Mood boards

My first small deadline of this project. My task was to create 4 mood boards for the IG Design Group project. My idea for this project is to design a collection of popup cards based on party theme, as showed on the Mood Board. I wanted to use a colourful colour pallet with lighter tones for variation, Colour Pallet board. I will be designing for young adults focusing on females. I wanted to show a lively and colourful style lives of 20-something year old, as showed on the Client Profile board. My main competitors will be brands designing for stationery focusing on party stock and innovative designs. I have also included popups and 3D card creators, Competitors board.



Competitor research

My top 4 competitors. I will be looking at brands that are designing for stationery focusing on party stock and innovative designs. I also want to look at companies that do  popups and 3D cards.

Meri Meri

I have research in a this brand many times before. I really enjoy their original and unique work and designs. Also they make popups and concertina cards which goes well with my collection. Their pricing starts at roughly £3.50 for simple card designs and goes up to roughly £5 for special cards such as concertinas or popups, this means that Meri Meri is in a middle market coming up to high end.

More about Meri Meri



Papyrus matches my competitors as their work is also very original in design but also in making. I like the unique shaped gift bags and colourful cards with curved envelopes. They prices vary from $3.95 to $9.95 which converts to £2.97 to £7.49. This makes them a middle – high end brand.

I also really like their popup collection and the use of envelopes.

More about Papyrus

Paper Tango

I have found out about this company through my research in London. They had a big display in Harrods. They were prices around £7.95 and being in Harrods I would definitely say that they are high end market. I like the simplicity in one colour background and the amazing cut work that makes the card 3D.

More about Paper Tango


Popupology is mostly an online brand. They design amazing business cards, earrings and more but all their work is based on 3D designs and folds. Most of the earring cost around £10. With the fold up cards you can buy PDFs and do it your self. 8 templates is for £5.99 and 16 for £7.99. This brand is a little bit different then other but I think it would be a good competitor as it is  a great example of USP and as it mostly sells online which means their prices with only be for the stock and not for keeping up an open store.

More about Popupology


Study skills (1)

Today I have attended Dissertation Study Skills with Chris Dennis. I have attended some in my 1st and 2nd year but I wasn’t going to them regularly I was doping in and out when I needed to but this year I would like to attend all.

– Marking scheme, which was actually really useful. No one really explained before how the marking works and what needs to be done and what are the mail differences between a First, 2:1 or 2:2.

-Not judged on how many sources you research but how you used it.

Elements of Academic Writing (Using a article – ‘Animals in medieval art:the Bayeux Tapestry as an example)

-Surface (layout) – Paragraphs

-The bit in italics – abstract setting out what you are going to be about, very short intro

1st parahraph – intro

2nd paragraph – approaches to what’s been written about the subject / critique / sets up for next paragraph

-References – done research, show evidence

– Vocabulary 

Formal writing. No Don’t – Do not. Don’t repeat your self all the time (also, however..) Key terms, expressions.


-Expected to use 3rd person to show objectively

-(last paragraph) Setting up my argument

-each paragraph has to make a point

-make a plan of your dissertation

-Academic voice

Show confidence, clarity and authority

Show you understand your research


Research and Resources

Today morning we had our second professional practise session. Martha Lee spoke to us about how to successfully research and resource which will really help me with dissertation writing.

Search terms

Boarding your search term will help finding more relevant sources.

Example – Coco Chanel

  1. French
  2. Perfume
  3. Little black dress
  4. Fashion designer

To get more complex searches use ‘and’ , ‘or’

And                                        Or

Narrow                                 Wider


Databases – good for subject resources

-Design and Applied Arts index is good for Textiles

Useful Image Databases for Art and Design



Advised to use academic verified

E-journals – BrowZine


-ProQuest dissertations

– British Library Catalogue


Old dissertations


Web Resources 

C urrency

R elevance




-Magazines, blogs, social media – This is more for professional practise not dissertation research. More professional > not academic

Business dadabases

– Statista

– Mintel

-Fame – Companies in the UK and Ireland, include contacts and details, good for sending CVs (if need help email Jamie (JFlinch) or Nicola (NHerbers)

Study Guides

Study page > Library services > Textiles

The study portal – Academic skills (

You can send a 500 word sample



Cite them right online – great referencing website



I think that today’s professional practise with Martha was very helpful. I had few one to one tutorials with her last year so I knew a lot of information that she was going through however it was a really nice refresher, especially with the upcoming dissertation deadline.

