Hi! My name is Kali Farnsworth. For my senior project, I did fundraising for the Rexburg Animal Shelter by creating 10 designs for apparel. That apparel is now being sold on my TeePublic.com storefront. Below, you’ll find the detailed steps I took to create and complete this project.
Determine a Project: I enjoy communication, I love animals, and I want to give back to the Rexburg community, so I knew I would involve the Rexburg Animal Shelter in my senior project. But, I also wanted to make sure I did a project that was sustainable. Animal shelters often heavily rely on volunteers and donations, so I didn’t want to do a project that would require much effort, time, or money from the staff of the shelter.
I love designing (module in visual communication,) so I decided I would create designs for apparel that I could sale through a print-on-demand website. I would then donate all the money I made off the products to the Rexburg Animal Shelter. After a few months, a portion would be donated, rather than 100%.
The Campaign Plan: Being a PR emphasis, I knew the benefit of creating a campaign plan. So, I went to work creating my goals, objectives, audience analysis, implementation plan, timeline, budget, and evaluation. However, after starting on my designs, I very quickly recognized I could not create 10+ designs of high quality and creativity in addition to actually selling and promoting the products in around 50 hours. After reevaluating and meeting with my mentor, I decided to focus on creating around 10 designs for my senior project. After that, I would promote and sale the products and donate the money on my own time, as a volunteer.
Although my campaign plan changed a lot, and I didn’t rely on it as much as I planned, I believe it was still helpful to make. It got me thinking about deadlines, audience, promotion, and more. You can view a pdf of my original plan below.
Apparel Design Process: Designing took up the bulk of this project. I started by picking a print-on-demand website I would use. That way, I could create my designs following the guidelines of that website (things like CMYK vs RGB, file types, file size, colors, etc.) I decided to go with TeePublic.
Next, I started messing around with design ideas on Adobe Illustrator. After a while, I determined to go with a geometric style. I felt this was a popular style, and I could find my niche in this area. So, I started asking friends if I could use their pets as reference photos. I tried to find head-on photos of their pets, and the following pictures show some of the ones I used for outlines, patterns, and colors.
After getting reference photos, I started creating the outlines of the pets. You can see that process for the cat face below. (Warning: It’s kind of scary!)
Next, I added geometric shapes. That was quite an intensive process to ensure colors and patterns would line up, shapes didn’t look like mustaches on the animals, etc. Then, I worked with colors. It was important to pay attention to the colors because an online view and a print view are often different.
Finally, I created background designs. I originally created the following.
But, after speaking with my mentor (big thanks to him for his help,) we decided I needed these background designs to highlight qualities of the specific animal. Furthermore, I needed the background to be a background and not take away from the animal. The improved background designs can be seen in the images of the final products.
During the creation process, I recognized the importance of making duplicates of my work; it’s really frustrating to mess up an asset and have to start over. I was also reminded of the importance of organizing and labeling in Illustrator, something I strived to do.
Mockups: I put the final touches on my 10 completed designs (see finished designs below,) then I was ready to upload them to TeePublic.
When uploading, I was careful to pick only products and background colors that would complement the designs. You can visit my online storefront through the link below, or you can view some mockups, which I obtained from my storefront.
What’s Next: Now that most of my designs are finished, I can continue with the rest of my campaign plan. I will be promoting my products through my personal social media pages, and I will share the information with the Rexburg Animal Shelter (and maybe other businesses.) I plan to also complete the following designs, which are currently in progress.
For the first few months, 100% of the money made will be donated to the shelter. Then, a portion will be donated.
1. Never be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of people in the world with more experience than I currently have. They have great ideas that can save lots of time, plus their help improves outcomes.
2. Don’t underestimate how much time designing takes. Even with classes and experience under my belt, designing still took a long time.
3. Plans are important. Even if they get altered, they’re still important.
Final Thoughts: Thank you for taking the time to learn about my project! I have enjoyed my time creating animal inspired designs to fundraise for the Rexburg Animal Shelter. I’m grateful for an education that has allowed me to do this, and I look forward to taking the skills and talents I’ve developed into the world to promote the things I am passionate about!