This project is a good example of how taking a leap of faith to start sharing your work, is perhaps the most important thing you can do to enter the creative industry. You might have all the talent in the world, but if nobody sees your work, nobody gives a shit.
Last year I decided to start making patch designs as a personal project. I was fascinated by their simplicity and size restraints, how they almost required you to boil down an image to its most basic elements. Patches and enamel pins are often limited in what can be produced, because of their small size, and often print or manufacturing limitations. I love working in parameters like this, as it requires focus and a level of honesty about what needs to be in your design to captures a mood or feeling, and what needs to go, even if you like how it looked.
My friend Adam Shand, recently launched his own business — Namaste Trekking, that combines hikes and climbs with mindfulness and yoga (a perfect combo!) and from the projects I did last year, he asked me to design a series of patches, pins, stickers or whatever the hell they needed to be, that he could give to clients as they completed their treks in different locations. Cool little things to take home as a reminder that you smashed your climb.
Immediately I jumped into research, which for me, is a matter of simply seeking out materials for inspiration, and keeping my eyes open for things that might inspire me, that otherwise wouldn’t have — “What can be applied to the project I’m working on right now?” Is the thought process basically. I always have my iPad in my backpack for digital sketches or even quick mockups, a notebook to scribble down sketches, and my phone to snap photos of stuff around me.
Once I start to formulate ideas in my head for each location that Adam wanted, I jumped into my go to vector app — Affinity Designer for iPad. I learnt from Aaron Draplin about the usefulness of working in iterations so each art board contain multiple iterations of designs as I added pieces, and more importantly, peeled pieces away.
Creating a series of designs meant finding a consistency between each of them. I focused on line thickness (taking into consideration stitching on embroidered patches) colours in CMYK, the swooping skies, corner rounding, and fonts used. Ensuring these elements remained consistent through the designs made designing faster and more efficient. It also meant that the designs would feel like they represented the same company without needing “Namaste trekking” squeezed into each one.
Affinity Designer for iOS
Thanks for reading! If you don’t know me, I’m a graphic designer from Belfast, chronicling my journey into building a graphic design career. If you enjoyed this post, or any others, follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or if you really want, hire me!