Research trip to Bristol

So after I got to Bristol I decided that going around many different parts of the city and looking for small independent shops to find hand made cards which I may not find anyway may be a waste of my time. I would rather do more market research in more middle end market. I had a look at the shops that IG Design Group is working for and research more in to them. There is a mall called Broadwalk shopping centre about 10 mins from my house which has stores like B&M Card Factory, Poundland and Wilko so I decided that this would be the perfect destination.



I started my research trip in B&M. B&M is a store with many cheap cool things. Because they are a cheap store they need to please a lot of tasted which means they will have a lot of very different designs.

The different cut out shape of a card idea again. This simple technique is repeated in every shop I went to.

Looking at the different fonts and type that is being used on to cards. Also good examples of laser cut additional shapes or around the headers so they can then be lifted. This gives the card more 3D look and texture.

I really like this collection of stand up cards with milestones birthday. To start of with the are a non regular shape was they are taller/longer which already gives them uniqueness. Even thought they are in the same collection they are done a little bit differently. The 30th card has both front back back the same tall size with the number 30 cut out. The 21st card has a shorter front and a different shape back which gives it more dimension. The 18th card has even a shorter front with type only and the number as a background. And all the colours an styles are very different on each card. This is what I mean by saying that B&M need to please a lot of tasted and styles.

All those 4 cards are very different and very unique in their own way. Top left has a laser cut circle with a beautiful boarded. I like how the front and inside of the card work together to create a design. The top right card has rope attached to make it more 3D and more textured. Bottom left has a 60 popping out of the envelope which give it an almost movement. Bottom right has an attached circle in a middle with different clothes which correspond to the faces on the front page of the card. This is a great idea for young girls.

Even thought those cards are so different in style and taste and are aimed at different markets they have one thing in common – the price. The cards in B&M are very cheap and I haven’t seen one that is more than £1.50 maybe £2 tops.


I would say that Wilko is a more expensive version of B&M. They both have stock from  stationery, bedding, kitchen wear to food, paints and gift kits. The variety in both stores in massive.

I really like some of the gift bags in Wilko. They were different shapes which I’m a big fan of an had nice bright colours. I like the handles and tags of each bag also.

I didn’t like those designs as much. I did like the idea of having confetti next to the tag (first left). I didn’t like those ideas as they seemed kind of boring, cheap or too dark and sad.

The Pokemon card is a completely different shape which I have seen in many shops already. The middle card is interesting as it is a regular shape with butterfly wings coming out which technically makes it a different shape card. The last card has a really nice curved pattern edge on the right which give it a delicate and prestigious look.

The way that the front and inside of the card works with each other in both examples is really interesting and clever. I especially like the card on the right as it opens from the inside and has 2 folds instead of 1.

I like how all of these card have a strong repeat patterns in them with ice fonts and types. I also like how the card on the right has a tag looking like element on the side where the type is.

I like the use of fonts and type in the next 4 examples. I like how there are different patterns within the lettering which caughtes the buyers eye.

I really like those cards. The ones on the left where the pattern is inside a bottle or a glass is very effective. Also the use of white and black with gold foils works very well. The little starts on the right making the word son is also proving to be effective. I like how there is not much at the bottom of the card which seems to me like the type is in the sky or in the stars I am looking from the bottom or the earth. This is a very clever design.

Those other stationery products caught my eye because they are either very cute or cool. The pins in a shape of a buttery is so effective and cute many girls will definitely want it. If I didn’t like the pins I would consider buying it for the jar which I could reuse for small bits and bobs after. The taco pencil case could work for both boys and girls. It is so fun and cool and actually quite big it would be perfect for secondary school students.

