Blog Creative Process Graphic Design Illustrator Package Design Photoshop

Ginger Cat Knits Package Design

The purpose of this assignment was to design a package for something. Being a knitter, I noticed yarn and yarn kits rarely come in a box. I wanted to create a box that would hold the kit contents as well as be able to be used as a gift box when the project was finished.

I was thinking I would be using the box for my own yarn products, so I wanted to make something I could print on a home printer on demand. I liked the look of pillow boxes, and I have used this tutorial to make small ones, so I thought I could make one with two 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper. I ended up with a very odd shape when I folded the ends and I hated it.

Then I got the idea that the ends reminded me of my character, Angry Owl. So I drew a mockup on the paper:

First prototype (Angry Owl)
First prototype (Angry Owl)

That shape also reminded me of the cat logo I did for my friend Lea of Ginger Cat Knits:

First prototype (Ginger Cat Knits cat logo)
First prototype (Ginger Cat Knits cat logo)

When I showed them to Lea, she said it reminded her of the Owl and the Pussycat. I wasn’t familiar with the poem, but I learned there was also a turkey and a pig. That got my wheels spinning. Now I had two problems; how do I make this package (what shape is it?, can I even do it?) and what do these animals look like? It would be geared towards children, but the people buying the kit would likely be adults.

Package size prototypes
Package size prototypes. It would’ve been easier had I bought a box of fries and enlarged it. That was the shape I was after.
Owl and the Pussycat character sketch
Owl and the Pussycat character sketch. Would they work on one package together?

After several iterations, I settled on this shape for the box and this style for the animals. As my instructor pointed out, they were a little bland. Let’s get some color in there!

Package Prototype
Rough of the package shape and character design

Very well, then. Here’s some color and texture per your suggestion, Mr. Instructor. (Good idea.) The animals had a cardboard texture added to them, so they look like they are made out of bits of paper or felt. I carried that over to the background of the box, and used Ginger Cat purple on them.

Pig and Turkey
The Piggy-wig and the Turkey
The Owl
The Pussycat

I was a wee bit optimistic thinking I could finish all four by the deadline when I didn’t have the proper product photography and we weren’t sure how we were going to print these and make them into real things. We settled on the cat design and printed it on economy vinyl and stuck it to white cardstock.

Vinyl printout
Final package design printed on economy vinyl

I know there are some design/engineering issues that need fixing if I were to produce these, and I also know there’s a very good reason I did not go into engineering! Overall, I’m thrilled with how it turned out (as were Lea and Mr. Instructor)!

Final Package (Front)
Final Package (Front)
Final Package (Back)
Final Package (Back)
Blog Creative Process Graphic Design Photo Manipulation Photoshop

Photo Composites

This is a sampling of my Photoshop work.

The objective of this assignment was to take two images into Photoshop and morph them into one. I merged the Burton Tower on the University of Michigan’s campus with the Dancing Building in Prague, Czech Republic. I’m happy to say I took both photos.

Burton Tower
Burton Tower, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dancing Building
Dancing Building, Prague, Czech Republic
Final Merged Photo
Final Merged Photo

This project required us to pick an environmental topic and design an image depicting it. My topic was e-waste.  I wanted to make a family portrait showing how e-waste is turning the family living room into a landfill. I wanted the photo to look old and dirty. I used my own family to show the different generations. I am the child in the lower right looking at the scene trying to understand what I am looking at.

Obviously e-waste was not a problem for my parents’ generation (lower left).  My brother and I are laughing because we were just as oblivious as our parents were (he is by the television, I am the child on the quilt). My niece (with the hat) does not look happy with the situation, and my nephew (the young child on the couch) is crying, because as the youngest, he is going to be affected by this much longer than the rest of us.

The text was added to make it look like someone wrote, “E-Waste Landfills.  Recycle for the future.” on the photo.

Political Project Final - E-Waste
Environmental Project Final Photo – E-Waste

Environmental Topic Statement: E-Waste
E-waste is all of the circuit boards and parts in discarded electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions. It’s becoming a growing concern given the number of devices consumers purchase and discard every year. Most electronics end up in landfills or they are shipped to developing countries where materials are manually recovered. This is a global problem, because toxic chemicals and elements are released into the air and groundwater when e-waste is incinerated, left in a landfill, or manually recovered. Where there are some legitimate programs in place to facilitate recycling, few people actually recycle.