My renaissance as an artist and designer
So this is the final post of my Svathya tea project and the final post of this semester. And I have a quandary. More on that later.
For now, let’s pick up where we left off. I decided to go with the Svathya idea over the moon inspired logo. While I would have loved to do the crane and moon design, I truly feel that the Ayurvedic Health inspiration fits my assigned demographic better and, after all, Graphic Design is a business first. You don’t necessarily get to design what you’re most inspired by. You have to find the inspiration in your assigned task and rise to THAT challenge. For me it all starts with the logo:
Then the template. Part of the assignment was to consider the possibilities for container shape and I didn’t want to do a box. I had access through my job to a line of quality teas and I decided to use their octagonal shape as my base. I measured each side and built my template by connecting eight rectangle shapes. Just an fyi, lest you think I didn’t struggle with this assignment. I mis-measured the short sides as 1/2″ instead of 1′ so after I ran to Office Max and got my test print, I realized that I had to rebuild each design on a new template in order to properly fit the tins. I also realized that the actual lid of the tin was round as opposed to the octagonal shape of the body so I had to re-do that too. Two steps back and all…
I worked out the idea for the air element first. Playing around with symbols and shapes and filters I found a squiggle (for lack of a better word) that for me was reminiscent of air currents. I repeated it, reflected it, erased parts of it and the result became my first image. I then added the company name, logo and tagline; the tea name; the tea element; and finally the size/weight requirements. I even added the tea name in sanskrit at the top as a mysterious flourish. I used the side panels to add additional design elements: I placed an ellipse to echo the front design and I included the strap line to describe the tea. I used the shorter side panels to extend the front design further with an elongated reference to the primary design element. On the back panel I placed an explanation of doshas in general and then the explanation of the specific dosha for that particular tea.
My research indicated that while ingredient lists and the company location are required elements of packaging for teas, the ubiquitous nutritional information panel is not. Nutritional value of tea is so low that the FDA doesn’t seem to see the point of having a panel filled with zeros. Neither do I when I can use that space for more interesting design. I did add the Kosher symbol. That plus the required location and size/weight information provided some experience adhering to governmental regulations.
The fire element was fun to design. I found a circular flame in the shapes panel and placed it as the main design element. I did an orange color overlay and then copied and rotated it to make the side panel circles. I used the render flames filter to make a longer candle flame for the shorter side panels. I reflected and scaled them so each was different and I used the blur tool to further individualize them. I used a red/yellow gradient on the tea lid logo to extend the design. I made this one the fruit tea, featuring the oh-so-appropriate dragon fruit.
For the water element I took a photographic image of water and used the dry brush filter to make it painterly. I made use of the blur tool to abstract it further and used dodge and burn to deepen the contrast. I used a rectangle for the front panel and inserted the design into ellipses for the side panels. Text elements for the front panel are white for the highest contrast.
I decided that the bar code and price would be on the bottom of the tin, again, leaving more room for the fun stuff on the label.
Here are the three final designs
So I’m all set to submit the assignment, right? Nope. I have to take photos of the tins with their fancy new labels. Here is where the tragedy comes in. I had the labels printed on basic paper – not a lot of options at Office Max for the larger sheets that I needed in order for my design to print at the correct size. And, news flash, plain ol’ copy paper does not photograph well in indoor lighting at night. See?
I took the images into photoshop and tried to make them better. I re-worked them into a collage in an attempt to mitigate the ugly. True confession: the tops look good because I placed the designed logos over the image. If you were to peek behind the curtain you would see grayed colors and glue bubbles.
One big lesson it took me way too long to learn is to review the assignment requirements prior to turn-in. So of course I realized at the last minute that I had to make a print-ready PDF featuring all the elements. I quickly got to work creating outlines of all the text, making sure I had 300 dpi resolution, laying it all out on one fairly large document. And here’s my quandary. I hate it. Placing those, for lack of a better word, crappy photos next to crisp, colorful designs hurt my heart. I know that I can go back and take better photos and rebuild it. And if its deemed portfolio worthy, I will. But for now, tonight? I end this project – and this semester – on a whimper.