Card Factory

In card factory you will only find stationery products, which for me is perfect for research.

Those cards aimed at children are all cut in a unique way to create a different shape. I specially like the one on the left as you can colour it in after. This is a really nice card with an activity for children, good example of an interactive card.

Cards cut in to letters. I really like those cards and I can see how it works very well even after you open it.

Again the nice finishing to the edges on the cards. I was one card like this in Wilko but haven’t seen any when I was in London doing research in more high end shop. Does this mean I didn’t look close enough and missed it or that the high end market isn’t interesting in this technique an isn’t doing it?

The curved finish to the edges. The designs on the fronts of those cards aren’t are girly and delicate. The curves seem to be bigger and this is because they match the designs on the fronts of the cards better.

Laser cutting in the centre of the front page of the card. As I mentioned, probably many times, before I really enjoy how the front page and inside page of the card work together where there is a laser cut out. I think people don’t realise that there is a lot of designing and thinking that goes in to such a card. I like the 2 on the right because the are from the same collection but one is targeted at women and the other at men however they use exactly the same idea and techniques.

This set of cards is showing the use of repeat pattern around type. I really like this type of designs and it proves to be very effective within different repeats, shapes or fonts.

I enjoy the use of type on those card examples. The 4 on ‘Finding Dory’ card is made out of very simple 4 lines but looks effective. It the lines were a bit wavy they would probably look like ocean waves which would go really nice with a theme. The other 2 cards on the right caught my attention because of the heavy use of different fonts. There is a huge verity but they all work together.

Again cards with an interesting use of type. I like the first one on the left because the type creates the bottle shape. I also enjoy the golden outline which I am guessing it’s there to represent whisky which is more of a men’s drink. I like the middle card because of the little pinkish attachments which go with the ‘new home’ theme. The last one on the right for me interested because of the wrapped around bandages, plaster and other medical equipment wrapped around the lettering which also matched the ‘get well’ theme.

The use of bows on to cards can be displayed in a very different way. I like every example an how different they bows and the style of the cards are.

And last but not least my favourite type of cards – the fold ups! Card factory has not disappointed me with their collection of fold up cards. As it is coming up to Christmas season there is a lot of Christmas cards already. I really like the cards that open in to a 4 sided shape and stand up on it’s own. They create a little story within the design, but I think that works better with people or buildings rather than it would with birthday cakes.


Poundland as cheap and it most cases cheaper than B&M works sort of the same. The stock there is really cheap so it has to please quite a lot of people. This means that there is a huge variety in styles in the shop within the design.

For example the gift bags are so different. Maybe the 2 on the left could go as one collection but the other 2 are completely different. I like the last bag on the right with the little confetti bag by the tag.

And again very popular and cheap stationery technique – laser cut out in to unique shapes. I like the 60th card with the heavy use of gold foils, patterns and embossing.

More examples of laser cutting. On the left an example of cutting around a shape then lifting it up on a foam to create texture. On the right cutting in to the age to create connecting between the pages of the card.

The first card on the left is very nice. I was a design in Liberty store in London with not as many candles and I thought more candles wouldn’t work but actually this proves to be very effective. I liked the little letters that kids could stick on doors or walls in their room. The last 2 on the right caught my eye because of the amount of different font they are using.

After all the trip to the mall Broadwalk was very successful. I think this market research will be more helpful rather than trying to find little stores with hand made cards. I have noticed that all of the shops apart from Poundland had fold out or pop up cards. Does this mean they didn’t have then in stock. I think that Poundland is at the bottom of the market and they don’t have a budget for such cards. Firstly the designs process would be longer which means more money, secondly there is more paper and ink needed to produce such a card which again means more money. This taught me that my market and market competitors will more likely be in to the middle or higher end of the market.

Bristol itinerary

Over the weekend I am planing to go home and visit my family in Bristol. I am travelling tomorrow but I don’t want to waste a day so I am planing to do some research while I am there.

I would like to research stationery shops with hand made products with less known brands and Bristol is a prefect place to go for that. Bristol is known for it’s arty nature with a lot of artists so I will have no problem finding little shops like that.

