Pet Food Project
This unit focuses on using digital media, with multiple tasks in place to allow me to explore different ways of using software, hardware, and fundamental art skills to create pieces of artwork.
Intro to Pet Food
2nd November 2021
Our latest project is based on using InDesign to design pet food packing, which is useful because we may be asked to design packaging or aid with company branding in our future careers as artists. Our homework was to do some research on pet food packaging and make a research document or mood board to show our inspirations to refer back to.
I decided to make my mood board in InDesign as I've never used it before and I thought this would be a good way to get used to the designs. I fond it to be quite fiddly, which tools not doing what I expected them to do, which was frustrating but offered a good learning experience for me. I think once I learn how to use this software properly it could be very useful in graphic design and product design.
I picked imagery of different pet food packing as well as the foods itself. I wanted to show a range of different styles so I could compare the elements I think work, and which ones I wouldn't want to use in my piece. I have always had dogs around me, even at times where there wasn't one in my home due to family members being dog-lovers, so it feels very natural for me to lean towards dog food. I would like to look at more pictures of dogs, including some of my family dogs as references for possibly graphics and illustrations for this project as a common theme is imagery of healthy, happy dogs.
Curating My Mood Board
17th November 2021
Once my initial research was done, I started thinking about which textures, colours, and illustration styles, I liked best, and began to make another mood board which was more curated to my desired aesthetic. I included photographs of my own family dogs as I want to use one (or both) of them as illustration references for my packaging; their poses and expressions are slightly different in each image so I can capture different moods and dimensions. I also included images of packaging I feel inspired by to refer back to.
I created a space for lectures, colours, and illustration styles on the board in which I placed several paper and pastel type textures. I also included some geometric shapes and backgrounds as I really like how they add interest to packaging without being overwhelming. I had to remember that I would be using digital vectors when picking out illustrations I wanted to draw inspiration from, so I tried to pick simple styles I could mark out digitally using vectors with ease.
I think my aesthetic is very clear and my mood board can be really useful going forwards.
Creating My Vector Illustration
8th December 2021
After having some issues with my health, I started working on this project again with enthusiasm. I took some time to get used to illustrator by working with it on another project, so I felt prepared to create my vector illustration. I used a photograph of our family dog as a reference and created a few vectors with simple shapes to get an idea of the composition using the pen tool. I really like this tool because of how easy it is to adapt lines and change the outlines and fill of the shape.
On a new layer, I began to add in more detailed lines showing more rounded, wiggly outlines to emphasise his curls. Next, I added in the tongue nose, and eyes and began to place them so they would fit with curls. I tried to make it so his eyes would seem to be looking at the viewer by placing the pupils in the same place as they were in my photo, where the dog is looking directly at the camera.
The final part was adding in details like the curls on his face with the brush tool, which allowed me to freehand the lines and make them feel organic but having the software polish them up a bit and smooth them out, and I sent that back to my teacher to ask for her opinion. After getting her feedback I thickened up the lines around the collar to match the outlines of the dog's fur and adjusted the eyes so they were looking more directly at the camera.
I'm happy with my work and hopefully, it will work well with my final design.
Creating My Box Design
9th December 2021
The next step was to create a sketch of the packaging which I can use for part three of the project, which is making the actual packaging. I added all the assets I needed to have on the packaging to a Procreate document with the template for the box, then began to arrange everything to how I wanted it. I looked to my mood board to remind myself of the aesthetic I wanted and came up with an initial idea.
I didn't like the way the blue canvas texture looked on my first design. I wanted a natural pastel tone and a feel of paper bags but this wasn't working, so I tried adding in more natural brown and yellow tones but with the geometric shapes like I had on the mood board for decoration. I liked this look a lot more.
Getting Back to Work
29th March 2022
I took a break from my work on this project due to contracting COVID-19 and having Long COVID, which is why there's been such a large gap since my last entry. I actually think this time helped me. I got out of my head and when I came back to work on this, I felt a new enthusiasm and I had better ideas for this piece.
The first thing I did was fix my illustration so that my dog wasn't looking into the middle distance. It took some time experimenting with moving the eyes and the pupils, and I got frustrated by it at one point, but I managed it. I think this looks much better. My teacher was definitely right to suggest I tweak this, despite my frustrations with the process. My final PNG looks like this:
The next thing I did was start a new InDesign document and begin to build up a new draft. I wasn't exactly sure how to go about creating my vision and I needed to get used to using the software again. I tried to use my initial drafts as a reference but something wasn't quite right. I was going to send my teacher the package for some feedback but due to technical issues, I couldn't export the file. I decided to use what I'd learned from this attempt and start over on my computer instead of my laptop, which would get less overwhelmed by the software. This was now officially a warm-up attempt.
