Friday, March 4, 2016

TWIST - of Textiles and Type

As graphic designers, most of our days are spent sitting at our desks, working in various Adobe programs. Although that's a hell of a lot of fun, it's nice to be able to step away from that creative medium once in a while and use more traditional techniques instead. Sure, we'll use hand-drawn or painted assets in our work fairly often, but for the visual identity for this year's TWIST Fibre Festival, we went in a new direction and hand-embroidered the logo to really evoke the sense of handmade craft and fibre arts.

(When I say "we", I mean that I hand-embroidered letters, which were then used to spell out "TWIST". We have some shared skill sets, but needlework doesn't really fall under Nathaniel's purview.)

I used several different stitch techniquesfrom cross-stitch and petitpoint to couching and crewel, embroidered on both canvas and burlap with a variety of different fibresso we had a wide range of hues and textures to choose from. Ultimately, we chose a mixture of embroidery thread for the letterforms, and assorted handspun artisanal yarns for the colourful accents.

It's funny... we can create faux versions of just about any texture imaginable with Photoshop and Illustrator, but there's nothing quite like creating the real thing by hand.
We're huge fans of authenticity, and since we're designing these pieces to promote a fibre festival (which draws knitters, spinners, and other fibre fiends from around the world), it was a lot of fun to work with needle and thread instead of just a mouse and a drawing tablet.

I've been doing needlework since I was a child, but had never had the opportunity to put it to use in a practical design application before, so this was a fabulous new experience in Winter-Hébert land. It was also nice to spend several chilly evenings curled up by the fire and stitching merrily whilst binge-watching British murder mysteries on Netflix and Acorn.

Here's hoping that we'll see you at the TWIST festival in Saint-André-Avellin this August!

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