So I’ve been doing this designing gig for a few years now, and as I learn and improve, the look of my patterns has evolved. The photos have gotten better (much better), the language has tightened up (somewhat — I’m still a chatty wee monkey, and prefer to err on the side of too much technical information rather than too little), and my pattern layout has changed in increments as I learn more about the trade and about what works for knitters. Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of stuck, though. I knew the look of my patterns was kind of ‘meh’, but didn’t know how to fix it. Then — and I can’t believe it took me this long — I realized that just as I needed a pro photographer if I wanted professional quality photos, if I wanted professional-looking graphic design, perhaps I should turn to a graphic designer.*
Enter Jill Zielinski, aka Knitterella. Jill has done some of my favourite logos in knitting — The Plucky Knitter, Joji Locatelli, the new SpillyJane Knits logo — let’s just say I like her style. (Click on the Jill Zielinski link above to see her work.) I emailed her; she quoted me a fair price; we got to work.** At least, she got to work. I just collected pictures of what I like and don’t like in graphic design (which is how I finally joined Pinterest), and sent her vague instructions like, “reflecting my punk background but not too f#@k-you-spiky, ’cause that’s not really my niche, you know?” Yeah. So helpful. From all of that, with a little back-and-forth and a bit of tweaking, Jill came up with this:
I was pleased. I was really pleased. In fact, I was freaking delighted. I was so delighted that I knew Jill was just the woman to give my pattern layout some much-needed zip. And lo, she did indeed, starting with the revised version of my striped infinity scarf, Saturnalia (on which more tomorrow).
So there you have it. Much as I believe in doing it yourself if you can, it can also be good to recognize when you’re not the best person for the job. Sometimes, you’ve just got to call in the pros.
*Not that there aren’t plenty of knitting designers who do great work on their own graphic design, but I’m not one of them. That’s not really where my passion lies, and I don’t have a good enough feel for it to get the results I want.
**Just so we’re clear, this post was not in any way part of the deal. I just found the process interesting and want to tell everyone how pleased I am. Recognition for a job well done and all that.