April 4, 2019

Shelby Williams

When I was given the opportunity to design for IG Design Group as part of my Textiles course at Cardiff Met I was really excited. They’re a global company and a major player in the greeting card and wrap industry, presenting in over 150,000 retailers in more than 80 countries!

We were given the chance to take part in a competition with prizes including cash and an internship at IG Design Group. It was a live brief to create a stationery collection including some specific items – a roll wrap, gift sheet, gift bag, card, bow and ribbon.

My collection for IG Design Group

My collection was inspired by Autumn/Winter 2019-20 stationery trends as predicted by trend forecasting company WGSN, as well as a recent University trip to India where we visited an astronomy centre.

After having a reading of my star sign from my birth date and time that reflected my personality perfectly, I was encouraged to create a birthday collection that would reflect the idea that our birthday means much more than the day we were born.

One of my greetings card designs

I designed for ‘Tom Smith’ which is a high-end premium aspect of IG Design Group’s brand. This led me to think about finishes and intricate designs. I reflected the luxury feel of the brand through my use of silk, foiling and glitter. Choosing a specific segment of the brand to design for has helped me gain the skills needed to adapt my work to fit a specific target market, whilst also learning how to respond to a set brief.

I love working digitally, but I also used lots of hands-on workshop skills for this project

I really love drawing and designing digitally, but after attending various workshops available at Cardiff Met I was inspired to learn some new skills. I used paper making, laser cutting and also dyeing fabric for a fabric wrap; this is inspired by the Japanese ‘Furoshiki’ wrap, an alternative to single-use paper wrap.

IG Design Group as a company is very sustainable, so to reflect this I designed some of my outcomes to have a prolonged life. For example, my envelope opened up into a zodiac circle, which would be a keepsake that provided information about your horoscope and personality traits – I felt this also would be a unique selling point within my collection.

The envelope from my collection folded out into a keepsake zodiac chart to help reduce waste

IG Design Group’s brief stated that we should be as creative as possible, as on a day-to-day basis they don’t get to use or see the types of workshop skills we have available to us at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

This was one of the reasons they gave for choosing my collection as one of the winners! I feel so thrilled to have won ‘Best Overall Collection.’ IG Design Group’s feedback said that I had used a diverse range of techniques to a professional standard. I was also commended for creating a unique collection that challenged some of the traditional design ideas within the market. 

My collection challenged some of the traditional styles and methods used in the industry

My prizes for this were £200 and a four-week internship with IG Design Group. I’ve learned so much through this competition, and developed transferrable skills that will help me with my current degree show and within the industry after university. 

This brief was so inspiring for me as a designer. I’ve learned how to make a co-ordinating collection of designs and how to make this commercial, as well as how to fit my work within a specific market.

The judging panel were really impressed with some of the techniques I used

I’ve also benefitted from the constructive feedback and knowledge of professional designers in an industry I would love to work in, while developing my presentation and pitching skills. It’s encouraged me to talk about my work much more confidently, and this will prepare me for future interviews and jobs.

Overall, it’s been an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to start my internship!