Trend prediction, and its importance

Have you noticed how occasionally several designers will show runway collections inspired by the same things (probably something you wouldn’t have though of yourself: pirates, Victorian Britain, bikers, etc.)? If so, you’ve probably asked yourself what was going on? Did these designers — who are competitors — conspire or steal each others designs? No. What they did do was make the same estimations about trends.

Trends in fashion and in culture emerge at different rates. As a general rule of thumb, if a trend has bubbled away under the surface for some time (and that’s often the case) and then starts to become suddenly much more popular in that underground scene, then it’s probably about to go mainstream. By the time it’s being used in adverts to sell soap, online banking, or whatever have you, it’s already passed its prime as a trend — at least as far as the designer is concerned. Continue reading

“Negative space” in textiles design

Negative space is probably the most difficult concept for non-designers to grasp. If you are designing a floral pattern, why worry about the space around the flowers? This might seem especially an unimportant consideration if the space around the motif is just flat ground. But, in actual fact, that’s when you need to think about it most of all, because it is going to create shapes that will either work with or fight with the shapes of the motifs themselves.

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Fashion, textiles, and the psychology of color

We tend to think of colors as simply what we need to match together in an outfit or a room. But have you ever considered that there is more to color than just appearance?

Color is deeply psychological. First of all, color can create a “mood” or atmosphere, and it can express an emotion, or how we’re feeling. And, color can help us convey an idea or brand image. Mobile phone company Orange used… you guessed it… the color orange for its branding. But why? The tone of orange that the company adopted was a clean, modern color. You wouldn’t really find it in an antique painting, for example. It was close to the orange used frequently in 1960s textiles and fashion. So, it had both a feeling of modernity and of being familiar. Continue reading

Tiff, PSD, JPEG and more: Not all pixels are created equal

By James, Design Development.

Now, I’d like to try and make sense of the difference between a few different Raster Art image formats. All the art/images discussed here will fall into the Raster category. I’ll only talk about the most common even though there is quite a few that you may run across.

Common formats…

.TIFF or .TIF (originally standing for Tagged Image File Format) is a file format for storing images, is widely supported by  Raster manipulation applications, by publishing and page layout applications, by scanning, faxing, word processing, optical character recognition and other applications. This format has goodlossless compression options and allows for saving with layers. Continue reading

Illustrator or Photoshop: do you know the difference?

By James, Design Development.

In this discussion we will use the word “vector” when discussing Illustrator files and “raster”  when talking about Photoshop files.

A vector image is made up of paths, each with a mathematical formula (vector) that tells the path how it is shaped and what color it is bordered with or filled by. Logos, letterhead, and other graphic elements are typically best created as vectors; while photographs are best left for rasters. Adobe Illustrator is the most common vector drawing program. Continue reading