Sarah Lindop

Fashion Intern

Category: January – February

Coventry – Week 5

Hi all,

As I’m sure you all know this week was Valentine’s day and as such we have been selling Valentines cards in the past month’s run up to the big day. The cards have been selling really well and therefore Chloe asked me to design some similar cards but for Birthdays. They’re designed to be simple to make with cut out lettering in coloured card, glittery card of course.

Plain card design

The brand is very sassy by nature so the cards must also be accordingly. I looked for inspiration using Pinterest, the go to for creatives research and the current valentines to think of phrases for the cards. I managed to come up with around 20 cards by the end of the day, 15 of which were hit’s with Chloe so pretty successful designing. Hopefully they will all sell well for the brand once they are released however for now here are a couple of designs that didn’t make the cut.

My role at BB has mainly been graphic design and print design, however this week we had a rush jacket to make and the whole studio got hands on sewing, tapping and cutting to make it happen. I assisted in tapping the tinsel so it’s ready to be sewn onto the fabric. We tape over the top of all the tinsel to strengthen the plastic, reduce how easily it can break and make it easier to sew. I found out however because of my hands and not sewing or doing anything hands on for a while that I struggled quite a lot to tape tinsel. Although this was only a minor issue because of how many people were helping it did make me consider that I should get in contact with my lectures to find out what options I have for help in my final year.

Finally, this week was my last week working at Bottle Blonde and I’m sad to be leaving. I’ve loved my time working at Bottle Blonde and had a great final week. At Bottle Blonde I have gotten to learn about a variety of things including print sizing retro designing, social media, web design and much more. Working at BB has made me reconsider my ideas and goals for final year and thereafter, I feel more inspired to consider if I could run my own business after I graduate and what type of products I would produce. I do however regret during my time at Bottle Blonde not getting a bit more hands on making products whether that be accessories or jackets to improve/ practice my sewing skills I have learnt at university. After I finish my final placement I am considering coming back to Bottle Blonde to develop more skills and portfolio work, hopefully expanding my skills in more sectors of the fashion industry as well as learning more about how the company is run.

My CV

And this week in my personal life I have started to work on the other parts of my module. For uni I must keep a blog then create a poster advertising why other students should do a placement year and update my CV. So far when I have started a new placement I have remembered to update my Linkedin and have made several adjustments to my CV. From working in London and now Coventry I have learnt several tips about what to and not to write on my CV as well as layout you can see an edition of my CV above. Prior to beginning my placement year I had a pretty strong CV however I have learnt that rating your skills on your CV is something that really puts employers off as it’s virtually meaningless. Employers appreciate seeing any qualified skills listed on your CV for example if you have a certificate in Adobe Photoshop, however listing Microsoft Office under skills then having a level bar or dot system is meaningless to employers. Since learning this I have rearranged my CV to list all my skills however without the ratings which has allowed me to list more skills and create more space on my CV. I have also started to design my poster advertising to over students why they should do a placement year, so far I have worked in 2 very different cities for 2 very different companies however doing similar jobs at both. I have decided to design a poster advertising each of my placements and possibly one showing all 3 to then choose the best design for submission. At the moment I have only designed my poster encouraging students to come work at BB. When designing this posters I used skills and imagery I learnt and created at BB. So far I love my poster and think it’s a good advertisement it will still be developed prior to hand in. I personally see how much I have learnt from my intern year from how much easier it was for me to design this poster professionally than if I had been set the same task in my second year.

Coventry – Week 4

Hi Everyone,

End of week 4 with Bottle Blonde and only 1 week remaining how time files.

This past week has been incredibly busy and I’ve been doing a variety of things from gif’s to decorating in preparation for BB’s Blogger day. I began the week making a multi-functional gif for the BB Instagram of a Polaroid camera printing. In order to do this I had to learn how to make a gif, Rachel another intern at BB showed me how to do this. Over my time so far interning at BB and Amanda Kelly I’ve found that a lot of industry learning comes from speaking to other interns/people around you and learning from their experiences. With Rachel’s help I learned a very simple way to create a gif using Photoshop this probably won’t be useful in a direct application of how I learned the skill, however as all my work is digital it could be a unique stand out piece in my sketchbook or portfolio in my final year.