I am planing to visit

– Room 212

– Here Gallery

Paper Arts

Bristol Colab


Stationery research

After my very helpful tutorial with Shan I decided to get on with the recommended research as soon as I could.

Meri Meir

A have seen a lot of Meri Meir  products in many different stored and in my London trip research already but I have decided to do a little bit more research in to this company.

As soon as I went on to the website went on to Gift Tags and Enclosures with my ideas for the gift bags in mind. I really like the banners and the different card enclosures like the little elephant or the pop up cactus. I also like the finishing edge to the cup cake card.

Gift Tags and Enclosures

I like the simplicity of the gift bags and that each one has a tag. They are all typical rectangle shape but I like the finishing on the 2 middle row on the right bags as it is a little different which makes it stand out.

girt bags

Those little treat boxes are so cute. They cube shape is very typical but the woolly pompom on the tops just adds to the design.

gitf boxes

As I want to focus my designs on cakes and cupcakes I thought it would be a good idea to look in to cup cakes cases with different patterns on them. Meri Meri offers a lot of different packs with different but corresponding patterns within each pack.

cup cake cases

Meri Meri also offers cupcake kits. I think it is interesting how each kit has its own designs which means all the packaging is different.

cupcake kit

Packaging is very important for Meri Meri. I really like this example of simple ice creams cups and spoons which could be packaged in a simple see-through plastic wallet but instead the designer thought about uniqueness and originality.  This cardboard paper ice cream van as a box is a great example of USP and it would definitely caught the buyer’s eye.

Ice Cream Van Ice Cream Cups

Check out more about Meri Meri

The Printed Peanut 

During my tutorial with Shan when I was still planing to design little character she recommenced researching The Printed Peanut. After changing my idea to birthdays and cupcakes I don’t think this company still suits me but I decided to do a little research anyway.

The simple designs with use of not to many colours may work for some but not me. I appreciate the simple motifs and how they are repeated but I don’t really like the colours some of the cards are using.


Check out more about The Printed Peanut

Lagom Designs

Lagom Designs have a wide range of very different designs which makes them a great research brand.

I love this collection that uses 3/4 colours per design which makes it really effective for the typography. I also really enjoy the use of typography and how in same cases it creates the shape. I will like to do the same but in more detail.


In this case only one letter represents a number. These are great designs for smaller birthdays. Also the animals are very children friendly looking.

numebrs as animals

In this one the letters are created among side the animals. I like how each letter represents the first letter of the animal. Also even thought this collection uses a wide range of colours it corresponds because the letter is always black, no matter in what font or design.

numebr in anomal

Using typography within photographed setups. I don’t think those cards are as effective as the previous ones. I do like the use of wooden blocks with letters on them.

set ups

Less is more! This simple font and design repeated so many times in different colours and for different occasions. This is a great example that sometimes the simplest design works the best but it is also the hardest to come up with.


More about Lagom Design

Paul Thurlby

Again a great example of typography in imagery mostly used with animals and characters. This work looks more multi-colour and is much more busy.

Paul thurbly

Again using manipulated typography to create objects. I also like how there are brick lines in to the letters to create a more textured look.


Another great idea is to place images so they create letters. I will be doing be opposite, I will place letters to create images.

More about Paul Thurlby


I was planing to go in to Scribbler in London mostly for type and words research but I have run out of time.

Scribbler is a company that plays with words and type in a funny way. They create cards that make people laugh.


This collection works so well with the idea I want to do. I am also planing to images and shapes by manipulating letters and type. I would like to have a go at it by hand and also I am planing to use more colours within the designs.


This is possibly my favourite one and it matches my birthday idea the most. I like how by ordering online you can put a personal message inside the card or adjust the size of the card.

birthdays typo

The website also helps you with the sizes. With this example the small size is £2.49, standard is £2.99 and large is £5.99. This makes me think about the scale of my prototypes for the presentation at the end of this project as printing and costing is also important during the designing process.


More about Scribbler