inspiration, and about a million ideas of where to go with the project. 
I toyed with the idea of picking a brand that would allow me to make a more elegant "lady cigar" but decided that it was too obvious and I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. I have a feeling that I'll be designing quite a few more "masculine" things this semester because of that. 
But that's all for now. I'll update you guys on how the rest of the project turns out as we get closer to the final critique. But I hope that helps you guys see a bit of how I work, and what goes on behind the scenes of my designs & illustrations. What do you think? Would you like to see more things I'm working on? And what's your research and beginning process method for starting a new project? 

 photo ziedarlingsign.jpg


  1. I love the design you created!! xo

  2. Your fat boy design is golden! Totally love it.
    I hope the critique went well.


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