Kristen Dettoni Explains Her Design ProcessKristin Crane
At Design Pool, we like to say that our creative process is client-driven. We do this work because we love to see our designs find their way into a client’s product and out into the marketplace. Founder Kristen Dettoni does the majority of the design work for Design Pool and is passionate about creating a beautiful and useful design library.
For Kristen, her design process usually starts with a robust market and trend research. She knows that the more information she has about a client’s (or potential client’s) market, the better she’ll be able to create something that will work effectively for them. Research can involve anything from getting out and visiting stores, reading magazines, or attending tradeshows. But while those can be useful, she also remembers that those avenues show her products that already exist. She believes it’s just as important to be inspired to create something new and unique. For this reason, she also goes to museums, local art shows, or learns a new art technique. Learning about bead weaving, natural dyeing, ceramics, or needle punching expands her creative toolbox and opens her mind up to new ideas and innovative approaches.
Once she feels she has enough information and inspiration, she likes to marinate on the project for a few days and let her mind wander around a concept. From there she goes to her computer and starts playing. Kristen thinks of herself as a subtractive artist. She begins by putting a lot down on her screen and then starts removing elements, changing them, moving them around. She works fast and creates lots of thumbnail sketches of different concepts and ideas. Her speed sometimes creates happy accidents that she works from, or concepts not quite right for a particular project but can be saved to use later.
Though she often starts at the computer, she doesn’t work there exclusively. When a design calls for a more artistic feel or requires a handmade touch, she may use watercolors, collage, or block printing.
After a couple of days working between her computer and sketching in her sketchbook, she begins to work through the concepts and considers how the motifs might repeat. It is at this point where the designs come together.
Next comes color and texture. Color placement in a pattern can make or break a design and is the point in the process that the design really comes to life. Additionally, adding a layer of texture to a shape can add depth and interest to an otherwise flat design.
Kristen loves the pressure of a deadline, and as she’s getting closer, she buckles down and takes these ideas and motifs and starts working them into a correct repeat that will be seamless.
Developing a good design requires skill and expertise to take that idea and execute it into something successful. It also needs time to evolve in order to be original and unique. Kristen feels that by taking time at the beginning of the process for “idea incubation” and challenging herself with learning new techniques, she can provide the best design to her clients and her business.
If you would like to work with Kristen on a custom design for your product, please contact us here.