The first step in each new project is to translate your thoughts, wishes, and ideas to a design to paper. You might have seen the post about the inspiration and the Boston collection of the Florine bag, my newest project. The next steps of my ‘design-in-10-steps’ method would be to make the practical design and the mall. These latter two will go hand in hand. But let’s take a closer look at this process. How do you come from a design on paper to a paper design?
The first step would be to get an idea of the overall shape, the looks from the front and from the sides. Usually, I grab a pile of A4 paper and start to fold, tape them together if I need a larger sheet and cut corners, gussets or straps. Overall I start with the main body. Should this be one big rectangle or do you want it more like a trapezium or even round-ish? Next are the gussets. this shape can also vary greatly. Do you want it pleated, just square or more triangular…? You can also make them all from paper and try it on the main body. This is all followed by the straps. You can go for a single one, double or even convertible straps. The sky is the limit (our your pile of paper). While you are experimenting anyway, why don’t you try to see which details could work and what kind of interior you would like (fully lined, pockets, clips, you name it)? Once everything is taped together it is time for the next step.
The next step would be to judge your mall or paper design for its size. You could take a few steps bag and evaluate if the proportions are right. Does the height correspond to the depth and width? Is it actually big enough to store for example your laptop? At this moment, I had to start over since I was not satisfied with the size of the bag. If I would make a bag just for me… at least it should be the perfect size! So once again where do I start? As I have mentioned in my 10-step design posts, I first check what the wishes and requirements were. Did I meet them all? Did I forget anything? Nope, when finished go on to the next part.
Last but not least you should be able to sell that little paper version of your bag to your customer. Not literally but the customer has mostly no idea what the final bag would look like. In this case, I am my own customer and I know what I want it to look like. Although is it also possible? Could I make it from paper? Does it feel right? All questions you have to answer before you start on your hard cardboard cutting malls. ARE YOU SURE? Alright then, time to buy some leather and don’t forget the hardware details!
I hope you get a little bit more of an idea of how I go from a design on paper to a paper design. I might sound for some of you maybe straightforward but if you’ve never designed a bag before, I wish I would have known this all ;). It would make me feel more prepared for the actual ‘making of’ of the bag! So please let me know if you want to know anything else or what your method of designing a paper mall is.