I started off with a little research, a lot of my designs aren't in collections but the style and bright colour palettes link them together. I also wanted to see how I should go about putting the whole thing together and how to lay it out, it has to look professional!
First up I had a look at some other designer’s books, and I hope you'll have a flick through as well as these are some amazing designers and their work is worth a look!
So we have:
Here are a few things I noticed from perusing through their work:
1. They all work in collections of similar motifs, style and colour (so that’s where I’m going wrong!)
2. Make sure your logo and name are on the front cover, I think Brandi and Elizabeth’s look great with an image of one of their patterns on a product as well as the title standing out clearly so you know what it is you are about to read.
3. An intro page is essential. It gives you the chance to tell viewers a bit about yourself and your background. Three were written in third person and one was in first person, I quite liked the connection you felt with Elizabeth when she spoke as herself. It made you feel like this was coming from her heart but third person does make it sound more professional and as though there is a whole team behind you instead of you being a one (wo)man show.
4. It’s nice to include a picture of yourself, one that also features your designs or studio is a good idea as it ties into you, your job and your life as a designer. It also gives readers a face to the name. It makes it a bit more personal.
5. Make sure your email address is in there, on the intro page and the last page so people see it a couple of times and so they don’t miss it. You could include other links aswell, your website and blog or social media. I wouldn’t have loads of links though or it begins to look a bit messy. You can add links to images like in Rebecca’s Lookbook for her social media links. Brandi has taken a different approach and put her links on the back cover so you can direct yourself from there after you have read through her book. Rosie's (Believe Creative Studio) idea is clever though, she has put hers on the last double page so it is included in the book and not overlooked or missed!
6. As for the layout of the rest of the Lookbook I was drawn to the books that included loads of product mock up images. They break up the blocks of pattern and make you visualise what these designs would look like on real products.
7. I think it goes without saying that keeping patterns in collections works well, all of these Lookbooks use this method. One off designs don’t work as well (so I have a bit of work ahead of me!). I love Rosie’s use of illustrating the name of the collection. Putting a simple typed title for each collection works just as well, as long as you have each collection together so people who don’t know your work inside out can coherently see what goes with what.
8. Most of these designers have kept either a double spread or a single page for a collection. It depends how big your collections are but keeping them to a double page will help readers see the full collection and how it all works together. Rosie and Rebecca both do this really well!
9. Now for how many designs in a collection and how many Stock photos to get. You may not be interested in mocking up patterns, Rosie hasn’t included this, she has made sure her images are big and the page isn’t too cluttered. Leaving a whole page for one design or illustration really draws you to it. Doing this with the main design will bring your readers focus straight to it over pages with several images on. So you by no means HAVE to produce mocked up images.
If you want to take this route then make sure you buy your stock photos or have permission to use the images. You don’t want to get into trouble! These designers have used between 5 and 35+ mock ups , Elizabeth’s images are all mock ups which is the complete opposite of Rosie. So you really have the full scope of Lookbook’s to learn from here!
Elizabeth and Rebecca both use a similar amount of stock photos and use them several times throughout the books. Rebecca has given her readers the chance of seeing each of her collections on the full range of products whereas Elizabeth has mixed hers up and not shown the full collection in some cases but only one or two designs. Brandi has done an incredible job and hasn’t replicated any of her stock photos (wow that’s a lot of mocking up!) and the end product is fantastic. You see all of her collections on a wide range of different items so get a good feel of how her designs could work across a number of end uses.
Massive well done to all of these ladies for their fantastic Lookbooks and I do hope you have a look and think about making one of your own. Get in touch if you do and I would love to showcase it for you! Mine will be on its way soon =)