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Posted by Sara Schofield

Quilling Card Design Process

The process of making a quilling card is unique. Many creatives and designers know that the creative process is different for everyone, and for the Quilling Card design team this is no exception. Our three designers based in Massachusetts find inspiration for new greeting cards everywhere; from nature and wildlife, to traditional symbols or the hottest new trends, they’re always brainstorming new designs to keep our line fresh and exciting. 

Step 1: Initial Artwork Development

Once a subject is decided our designers create the initial artwork. This artwork will be the background image for quilling; similar to a template. The designer may utilize various mediums during this process. Many of the designs begin with watercolor and are subsequently scanned into Photoshop and further manipulated and perfected. Another designer may utilize vector drawing and painting for the initial artwork. The artwork will go through several rounds of revisions before any quilling is begun.

It is important for our designers to consider how the quilling will be executed when they are creating an illustration. Not every element of the design will be quilled which means portions of the illustration will be visible as a printed background. It is important that the printed background complements the quilled elements without overpowering or competing with them—a delicate balance which is critical to creating a successful design. Other details which will be quilled need to be carefully considered. Not all two dimensional artwork will translate to three dimensional quilling with the same clarity. The amount of detail in a design is also an important consideration to ensure the quilling will be within the target touch point range of the Quilling Card line. 

The Hummingbird Trio design had several artwork drafts changing the color of the hummingbirds, their positioning and the placement of the vine. While these variations may seem subtle, even the slightest design adjustment can impact the message the artwork is trying to convey.

Hummingbird Trio drafts

Step 2: Digital Quilled Sample 

Once the artwork is approved by the US design team and ready for quilling, it is sent to the design team in Vietnam. The Vietnam team then quills the first sample and sends a scanned file back to the US design team for review. The design often goes through many iterations as our master quillers in Vietnam experiment with several different quilling techniques, colors and composition edits.

In this design, some floral elements are left as background printed artwork to ensure the design is within the required number of touch points and time allotment to complete a single card. These parameters ensure every card in the line requires the same time commitment to complete. 

Hummingbird Trio quilling sample

Step 3: Physical Quilled Sample

Upon approval of a digital sample,  a physical sample is requested. At this time, the US design team thoroughly reviews the physical samples for any final changes that can only be determined by actually holding and viewing the card, rather than on a computer. Final design approval may be granted from the initial sample;  other times the design backtracks to Step 2, and more revisions are made in a collaborative effort between the US and Vietnam design teams. Multiple artwork and scanned quilling samples may be exchanged before another physical sample is requested. Typically this step in the process involves selecting the envelope color that coordinates best with the final design.

Once we received the physical sample of the Hummingbird Trio, the decision was made to change the shape of the hummingbirds’ eyes as well as the envelope color from blue to green. 

Hummingbird Trio Quilled Sample 2

Step 4: Physical Sample Approved

Ultimately, a physical sample is approved. A high resolution image is taken of the design, the SKU and Barcode are developed and the Back Copy and Insert are created with the barcode and SKU as well as a QR code. 

The QR code can be scanned with any smartphone to show a video of the quilling process! Click here to see how to use the QR Code with your phone:

Back of the Hummingbird Trio Greeting Card