All Credits to Bottle Blonde Studio. Item was a one of piece and is no longer available.

Chloe asked me to design a very specific print this week, a BB styled edition of a print she used way back in the early days of BB. As you can see above the print is made of magazine covers however as we don’t want to get sued I made my own take on this by making magazine covers from BB images. In order to do this I took several magazines, Pinterest and my knowledge I have learnt from uni about PR to research how to design magazine covers that look professional, creating BB’s own magazine fabric. PR is something that although we have learnt about it at uni to present our photography project I haven’t ever been very good at so this was a challenge I was willing to take on in order to improve my skills. The main tips I learnt whilst researching for this design was the photographs are absolutely key to a good cover. For front covers you want more look book styled photos from a shoot, the photos don’t necessarily need to show a garment or a product, cover photos are more art in themselves. Although I’m still not amazing however I feel I have personally grown my skills in the field and they are now rather good, my additional Photoshop skills have certainly helped to create this print.

An exciting event that happened this week was the brand ambassador day, for this we had a tidy up and makeover of the entire studio. By the end of the day we had completely made over the studio into an unrecognizable space with tinsel hanging from the lights, new photo shoot space and freshly decorated tables. After tidying, me and 2 other interns decorated all the pattern cutting and general work space tables. To decorate them we ripped interesting pages from magazines, taped them to the tables then covered the tables in a sticky textured vinyl creating tables as bold as Bottle Blonde itself. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the ambassador day itself because of an accident at home however from Instagram it looked amazing and the whole tidy redecorating really became worth it.

In my personal life this week it was 2 of my best friend’s 21st Birthdays, I’ve known these girls since I was 4 years old and we are still as good of friend’s as ever. Me and my boyfriend went home for the weekend to celebrate their birthdays and have a catch up with my family which was really lovely. I also got as cheeky load of laundry in as I love our tumble dryer at home so I took advantage of this opportunity.

Month 3

I’m now halfway through my placement year which is a total of 6 months long. I’ve moved from London back up to the Midlands then in the new year begun my second placement with Bottle Blonde in Coventry.

The change in environment was dramatic moving from Amanda Kelly to Bottle Blonde however is giving me a good understanding of different target markets, design styles and the industry as a whole. I’ve learnt a lot about myself in this past month (technically 2 months) about how I work best, what style I prefer to design to and presentation styles I prefer. In this months 5 things I’ve learnt and 5 things I’ve put into practice I’m also going to add a couple of points of how I have personally developed during my industry year so far.  

Top 5 skills I have learnt and gotten to put into practice –

  1. Abstract Illustration, in my first year at uni I learnt about how fashion illustration doesn’t always have to be pretty and life like, I developed my own unique illustration style which sometimes can be very abstract. I’ve then used this abstract illustration skill to design unique prints inspired by retro pieces.
  2. Understanding a brand and its image, during uni we have been given projects in which we have to design a product for a specific brand. In order to do this you must understand the brand and it’s vibe, I learnt how to swiftly summarize a brand in 5 images which was incredibly helpful for me to then understand and design to fit the brands I am working for during my industry year.
  3. Design development, constantly throughout my university experience I have needed to create, design and then develop the design to a final piece. This development skill has been very useful to produce the best prints possible from my ideas rather than sticking with the initial concept. From developing the prints have been enhanced and improved to pieces I am now proud to put in my portfolio of work.
  4. Multimedia design, throughout my degree I have learnt about combining my skills to design. I have learnt about when designing you don’t necessarily have to only draw, you can use photos, collage, cut and outline silhouettes to create a final design. This skill is very useful when it comes to my print designs as it widens my perspective and skills again improving my print designs.
  5. Time keeping, of course with uni comes deadlines, however working to these deadlines have helped me improve my time keeping skills and pace of work. Working to deadlines at uni has helped me work at a fast pace without losing quality of work as well as achieving lots within the working day.

