Like many designers, I have been having a load of fun with the recent kaleidoscope apps available everywhere. Like a funhouse mirror, they can be amusing; refining them into a usable design and actually applying them to product can get into more skilled and rewarding work. Here are a few things I have culled from my designs at PAOM.com.
The art of cropping imagery to make it more interesting is a recent trend, a modern stance on meaning. If an image was meant to be read in one, static way (think Mona Lisa), showing it cropped to an essential detail reveals a new way of considering it, sometimes with humor, sometimes surprise, but always it provides a different perspective.
I have been providing pattern or surface-design images to a few print-on-demand online companies for a while now. All were new a couple of years ago, eager to get rolling, pulling in hundreds of artists in an attempt to have a wide range of hip designs for their fairly basic merchandise. One company, Kess InHouse, in particular caught my eye, as they were taking digital images and blowing them up to the size of a bedspread or shower curtain. I though, fun! I would love to have a shower curtain with my Leeks design on it! So I submitted a variety of designs and waited to see what would turn out.
Fun indeed! Kess does a great job of making your designs into interesting products, but the submitted design is simply stretched to fit the format. I find it interesting and amusing to see the results of this way of using an image: no matter what the product, the image is just made to fit, with sometimes no rhyme or reason: very postmodern! Here is a selection of items with my designs, to illustrate the point. All products are available at Kess InHouse under Laura Nicholson.