My years at design school (especially those back in Industrial Design in Colombia) helped me develop my own design methodology. When I design, I like telling a story or at least giving some meaning to my work. It is very hard for me to just sit down and draw if I don’t really know what I’m trying to communicate. There has to be a theme from which I then create a concept, and from it, design.
The first step then, is to decide a theme. This time it was easy because it was given to us: wanderlust. Once I have the theme I like to get to its etymological origins, so I usually grab my dictionaries (real and virtual) and start writing the meanings of each single word in the theme’s title. In this case there was only one word, so it was simpler.
I had an idea of what wanderlust meant (something about travelling), but had never really thought about it; it was time to squeeze its connotations out. Second step: brainstorming. I started with a white sheet of paper on which I wrote wanderlust in a big fluffy cloud (that’s how I always start my brainstorm maps… hihihi). Then I opened my dictionary and discovered something wonderful: wanderlust comes from two German words wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire) (I’m in my second year of German and the more I study it, the more I fall in love with it -
it is just so beautifully logical - so it was a nice surprise to discover this).
wanderlust = desire to hike (literally), but in English it is intended as a strong desire to travel.
I couldn’t stop there, though… I wanted to know if there was more behind the word. I decided to google it, and found a pretty interesting article on wikipedia and a phrase that struck me immediately: crave for travel. My brainstorm cloud migrated to the word travel and what it meant to me (by the way… traveling is one of my biggest passions). For me to travel means to explore, observe, learn and meet new cultures and places. I love discovering everything that makes part of that new place: its people and their customs, its language(s), its arts & crafts, its costumes, its geography and biodiversity, its weather, its beliefs -
the list is just endless, but there’s one thing that intrigues most travellers (including me) - its food.
The moment I wrote that 4 letter word down I knew what my design concept was going to be. Somewhere in my brainstorm there was the crave for travel phrase that had caught my attention before, and now I had just written one of my many mundane pleasures: food… in that moment, the concept became obvious to an eternal-dieter hence an eternal-craver
for all things a dieter shouldn’t eat: food trips; world famous country-dish/beverage/ingredient combinations (ex. Japan + sushi or Italy + pizza).
There are so many places in the world and so many tasty dishes, but I had to limit my choice to some of the most common ones (sorry if I didn’t include your favorite or your country) and also some of the ones I personally know and love (to make the design my own). At the end I chose 12 countries > 12 dishes > 12 tourist guides to accompany you on your trip around the world:
- Juan Café (Colombia): coffee (after all, we produce the best coffee in the world)
- Captain Hamburger (USA): hamburger (there’s nothing like an old-style hamburger in a 50s diner)
- Bruno Casanova (Italy): Nutella (one of my many italian guilty pleasures with gelato, pizza and pasta)
- Mr. Mariachi (Mexico): tacos (love love love Mexican cousine…)
- Herr Currywurst (Germany): currywurst (mmm… so tasty!)
- A Garota (Brazil): feijoada (yummy black beans!)
- Putin on the Eggs (Russia): caviar and vodka shots (don’t really my thing, but find them very chic)
- Yoko & Ono (Japan): sushi (love shrimp nigiri)
- Mrs. Noodlehead (China): noodles (there’s no Chinese dinner without soy noodles)
- Ladies Macaroons (France): macaroons (so pretty)
- Queen Teapot (UK): tea + shortbread (so regal)
- Frites Jr. (Belgium): french fries (’cause they are actually Belgian!)
Once I had chosen the final motifs, I knew I had to visually give the overall pattern more of an obvious travel element. It then came to me: make a pois pattern using typical souvenir plates (you know, the ones at least someone in your family is likely to collect), and add the bon voyage phrase in different languages (in honor of my love for languages).
Colouring was the most difficult part because I wanted to create a coherent color palette despite the many different ingredients I had drawn. I started colouring Yoko & Ono and from there coloured the other ones (paying attention to use colours that would go nicely with the ones I’d chosen for the sushi). I ended up with a delicate pastel palette with some darker brown accents. The pattern was looking good: soft and balanced, very cute and very me all in all. I had to choose three coordinate solid colours too, so I thought… ‘this is my time to play with some brighter colours’: peach, banana and kiwi are three vivid colours that perfectly complement The Tourist Guides pattern (just see how they nicely match it on the tea towel mock-up below).
I guess I’ve already said too much… don’t want to take any more of your time (hihihi). Before I finish, I wanted you all to know I had lots of fun working on this very first challenge and its theme (hope it reflects on my work), and that it was impossible for me not to imagine crafters around the world using The Tourist Guides pattern to make useful kitchen linens and other accessories… what do you think?
Bye, bye and see you next month (hopefully!) with a brand new design