Top 5 skills I have learnt on the job that will be useful in final year –

  1. How to remove noise from a photo/illustration, when editing prints at clients request at Amanda Kelly if the print was originally done by hand in water colour on a special paper they wanted the paper texture removing from the pattern presumably because they intend to screen print the pattern. I learnt how to remove said ‘’noise’’ from the image making it smooth and digital. This will be a useful skill for any hand drawing I do then scan it to make a more seamless page whether that be for my sketchbook or portfolio.
  2. Alternative Primary Research, whilst working at Bottle Blonde I have have to learn and understand a whole new way to research to create primary images that I can manipulate and or draw from for my prints. As I’m designing retro styled prints I have learnt about how to create your own primary retro research by visiting vintage fares, looking through old family photos and aging newer products. This has given me a new perspective on primary image photos and also allows me to widen my inspiration options when designing for my final major project.
  3. Importance of Image sizing for digital use, I assisted on resizing images for Bottle Blonde’s new website which launched in January. Although it was a pain resizing all the images I learnt and understood image sizing digitally for websites looks visually more appealing when all the same size. This isn’t necessarily something that is useful for my final year itself however it is useful to remember when photographing my FMP and presenting it digitally.
  4. Colour codes, although it’s a very small thing I have learnt when it comes to consistency this will help me no end. I learnt that to colour match you can type in the # code at the bottom of the colour picker, you can type this is on most digital services when choosing colours and it will select the exact same colour every time. As I personally like to colour coordinate everything I can into the same 2 shades of purple this is a much speedier and more accurate way to ensure it’s the exact same shade of purple across all platforms from digital portfolios to sketchbooks.
  5. Pattern sizing, when I worked in London at Amanda Kelly we only drew pattern squares not knowing what the prints would then be used for when sold. Then when moving onto my second placement at BB I have been designing more prints however with a specific purpose so I needed to understand and learn how to make sure when printed how big one square should be. Chloe decided the best route would be to scale it accurately onto an A4 piece of paper then that’ll tell you without printing on any computer how large or small a print is. Doing this has helped me to design to the best scale that it won’t look out of proportion on a person and understand the sizing.

Overall so far I feel have developed significantly as a person and designer. From working in the industry I’m learning what I do and don’t like working with in terms of materials, my strongest skills and what I need to improve on as well as what I want to do for my FMP then career. I’m still unsure what I want to do for my final major project however prior to starting my intern year I thought I didn’t ever want to run my own business even as a side project. However from working at BB Chloe has inspired me that if I come up with an idea for my final major that I love with a passion I could potentially pursue creating my own business. At the moment I feel I’m leaning towards designing womenswear with my own prints or accessories however this is just theories for now.

Coventry – Week 3

Hi all,

 

This week I have been doing general research for design ideas and print ideas for the brand for SS19. In my past 2 years at university we have researched trends then chosen a trend to base a piece/module off of, however in this case I am researching for a brand to see what coming trends best fit the style of the brand and its vibe. It’s interesting now understanding the difference and how the industry works to design their collections for each season. When I conducted my research there wasn’t one outstanding trend that perfectly fitted with BB’s image so I expanded on shapes and inspirational ideas from several of the trends for the season which best fit the brand. This skill for combining trends correctly to fit a brand’s vision will be very useful for creating my own collection in my final year, as it allows me to understand how to combine silhouettes to create my own style whilst staying on trend with the colours and such of the chosen season.