The good thing about starting over is that I could really alter my ideas without worrying about undoing anything else. I've already committed to a fresh start. This time I looked back at my mood board and I looked again at the packaging I have around my house. I really used these to guide my design, which is what I should have been doing from the beginning. I didn't research thoroughly enough.
I started by adding the paper texture that I wanted from the start. I found an image online that was available to use for my purposes and saved it to my PC. I used the rectangle tool to create the background shapes for the very basic rectangles, and the pen tool to create the shapes of the folding flaps and imported the image into the shapes. By keeping these shapes separate I could easily adjust them if needed without throwing off the whole design.
Next, I imported my very basic assets and placed them where I thought they should be. Everything essential was in the document ready to use so it wouldn't be forgotten. Some of these assets were re-sized and moved later to better fit the design.
I imported the PNG of my dog and then resized it to fit the front page. I wanted to add a splash of colour using simple geometric shapes and pastel-like colours like in my mood board, so I used the circle tool to add the green background and then I used the multiply filter to make it blend with the paper texture. I thought this would be a nice start to a logo, so I used the type along path tool to write "PAWSOME" around the top of the circle. This is where I chose the font family I could stick with for the rest of my design so it would be cohesive. It feels just fun enough while being readable. I then made a small white rectangle and placed it under the circle and added the "for dogs" underneath. I used the drop shadow tool on these to make them feel more organic.
I grouped the logo assets in case I wanted to scale them to copy and paste them with ease, then changed the size so it would fit the page in a more pleasing way. Already this was looking much better than my initial designs. I think the composition is much better.
I added some triangles at the bottom of the page using the pen tool. I wasn't really sure what I wanted their purpose to be, but it felt nice to fill out the space with something. I chose yellow and the same green as the logo so everything felt tied together. I didn't want to copy all the colours from the logo but having the yellow made a connection to the fur and to the collar. After thinking for a moment, I realised this is where products would usually be hyping up their product, so I added in some catchy buzzword qualities using the type along with the path tool. I moved things around a bit and when I was happy with the way they looked, I grouped the triangles together and then used the darken opacity tool to make them feel like they were part of the paper. I was starting to feel inspired by this look. I think this is where I realised where I wanted this design to go.
Finalising my Draft
31st March 2022
After finding my feet with the front cover of my box, I began to work on adding details to the rest of the box. I wanted to repeat the patterns of the triangles around the box to add some colour and interest, and to frame the text so it stands out.
I knew I had to find a way to fit my tagline to my box somewhere. I noticed that not all boxes have the tagline on the front, for example, the cereal brand Alpen has the tagline "up and Alpen" on the side of their box. I decided I would add the tagline to the side of the box and the back to really let it set into people's heads when they pick up the box and read it or see it displayed.
I started work on the back of the box first. I wanted the tagline to act as a heading to the rest of the text, and I also wanted a graphic to again add interest. I decided to duplicate and resize my logo and use that as my graphic, as I felt it would again keep the brand in mind. It did also honestly save me from making more assets, which is important due to my time constraints. I measured my text boxes out and planned my page for spacing. After typing out my text I did need to make some adjustments, but I'm quite happy with how it looks. I repeated the method of using a white box with a shadow to highlight text for the serving suggestions and to add some depth to the box.
I then started work on the sides of the box. I only needed to copy, paste, and rearrange the tagline a little bit to make it fit. On the other side of the box, I added more catchy benefits of the pet food to draw people in. I used phrases I know people are impressed by even if they don't fully understand why they're beneficial because I know they draw people in. I took this idea for the design of the box from Alpen's layout also. I then added in a box weight and the name to the lid of the box so the top part wouldn't be empty and the box felt more whole and realistic. This is the final draft I sent to my teacher for feedback:
Finalising my Draft
11th April 2022
My teacher sent me some really helpful feedback for my draft and I tried to apply it to my box. I extended the triangle shapes to create a more flowing feel to the box and I altered the background so it fit more accurately into the template. I also moved the ingredients further from the fold of the box so if the box were printed and folded, none of the text would be lost. My text on the right side of the box is difficult to read so I made the outline smaller and the text overall bigger so it is clearer.
The biggest change was altering the logo. My dog is quite bold and bright and doesn't fit in as much with the pastel theme. I wanted to keep the red collar quite badly so I decided to just tone down the palette slightly by duplicating my illustration asset and making one layer almost completely white. I then placed the second copy on top and changed the opacity to quickly tone down the overall feel to make it fit in better. I think it worked quite nicely. Maybe red still isn't the best fit, but I can't let go of it.
I also moved the white box the "for dogs" is on to the front so that there isn't that overlap showing through the filter on the green circle. This was another one of my teacher's suggestions and it does look a lot better. I'm happy with this image and I think I'd be happy for this to be my final piece of work to hand in.