Personal Critique of Textile Degree Shows 2017

Personal Critique of Textile Degree Shows 2017

Name of Degree Show student: Georgia Reece
Critique /comment on the development of ideas and concepts in this work:
The link between the bleeding colours in the background with the flowing lines layered on top works really well. I think the idea of combining man and nature is clever, and has been presented well in the textile pieces. You can see that the process of doing drawings based on minerals and the built environment has developed into a successful collection of final pieces.

How successfully are the materials and techniques used to convey the concepts?
The merging colours used represent the idea of nature and minerals well. It reminds me of the sea, especially with the silver lines on top, like waves. The silver in the lines could also link to the idea of the built environment, eg: big steel structures in cities. The background is soft and flowing like nature, whereas the lines on top are clear and precise like man made objects.

What is it about this exhibition that most impresses you?
The overall look of the collection is extremely professional and it all links together well. It stands out for me in terms of style, I love the colours and all of the samples are beautiful. I found this exhibition really inspiring and hope that I can achieve something as successful as this!

Briefly evaluate the presentation style of the work:
The work was presented really neatly and it draws you in to get close and look at the detail in the pieces. The variety of pieces to look at made it interesting.


Name of Degree Show student: Melissa Macdonald
Critique/ comment on the development of ideas and concepts in this work:
The collection reflects the concept of well being and is lovely as a group of work. The colours represent calmness and work well together to reflect the concept. I think the variety of different pieces like including ceramics really provides the feel of a cohesive home wear collection. It shows the possibilities for uses of the surface pattern designs.

How successfully are the materials and techniques used to convey the concepts?
The colours and use of shapes reflect the inspiration of Kew Gardens well. The patterns look lovely together as a collection and are aesthetically pleasing. The natural forms in the designs reflect the idea of well being described in the concept.

What is it about this exhibition that most impresses you?
The collection as a whole is wonderful together, with so many different products you get a great sense of how it would feel to be in a home environment with the designs in. I think the overall look of it is extremely professional and all of the designs are lovely. I really love the addition of the ceramics!

Briefly evaluate the presentation style of the work:
The work has been presented in a professional way and works really well as a collection. It creates an atmosphere of being in the home, you can visualise how the pieces would look in a real life home environment.


How do you perceive the shows, generally?
I found the show really inspiring to see. All of the work is so unique and professional, I can’t wait to be at the same stage in my 3rd year. It was really enjoyable to walk around and see everything.

List 3 key things you have learnt from what you have seen overall?
1. A fully developed and explored concept can produce amazing results.
2. Creating a collection with a whole variety of products like wallpaper, chairs, cushions, ceramics, stationery etc can really show off a successful design idea.
3. There are endless possibilities of what you can create for textiles, with so many different inspirations and products to look for.

Digital Project – Final Outcomes

This project has shown me the process of how to create a moodboard and colour board based on a specific theme, and then creating digital designs based on these images as inspiration.

I have found this project very useful as I have gained so many new skills. I have learnt to carefully consider a theme and create an appropriate colour palette for it. I have experimented with various designs and colour options to create final pieces that reflect my theme in the best way possible.

This project has hugely improved my Photoshop skills and introduced me to Illustrator, which I have enjoyed using. Although it was challenging at stages these programmes were really worth learning how to use, and I will use them for my work in the future. Now I have got the hang of the main tools on each programme I feel confident to produce more successful digital work for other projects.

I think my final 6 designs work well as a group and fit in with the ‘Scanned Memory’ theme. I did find that the colours vary slightly from what they were on my laptop to what they look like printed. I have used repeat patterns and placements which I think works well to create some variety in the designs. This project has been really valuable and I can’t wait to learn more on Photoshop and Illustrator!

Artboards in Illustrator

Today I discovered how using artboards in Illustrator can be a great way to create lots of versions of a design and compare them. To get artboards create a new document and ensure you select how many artboards you want before you close the window.

Today I used artboards to create lots of versions of a leaf design I had drawn. I found this incredibly useful as I could easily compare each one and see which design was most successful out of the bunch. Artboards are useful to show the process you have worked through to come to your final design. In my artboards I had a variety of colours, scales and arrangements of the same motif. This technique enabled me to create lots of designs fast just by changing a few aspects each time.