 

I have also gotten back into designing BB’s summer swimwear prints and have really been on a roll designing prints that fit with the vibe and the CEO loves. As I’m designing period inspired prints I must be careful to not infringe any copyright laws or produce any prints that look too similar to prints of the time. For this type of design and my graphic postcards its critically important to insure nothing I produce has any form of copyright protection on it as of course we don’t want to be sued/fined. The skills I have learnt for searching for whether something already exists in terms of silhouettes and phrase copyright will be very useful in my final year to ensure I create my own unique work and have all licences to show my work and present it as fully mine. I was surprised whilst doing my research of phrases what phrases I needed were and weren’t copyrighted.

 

Whilst designing some stunning swimwear prints I found it rather difficult to visualise how big a print would be and therefore see it on a person. To understand in terms of sizing how large it would print we decided to scale the prints in the size they were drawn onto an A4 piece of paper to see how large or small the design appeared. This technique although simple I have found really useful to help me make sure everything is in the proportions I designed. This will be useful for if I want to design my own prints in my final year as well as any future prints I design. I learnt from my first year to always check the proportions and positioning of a print/etch before printing otherwise you’ll waste materials and time therefore this time I remembered to measure my proportions and understand how large I have sized something prior to printing.

 

Finally I drew some mandala’s to be vinyl applied to tye dye tops. I’m personally not great at drawing mandala’s on a computer however I found there any many free online sites which help you draw them. I learnt if a resource exists and will not cause you to infringe copyright or anything then it’s best to take the help. With my hand condition I do usually forget that it’s okay to ask people for help or say I can’t do something and that is definitely something I should remember when I go into my final year that it’s okay to ask for help. I drew many many mandala designs all unique and then the CEO/Company owner chose her favourite which will be printed onto BB tye dye t-shirts. I can’t show you the final design as they aren’t available as of yet however here are some of the other designs I created for the tops.

Coventry – Week 2

Hi everyone,

Week 2 at Bottle Blonde Studio and I’m absolutely loving it.

This week now the website has been launched it was back to print designs and so I began drawing very graphic icons of various pieces of technology from the 70s/80s/90s. In my second year we were challenged to represent a brand without stating the name with 5 photos, here I learnt how a brand’s image is very important and can allow you to identify how well different silhouettes, colours and items would fit in with a brand. I used this skill this week by doing more research and looking round the studio to understand the vibe of the brand better,  I concluded that retro tech prints and postcards would fit in well with the brand’s vision. Everyone has their own drawing style, mine tends to be very detailed whether it’s sketchy or precise which as I’m doing drawings of vintage products helps me to style the pieces of tech to fit the brand more. Developing my own illustration style will be very useful for my final year as it helps clearly define my work from everyone else’s, as I’m now onto my second print design placement my personal style is ever developing. My first and second years have helped me to understand how to develop an idea to its full potential rather than leaving it at its initial starting point and I use this with each pattern as well as my drawing style.

Record Graphic

I’ve decided the best way for me to go about developing prints is by drawing segments/icons which can then be layered, repeated and positioned in prints. As Bottle Blonde has a very bold neon colour scheme I needed to make sure the colours I used where bright too and when necessary match the Bottle Blonde pink. I learnt that to perfectly match a colour when you go on the colour picker if you type in the # code at the bottom then it matches the colour. This is incredibly useful to me for my final year as I have 2 shades of purple I personally use in everything I can as my own identifiers, knowing this fact saves so much time making sure I have the exact same purple for whatever purposes I need.

Colour Number

As apart of my jobs I’ve been asked to design some postcards that can be sold on the BB website along with prints. This week I have been researching styles of postcards and potential quotes I could put on a BB postcard, as my personal style is very graphic I have been doing graphic drawn cards that can be given as gifts or kept and pinned up for yourself. As BB loves bright colors attempting to put quotes over a vibrant background can be difficult, but outlining a white font can solve this issue and make it much clearer to read. So I learnt how to outline a text in photoshop and this enhanced and completed the design. This is generally helpful for when text is needed over several colours as it can be very difficult to read, outlining in another colour defines the texts and allows the reader to read much clearer. So far over my industry year I’ve learnt a lot of Photoshop skills for which each new one I make a tutorial for my own personal use as the human mind can only hold so much. These files as well as the skills they hold will be useful in my final year to make sure all of the work I produce is at the highest quality for my abilities.

