#FeatureFriday — Behind the Scenes with the Designer of the Essentials Collection

What was CM Product Designer and Illustrator Alex going for when she set out to design the ultra-popular, ultra-playful Essentials collection? What’s unique about the collection in her eyes and which product does she think people will love the most? In today’s instalment of #FeatureFriday, go behind the scenes with Alex to find out all this and more! Intrigued? Read on!

Alex-Creative-Memories-DesignerMeet the Designer

Alex has been working with us as a product designer and illustrator for about a year now. 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 MineFull BloomSun-KissedO CanadaLumberjack, Best in Show, Locally Grown 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!).

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What Inspired This Collection?

“This collection could easily have been named ‘Back to Basics’ because that’s what it is. The palette is evocative of elementary school days (colour crayons, toys, blocks, etc.) but what unites the content of Essentials is its simplicity. It could be used for any situation; think school, field trips, picnics, birthdays, theme parks and a variety of cheerful and general occasions! The shapes are traditional (with a cute, imperfect twist) so the personality is friendly and playful.”

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How Would You Describe the Colour Palette?

“It’s a primary palette of true red, kelly green, bright yellow, royal blue, black and white. It’s timeless and very popular.”

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How Would You Describe the Papers?

“The paper packs were intended to be pretty simple and geometric with some playful imperfections. The majority of the papers are tonal, which means they are very simplistic and easy to use. The front of the page has a lighter approach to each colour and the reverse is more saturated so you get both ‘sides’ of every colour! There are triangles, zigzags, stripes, chevrons, stars and some new made-up shapes as well. One paper looks like it belongs on a bulletin board (it has some wavy borders that take me back).

“The foiled Accent Pack is another story. Shining pinwheels, crooked stripes and toy-themed polka dots all jump out with an element of flash in an otherwise traditional collection. The foil adds a splash of pizzazz to our basic and timeless theme!”

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What is Unique About the Collection?

“This collection was intended to be super classic. All the tried and true shapes are present, but some of them have a new twist. Old meets new with the palette and geometric shapes designed in a slightly imperfect, cheerful style.”

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From a Design Perspective, What Do You Think Customers will Like Most?

“I think people are going to love that the album cover is a throwback to the old CM! The scrolling design in the corners used to come on every plain bookcloth album, and we gave it a slight update to be a little larger and contemporary-feeling. I love the classic design!”

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What is Your Favourite Sticker?

“I like the ‘I ❤ to Read’ sticker because I love to read and always have! I listen to audiobooks all day at work and I read a different book on my Kindle on the train on my way to and from work.”

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What Was Your Favourite Subject in School?

“It’s a tie between math and art! I know, that’s a bit of a weird combo. I think the creativity and specificity in both allow me to be a successful pattern maker!”

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So, there you go – you’ve got the insider’s perspective on Essentials! What is your favourite part of the collection? Do you agree with Alex about the album cover? Let us know in the comments below!

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