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This technique will be useful when I have potential final designs and I need to put them together to see what works best as a group.

Making Patterns in Illustrator

Today I used my scanned drawings to create patterns in Illustrator.

First I opened a new document with my scanned image pasted onto it. By using the ‘Image Trace’ tool you can remove the background and enhance the lines of your drawing. Once you have done this click ‘Expand’ which is in the top toolbar.

Next I opened a new document and pasted the new version of the drawing into it. By playing around with scales and angles using the transform tool, and changing the colour using the fill tool you can create something that is quite different to the original drawing. Another interesting technique is to layer up line drawings and play around with the opacity of each layer.

Once you create an arrangement you are happy with, select ‘Object > Pattern > Make’. This will open up options of the type of pattern arrangement you want (grid, half drop etc) and once this is up you are able to add/remove parts and move things around until you create a pattern you are happy with.

These tools are extremely useful to create a seamless pattern that looks professional. It enables you to experiment with different arrangements and colours until it looks perfect.

Photoshop – Filling a Shape With an Image

Today I was playing around on Photoshop and was trying to think of a way to add a new element to my designs. When I was generating imagery to scan into the computer, I did a few watercolour textures using my colour palette. I thought it would be interesting to see if I could fill a shape I had drawn on Photoshop with a watercolour texture rather than a solid colour. This would add some interest and depth to my designs.

After looking online I found the best method to do this.

Step 1: Use the magic wand tool to select the inside of the shape and fill with solid black.

Step 2: Paste the image of a watercolour texture onto the same document.

Step 3: Make sure the layer of the watercolour texture is ABOVE the layer for the black shape. Right click on the watercolour texture layer and select ‘Create Clipping Mask’. This will fill only the inside of the black shape with the watercolour texture.

Step 4: Use the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd T) to move around the watercolour texture until the placement is correct. Then merge the two layers together.

Colour in Design

In this session Lucy talked to us about the importance of colour in design work. When designing, you need to consider: materials used, production process, surface patterns and colour. In a shop, you have 3 seconds to gain a customer’s attention, then 30 seconds to keep their attention. Colour is important to gain the customer’s attention!

When choosing a colour palette consider: the aesthetics of the collection, the intended season and the sensation you want to create for the customer.

HUE – What colour something is.

CHROMA – Purity or intensity of colour.

SATURATION – The strength or weakness of a hue.

VALUE – How light or dark a colour is.

TONE –  Adding grey to a pure hue.

SHADE – Adding black to a pure hue.

TINT – Adding white to a pure hue.


Different colours can portray different themes. For example:

Blue – calm, sad, responsible

Green – nature, harmony, peaceful

Orange – energy, happy, creative

Yellow – cheery, optimistic, joy

White – purity, cleanliness, virtue

So, if you are given a brief from a brand, first you must consider the brands personality and then consider your colours.

Colours can have completely different meanings to everyone (eg. red: love or anger) so this must be considered especially for a global market.


MONOCHROMATIC – Single base hue with added tints or tones.

ANALOGOUS – Groups of 3 colours that are next to eachother on the colour wheel.

COMPLEMENTARY – Colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel.

SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY – Using the two colours either side of the complementary colour on the wheel.

TRIADIC – Using every fourth colour on the colour wheel.


When creating artwork on Photoshop or Illustrator ensure your colours are set to:

-RGB if your artwork is going to be viewed on a screen

-CMYK or PANTONE if your artwork is going to be printed

To view the PANTONE colours open the swatch library, select ‘colour books’ and then ‘PANTONE SOLID’

Rotation Tool Illustrator

Today we were shown how to create flowers on Illustrator using the Rotate Tool. I used this method but experimented with different shapes to petals and tried different rotation points. This creates endless possibilities. I really enjoyed this method and hope to use it in one of my final designs.

Step 1: Draw the shape you want to rotate and select it.

Step 2: Click on the rotate tool (left hand tool panel). Hold down the ‘Alt’ key while clicking on the point you want to rotate the shape around.

Step 3: A menu will pop up, enter a number that is a division of 360 degrees. The larger the number the bigger the gap between each rotated shape. Click on the copy button, then keep pressing Cmd/Ctrl D until the shape is repeated into a full circle.

Here are some designs I produced using this technique. I then made them into a repeat patterns using Object > Pattern > Make.