Finally in my personal life this week I have been doing some other designing, a very long time ago a stranger contacted me on Facebook and asked if I would be interested in doing some TV inspired graphic t-shirts. After way too long because of personal issues I finally got round to doing some designing, I haven’t done much because of other priorities such as uni and my internships however it’s just a nice little pocket money earner whilst I do my placement year. Personally I have designed ‘’Peaky Blinders’’, ‘’How I met your mother’’, ‘’Friends’’ and ‘’Stranger things’’ inspired tops. Designing for graphic tops is very different to the prints and postcards I am designing at BB however furthers my design skills and knowledge.

Coventry – Week 1

Happy New Year Everyone!

Hi all,

So it’s now 2019 and with the new year I have begun a new internship in a whole different environment, new vibe, new job and new people. 14th of January I started my second placement of my industry year with Bottle Blonde Studio in Coventry, who make festival wear and generally have a 70s/80s/90s bright and vibrant vibe going on. Bottle Blonde is incredibly different from my previous placement with Amanda Kelly who were designing prints aimed at high street stores and mass market.

For a first week at a job it was rather hectic and fast pace, however this is because we were aiming and successfully launching the new website for the Friday of my first week working here. On my first day I was given my official job title/duties for whilst I’m working at Bottle Blonde, my job is designing prints and little graphics such as postcards, fonts if needed and patterns for other items. I was expecting to be sewing some of the iconic tinsel cascade jackets when starting this job however I’m excited I get to design some more bold prints and just do general graphics for the company as it’s something I’m passionate about. The first job I was given was just researching the vibes of the brand so I could understand and be inspired to create my own prints in an 70s/80s/90s. In comparison to how I researched for prints in London it’s rather difficult to create your own images to draw from when it’s for a fashion period rather than nature/ more doodle styled prints. Fortunately my mother and boyfriend’s mother have tons of photos of them wearing 80s fashion which helped give me inspiration for colours, shapes and rough layouts without copying the exact patterns. I’ve used but also expanded my research skills I’ve learnt at university which will be useful for my final year understanding alternative research methods and how to create your own primary images when working with themes that aren’t easily available for primary research i.e. 80s fashion rather than flowers.

As we were preparing for the website launch this week I assisted Rachel who was mainly in charge of setting up the new site. For the new site Rachel wanted all the product images on the shop page to be the same standard size which involved resizing all the photos from the old website in terms of pixels to the same size. Resizing takes a very long time as we had to copy and paste every photo from the website into a correct size Photoshop document, in order to make sure they were all the exact dimensions that we required. Although it took days to resize and upload to the new site it was definitely worth it, I learnt that digitally having all images on a page the same size gives a more professional and put together visual look. This will be useful when creating portfolio pages as well as organising my own blog and such in my final year as well as my general future.

Bottle Blonde Studio

And finally in my personal life I went out to research more 70s/80s/90s inspiration ready for more pattern designs and play with my new camera I was given for Christmas. I know at some point in the coming weeks Chloe (the CEO/owner) wants me to design some graphic gift cards and postcards for the brand and so I also went and gathered some inspiration for this some pieces just for the layout, others ideas of little card packs so hopefully they’ll be available soon. Also as I’m working in Coventry now I had to find another place to live since I no longer have student accommodation and unfortunately commuting from Leicester is just takes a bit too long to be worth it, but luckily for me my boyfriend lives just outside of Coventry. Each day I commute from his village to Coventry via bus which is a big change from my 45 minute 2 tubes to Amanda Kelly in London, I also appreciate that living with him I no longer feel lonely and when I have issues I now have someone to talk to and help sort through them which wasn’t so easy to do in London.

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