Thursday, 14 February 2013

The design process for our Mother's Day bags - Guest Blogger Carrie Dennison

As you know we're celebrating Mother's Day coming up. Today's guest blogger is the fantastically talented Carrie from Press for Design. I use Carrie for all my designing for the business. She has been working with me on the design of our Mother's Day bags and that's what she's talking about today. Keep watching for our Easter bags that will be coming soon as well Hen Party bags, Wedding Gift bags, Thank You Teacher bags, Kids Travel bags and loads more.
Here's what she has to say.
The design process of Life's a Celebration's Mother's Day bag

All the best designs start with a chat over coffee!  The most important step when designing for a client is not only to talk to the client, but to listen to them too, in order to find out exactly what they are looking for.  Maxine and I sat down over a cuppa and she gave me the ideas that were going through her mind, which I jotted down.  I tend to use a mixture of words and sketches when jotting down ideas from clients, generally I can get a good idea of what they are looking for and put together an impromptu sketch to see if the ideas that I have picked up from the client are what they are actually looking for.  I defy anybody to actually make sense of my initial doodlings though!

I then went away and worked on some sketches.  I always work in pencil and whilst I'm sketching I tend not to rub anything out, as seen in the example below.  It might look a mess, but when I'm happy that I have the lines I want I then draw over the final lines in waterproof pen and then rub out the pencil marks.  Once I have the final drawn design, I scan it into Photoshop and then I have a digital version of the file that I can play around with.  This saves a lot of time later when refining the finished design as it means I can make alterations to the sketches without redrawing the design again.


I put together two different versions of the Mother's Day design and emailed them over to Maxine for her thoughts.  I always say to my clients that I want to hear all their thoughts about a design, good, bad or indifferent!  I want to make sure that they are perfectly happy with the design that I produce for them, and that it is exactly what they are looking for.  Maxine got back to me with some changes that she wanted making, and I worked on those.  This is where the digital files came in handy, as some of the sketches I had originally produced needed altering to make them easier to colour in.  These can be easily and quickly altered in Photoshop, without the need to re-sketch.  As you can see in the example below, we decided that the initial cup design I had drawn needed to be less complicated so that it would be easy to colour in - this change was quick and easy for me to do once the sketch had been digitised.

Once the files were re-drawn, another proof was sent to Maxine.  This process was repeated until Maxine had the design that she had envisioned in her mind, and then it was a matter of preparing the design in several different formats - one black and white format for the Mother's Day bag itself, and other coloured formats to be placed on the Life's A Celebration website, blog and Facebook page.

Here’s the finished Mother’s Day bag - and look out for an Easter design too that will be coming along very soon!

I love our Mother's Dag bags and I'm so pleased that I've found Carrie to do our design work for us. At £9.99 (plus £1.50 p&p) these bags are a steal. They even come with a pack of fabric pens so they're ideal for the kids to give their mum a totally unique Mother's Day gift. If you want to buy or want more details then drop me a line. I'm always happy to help.


  1. The bags look brilliant Maxine and Carrie has done brilliantly as always! She's so lovely to work with, as we both know. xxx

  2. These bags look lovely and it was fascinating to have an insight into the design process.

  3. Thanks for your comments Abi and Liz. Yes the bags are fab aren't they? Very popular too! Carrie is an amazing designer. I'm so pleased that I've found her (and she's right on my doorstep too!)



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