Happy #FeatureFriday, everyone! We sat down with CM Product Designer Alex to take a closer look at her design inspiration for the NEW Best in Show collection, and also got other behind-the-scenes details such as which artist inspired the collection’s artwork, how the dogs on the dog designer paper were selected, what she would change about the collection if she could (hint: it’s funny!) and – the age-old question – is she a dog or cat person?! In Alex’s words, “This [collection] is for the kitty cats and the puppers!” Let’s check it out…
Meet the Designer
Alex has been working with us as a Product Designer and Illustrator for almost a year. She started in July 2017, right before taking off for a three-week trip through France (whoops!). Before working for Creative Memories, she was a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Spending that much time working alone at home (talking to her pets) finally started to take its toll… she was thrilled to join a team again, and now she happily spends her days making art for you fine folks. Other collections she has designed so far include Bee Mine, Full Bloom, Sun-Kissed, O Canada, Lumberjack and many more to come! Outside of work, Alex loves to work (haha), as pattern-making is one of her hobbies. She likes to cook, travel, read nerdy sci-fi novels and snuggle with her aforementioned pets, Larry (dog!) and Alphonse (cat!). She’s also in the process of planning her wedding, set for late August.
What Inspired This Collection?
“This is a throwback collection to the animation styles of the 1950s. It features simple, hand-done, imperfect designs with lots of personality and colour! The colour palette is bright and playful: sky and royal blues, lime green, gold and a pop of fuchsia here and there. I wanted to evoke a vintage Mary Blair-style with the artwork. She is a hero of mine. I think I did that, but with my own personal twist. This collection is for all of the dog and cat lovers out there.”
How Would You Describe the Papers?
“The papers are equally split between pet-specific and general papers; this should be a fairly universally usable paper pack! There is one paper with just cats, one with just dogs, and some more subtle hints of pet life (paw prints, balls of wool, etc.) throughout, with many general patterns to use for any reason at all.”
What Thought Went into Designing the Paper Pack?
“We wanted a pets collection that could transition easily to broader subject matter… because while *I* might want to create an entire scrapbook about my ‘lil babies, not everyone does. Plus, with such a bright, playful colour palette, it was a perfect collection for summer-themed celebrations as well. We tried to hone in on exclusively cats and dogs. We wanted to be sure to thoroughly cover those bases instead of having little bite-sized nods to the outside world of other pets. All of my co-workers had very strong opinions on the best breeds of dog, and deciding which to include in our puppy-themed paper was truly contentious.”
What is Unique About the Collection?
“This collection was illustrated in a highly stylized manner, cheerful and nostalgic. It probably took me about a month to design; maybe a little less. I experimented with a new process… using flat colour with Photoshop brushes so that there was some textural interest. I had never worked that way before and I perfected the process with our corgi friend, mentioned below.”
What Do You Envision This Collection Being Used For?
“Pets, of course! But it could also be used for spring, summer, picnic, birthday party, school, kids camp, field trips and much more! The Fast2Fab™ in this collection was aimed to be extra general so our customers can quickly immortalise their picnics, reunions and summertime events. We also did something unique for the first time: we are using a different album cover for the Fast2Fab™ to really emphasise the general usability (instead of using the paw prints we have for the rest of the collection).”
If You Could Change One Thing About This Collection, What Would It Be?
“I think I would have made it a little weirder if I were left to my own devices. I have a pretty goofy sense of humour and there is so much strange and hilarious pet content out there. Plus, having pets intimately acquaints you with certain bodily functions (ahem, doggy bags) so there might have been a few 💩 emojis included as well.”
What is Your Favourite Sticker and Why?
“My favourite sticker is, without a doubt, the corgi. Look how cute he is! I also discovered a new process for creating digital art when I drew him, so he’s extra special to my heart.”
Okay… We Have to Know! Cat or Dog Lover?
“This is a really hard question. Growing up, I had neither. I unexpectedly took on Alphonse, my kitty, when I was in college… and she has been there through some rough and lonely times. She’s super low key and loves to snuggle. She is my rock. So, I became a cat person. Then <dun dun dun> we adopted a little coonhound a year and a half ago, and my world has not been the same. What a little troublemaker Larry was! And still is. He is so much work and such a stinker, but he is so unbelievably cute and sweet, and he keeps me active… and so it’s a completely different kind of love. Obviously, I have spent some time thinking about this.”
About Best in Show: Inspired by throwback animation designs from the 1950s, this collection brings a simple, hand-done feel that’s endearingly imperfect and filled with personality. From the paw print foiled Album Cover to the furrrvantly fun Paper Pack and Stickers, as well as a Fast2Fab™ and Fast2Fab™ Refill Pages with dynamic retro designs that will work for all occasions, Best in Show truly is just as its name implies – the best!
Comment below and tell Alex what you think of this purrrfect pet collection!