As a trained graphic designer as well as a textile one, I first and foremost realise the importance of strong, striking marketing materials and cohesive branding across all printed and digital social media platforms when taking part in international trade shows. This also includes the preparation of the finished digitally printed fabric samples which will be prepared for printing and then prepped, collated and attached to printed headers to display the textile works at a glance for potential trade show buyers.
Having recently taken part in Heimtextil which is an international homeware and interiors show which is held annually in January in Frankfurt, Germany a lot of extra work which has to be factored into the design process is file preparation for the printed fabrics as well as the trade show marketing materials.
My blog post today is a follow on post from "The Making of A Look Book" by Tanya Paget (designer of the AlbaQuirky textile brand and fellow Finch and Foxglove member) who also took part in the Heimtextil show earlier this month with Australian agent Nerida Hansen Print and Textiles.
So this is a typical to do list of items which need to be prepared for digital printing on fabric and paper as well as files for digital social media.
1. Look Book and Designer Bio.
Look Books can vary in size and content but my book shown consists of 36 x pages including the front and back cover 300mm x 300mm. There are various online sites which can publish printed look books but my preference is the Blurb website. A site which is easy to use and produces quality results at an affordable cost. I used a programme called In Design to create the layouts for this process. I find that it is a nice touch and quite personal if you include a short designer bio within the intro section of the book which leads the buyer into the content and collections. The short bio should inject some personality and inform the buyer of the designer behind the brand without being too cheesy or longwinded.
2. Finished Artwork for Printed Collections of Fabric.
Collections of five prints which can be arranged by colour and/or theme. I like to generally use a theme such as this collection below called "Andiamo" which is Italian for Lets Go! This is a bright colour palette is aimed at the S/S 19 summer homeware market, perhaps cushions and upholstery for the garden or patio such as sun loungers or conservatory furniture. That was my take on it!
The finished printed capsule collection of five prints on this theme is set out in a cascade of fabrics which can be glanced at quickly in one quick glance, this is essential when time is of the essence for buyers on the hop.
3. Digital Postcards.
Artwork is usually set up to A6 size, landscape or portrait format. In this instance I have opted for Portrait format as it suits my signature style best. Again files are set up to 300dpi for high resolution printing. Paper or card selection is usually the choice of the agent responsible for organising the printing.
The postcards should have a consistent look to the designers look book in terms of layout and colour/branding. I have kept an overall bleed with a dark teal rectangle band bleeding off the edges of the cards centrally, with my logo set out in grey. I have put my website only on this as all my social media details are on my website but quite a lot of designers tend to print all their social media sites on the postcard also. I have highlighted the agents name in the yellow rectangle box for conisistent branding and definition.
The more colourful the better, this should reflect your strongest work either as a mock up on product and a printed pattern to co-ordinate. These posters in booths are effective to pull the buyers onto a booth. They can vary in size and dimensions but should have your logo clearly visible and perhaps a collection name.
Showing a mock up and also a large section of the design
5. Digital Social Media:
Promotion of Trade Shows is a must on social media platforms such as twitter, linked-in, face book and insta-gram to name a few. It is essential to keep the look and feel of your brand consistent across all social media platforms to create unity and professionalism at all times. Instagram is one of my favourite social media platforms and I love the interaction with other fellow users, comments, likes and follows.
So as you can see that the fabric design is a major part of the process but it is supported with a wide range of printed marketing material and online promotion to give a flavour and back story to the collections which are presented by individual designers. Hope you enjoyed a peek behind the scenes.