Welcome back to our Designer Roundtable Q&A series! We are asking the questions that you want to know! Paper craft & scrapbook designers, manufacturers and industry insiders are answering your questions. Not all of them will answer, but those who do are having their answers shared directly with you!
Q: “When submitting a project for consideration for magazine publication, how does your approach and/or creative process differ from when you are submitting a similar project for a design team call?“
~ visit each guest designer’s blog by clicking their linked first names underneath their answers ~
Kazan Clark says …
My approach is a little different when I submit to a Publishing call versus a Design Team Call. Publications tend to embrace different styles – some may prefer simpler projects with cleaner lines while others enjoy more intricate designs so I design my cards and pages to reflect the style of the publication. I also have take into consideration what a publication’s specific call requires in terms of theme, season etc. in my design.
When I submit to a Design Team I like to use that particular teams product and I make sure that their product is the star on my artwork. I also spend time researching the team by going on their website and facebook pages. I like to know who their target audience is and make sure that my designs and style of crafting would be a good fit for them as a company.
Regardless of whether I am creating for a Publication call or Design Team call, I try to make a project that I am proud of and I try to photograph it so that it represents my work in the best possible way. Sometimes the projects work, other times not but that’s okay because I know that it can’t always be a good fit for all publications and all Design Teams.
Kazan is currently on the design teams for Spellbinders and for Just Rite Stampers. Her work can also be found in many publications, including CardMaker Magazine, Crafts ‘n Things, Paper Crafts Magazine and Scrapbook Trends.
Candy Rosenberg says …
When creating a project for a magazine publication you will need to consider the theme, style of publication content and audience. Your project will often need to be very specific to what the magazine is calling for so keep this in mind during your creative process. When submitting your project, it is imperative that your photos are very clean, sharp and simple. Include several angles and up close shots to show any specific techniques or layers, especially if they highlight a specific request by the publication. Remember that you do not have to be a “name” in the industry to be published, every one has equal opportunity it is that most “aspiring” designers do not submit and those in the industry often do and when a magazine does not get enough submissions they often will seek out established designers to create for them.
Candy is on the design teams for May Arts Ribbon, Spellbinders, and Vintage Street Market, among others. Her work can be found in many industry publications, including Creating Keepsakes, Somerset Home, Scrapbooking & Beyond and Create & Decorate.
When I’m creating for a Design Team Call my emphasis is on the specific TYPE of design team, be it a sketch, paper manufacturer, stamp manufacturer, die-cutting manufacturer, product manufacturer, etc. For example, if I’m submitting to a paper manufacturer, I’m focusing on creating with a strong paper focus within my design comfort zone. I might showcase the many different ways the product can be used as well. I stay within my design comfort zone to ensure that I’m representing my style accurately. You don’t want to submit a shabby/chic project when you’re really clean/graphic!
When I create something for publication, I always ensure that I’ve read the publication call thoroughly so I know exactly what the editors are looking for. For example, I would never submit a 4th of July card for the Holiday Issue. Then, I ensure that the project has these three key components: balance, precision, and innovation. You want the project to follow simple design principles such as “the rule of thirds”. You also want to make sure your project doesn’t have any glaring faults such as adhesive “boogers”, unintentional crooked cuts, etc. Lastly, you want to design something that makes the editors say “wow!”
Tiffany is on the design teams for Sizzix, Lawn Fawn, Hambly, Faber-Castell and others. Her work can also be found in Creating Keepsakes, CARDS Magazine, Paper Crafts Magazine and others.
In my opinion, the difference is not so much in the creative process, but maybe somewhat in the focus. Usually, manufacturers would want to see how creatively an applicant uses their products or similar other products and tools, while an editor would want a layout that fits the scope of her article or column the best whether in terms of the photos, journaling, technique, design, etc. Really, do your best work, submit, and I’m sure you’ll find your best fit.
Mou is on the design teams for Hambly, Glitz Design, Faber-Castell and others. She is a contributing writer at Creating Keepsakes and has also been published in other industry magazines, books and special interest publications.
Submitting a project for publication and submitting a project for a design team call can be two very different things. When submitting for publication, my first consideration is always the magazine’s style. For example, if I’m submitting to a magazine that focuses on quick and easy or clean and simple projects, I don’t want to submit something with an elaborately colored image or a lot of layers and embellishments. “Wow” projects are great but if my submission doesn’t fit the magazine’s style, it won’t be chosen no matter how fabulous it might be. While a project may be similar to what is submitted for publication, when submitting for a design team call I want my own style to shine. The magazine publication is a one-time project. Design team terms can be two months, six months or more. If I want to be chosen for a design team, I want the team to see my style using their products to the very best of my ability.
Michele is on the design teams for Copic, My Favorite Things Stamps, and Kraftin Kimmie stamps. She is also a Split Coast Stampers Dirty Dozen alumni. Michele’s work is published in many industry publications including Paper Crafts Magazine, Crafts ‘n Things, CardMaker, and the Copic Coloring Guide.
When submitting for a magazine, my process usually starts with understanding the topic/theme/techniques being requested and also taking into considering the magazine’s target audience. Whereas for design teams, I draw inspirations from the product themselves, from collection’s color combination to a design element or at times a pattern paper.
But regardless of all the different factors and the initial creative spark, stay true to your style and if you don’t get selected – keep on trying.
Piradee is on the design teams for Pink Paislee, American Crafts, Crate Paper and Fancy Pants. She was named to the Creating Keepsakes Dream Team in 2011 and 2012. Her work has appeared in Creating Keepsakes, Memory Makers, Scrapbook Trends, PaperCrafts Inspirations and others.
When I sit down to create a layout for magazine publication, I make sure to focus first on a few things that particular magazine likes to see in their layouts. When creating for Creating Keepsakes magazine, I know that they prefer two page layouts, color photos, common photo sizes, and lots of photos. Knowing this, I wouldn’t usually sit down and start a one page layout, with only one black and white photo. I have to know what each magazine is drawn to, and try and create within those “guidelines”, so that my layouts have better chances of getting noticed. There is a lot more freedom when it comes to choosing products to use, since I’m not required to stick to certain manufacturers, and I can mix a wide variety of manufacturers on each layout.
When I sit down to create layouts for design team calls, I would make a point to focus on one page layouts, and just one to two photos. Manufacturers are looking for designers that can showcase their products in unique and creative ways. Two page layouts don’t stand out the way that one page layouts do, and too many photos can take away the attention from what you’ve done with the product. I would also make a point to try and find new and different ways to use their embellishments. Anyone can take a product out of the package and use it. I want to show them that I can do something unique with it, to help them showcase the product to it’s full potential. Lastly, when creating layouts for design team calls, I know that I am only going to use that particular manufacturers products on my pages. I want to show them what I can do with THEIR product, not everyone else’s products.
Laura is the design team & special projects coordinator at Bella Blvd. (Learn more about the Bella Blvd design team selection process in our previous article here.) Laura recently wrapped up design team positions with Making Memories, Pebbles Inc and Jillibean Soup. She was a member of the Creating Keepsakes Dream Team in 2010, 2011 & 2012 and is regularly featured in their publications.
Thank you, thank you to our guests for sharing their insights this week!
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