Art Deco is a design style that first appeared in France in the 1920s. The style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation. About a year ago, a few of my colleagues and I got together to brainstorm ideas for things that we wanted to make. One of our production coordinators brought in a beautiful sheet of stationery that was of that era and style and we all instantly fell in love with the idea of making something that was over-the-top lavish and decadent and really embraced the ideals of that movement, which of course, in our minds, meant using FOIL, and lots of it, as much of it as we could afford! We looked into several different format ideas, but ultimately settled upon a set of three notebooks for our homage to this classic and visually stunning era.
As I often do when starting my design process, I pulled together inspiration boards to help identify design motifs that would help me create patterns that would feel of the period. I found so much beauty and inspiration in examples of the architecture and interior design, as well as fashion, jewelry, and packaging during that time. The tall and elegant lines, the curves that create a feeling of fluidity and grace, the radiating sunbursts and zigzags were all elements that I wanted to try and bring into the design of the notebooks.
After having identified the motifs I wanted to use, I began to sketch—lots and lots of sketches—starting off in pencil, later moving them into the computer to start playing with colors and how we might maximize our use of foil (i.e. the bling factor). Here are a few of the sketches I did.
Next, my editor and I sat down with the difficult task of having to narrow down all the ideas to three so that I could refine the chosen designs into a cohesive set. It was hard, but we did it. Here are the designs that we chose for the final set in all their foil glory!
We continued the designs (and the foil!!!) onto the backs of the notebooks so that they would feel lavish, decadent and deluxe.
I have to give a special thanks to my production coordinator and partner-in-foil-crime on this project, Ben, who was the one who brought in that beautiful sheet of stationery that inspired us and who was the one who fulfilled this designer’s dream of being able to use more foil than I ever thought would be possible. We hope that you enjoy the finished set as much as we do.
Design Director, Formats
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