Steven Wheeler

Sr. Apparel Designer at Betabrand

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Platonic Solids + New Sketchbook Boardshorts update!

Update 12/22/2013:

I've been using the techniques learned in this class to develop prints in my work as designer at Betabrand. One of my most recent projects was taking pages from my Field Notes Sketchbook and creating repeats from them for use on men's swim trunks for Summer 2014. Basically, I went from pages of multicolored X's like this: 

And turned them into repeats like this:

Here are a couple of others that proved to be popular:

If anyone wants to see scans of the other pages of this project, and for more info on the process, check out my Tumblr post here.

Thanks again for the class, Kristi! It's been wonderfully educational, and both your blog and book have been continuing sources of inspiration for me!

-Steven W. 

Unit One

Here's how the illustration looked once I scanned it in:

Unit 2

And here's after cleaning up the image and fixing the seams:

Here's how that looks scaled down and tiled into a pattern repeat:

Let me know what you think so far! Later today, I'll attempt making a few different colorways.

UPDATE: Color (Unit 3)

I'd originally thought this would look interesting if it looked like a blueprint, so I made that colorway first:

And then used the Adobe Kuler website to come up with a coordinating palette of additional colors, which I downloaded as swatches and opened right up in Photoshop. Kuler makes it so easy to put together great color! Here are the other 3 colorways I came up with for this project:

Let me know what you think!

UPDATE: Apply to Template (Unit 4)


Here's one of the colorways used as wallpaper:

Update: Unit 5 (File Formats)

In my daily work as an apparel designer, I use Adobe Illustrator on a daily basis. Using a vector-based program, I'm able to scale and modify images without worry of pixilation or compression issues. Illustrator makes it very easy to create plaids, graphic repeats, and illustrations that all look super crisp and are basically print-ready. However, being so pixel-perfect is also one of Illustrator's shortcomings; it's very difficult to make things look hand drawn or organic. The way I like to compare Illustrator to Photoshop is that Illustrator excels at making things look very digital, and Photoshop can help keep things look analogue. 

For example, if I scan an image and bring it into Illustrator, I can manipulate it only after using the Live Trace tool to vectorize the image, letting illustrator try and determine the lines and angles, but ultimately everything ends up looking very smooth. Photoshop, on the other hand, allows me to scan in an image and then clean it up pixel by pixel, and using the Levels tool, wipe out the texture of the paper, bits of dust, and pencil marks if I want to. But the hand-drawn look of the artwork still remains, and the lines of ink still have a rough, imperfect edge to them, which is impossible to acheive in Illustrator. 

When sending things to print, I usually use AI files—or for our overseas printers that don't always have Adobe licenses—in PDF format. But I am excited that this class has taught me a few new tricks in Photoshop, and maybe someday soon I can try sending off a test print to Spoonflower or one of the other printers to see how it looks in real life before comitting to ordering production yardage! I'll probably use TIF, as it seems like a good standard. 

 

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