View Full Version : NDC 2011: Round 1 Review

09-08-2011, 05:23 AM
Per request I've compiled a general review of the kits from Round 1. This is not based on individual kits, but rather the group as a whole.

This was a difficult palette to work with, and a lot of our voting was based on how well you made the palette work for you. One of the most difficult things for all of you was showing off your elements against the papers. Quite a few of you did not use drop shadows to help define or pop-off-the-page your papers and/or your elements. This made it very difficult to see what was an element, and what was a paper.

Likewise with so many of the colors blending together so well in your papers, it also blended your elements in with your papers. The previews that drew my eye the most carefully placed their elements on contrasting papers. The most important thing that came out of this round is how critical your preview is.

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The preview is sooo important, that's how you sell a kit, a customer looks at the preview. I went through and made note of the ones that caught my attention.

I see a lot of very flat previews and minis. There isn't a lot of depth to be found. Shadows and shading within the elements is important, as well as a balance between templates and some more 3D elements. Also making sure that all the nuts and bolts are there, frame, fastener, ribbons/bows, unique elements.

Here are the things I considered when voting: <o:p></o:p>
Preview (as mentioned above: shadowing, element placement, overall look/feel of the preview (does it look like a complete mini kit, does it look like thought was put into the preview or was it just thrown together) <o:p></o:p>
Creativity: Did they interpret the theme and colors in a unique way, do they have creative/unique looking elements, unique papers etc. <o:p></o:p>
Usability: This one is very personal and I think each 'voter' has a different take on this but I like elements that are more 'real looking' and less 'digital,' I need enough different things that I can scrap a page with.<o:p></o:p>
Look of Quality (for lack of a better term) I did not download the kits (I don't have much to scrap with this palette) so I used the previews as a gauge. Did the elements look good, was there visible texture in at least some of the papers, etc.)<o:p></o:p>
I voted for those that didn't stray from the color palette, offered a good mixture of elements that I could clearly see making a layout, texture in papers, and overall creativity.

I like a variety of realistic and handmade elements in my kits, so I was naturally drawn to those types of mixes. But there were a few other non-realistic element-packed kits that I voted for too that really caught my eye.

I try to have a subjective eye, it may not be something I would personally use or even like, but if they followed the "challenge" and you can scrap with the pieces, then they made it into my vote.

I think neutral backgrounds on your previews make the world of difference when presenting a kit! Some had used the same colors as background and it sort of washed out their preview, so it was hard to see what they were presenting. A a neutral background makes the kit "pop" off the background, so you can see the kit pieces without hunting around on the preview for them.

I judged them purely on whether they stuck to the palette and whether they pulled off the use of the pale colors in their papers etc. Any with colors not in the palette didn't get my vote. I also didn't vote for anyone who only chose to use one hue from the palette, I feel part of the challenge was to make the colors work together in papers and elements.

I've always been a firm believer that previews are the key to selling a product. I'm constantly reviewing my preview style/technique and always looking for a better way to showcase the contents of the kit. I skimmed over those previews that were flat or blended together. I also looked for uniqueness - even if they used templates or CU, did they make it 'their own' through styles, textures etc? And balance & usability.
I hope this helps all of you when creating & designing in the future.

09-08-2011, 05:37 AM
Thank you for the input. I have never felt comfortable with previews, and I guess mine was not that good. There were loads of good previews/kits. I had a good time, but I am sorry to not be continuing.

09-08-2011, 05:41 AM
wow, this is an outstanding review, is what I think, what I always try to achieve, is not easy at all, and I agree the preview is the cover so is the selling trigger, then off course the quality and originality, Thanks so much for this review, I wish I could speak better in English to say that this is really useful to me, very useful, so TYSM again.

09-08-2011, 05:46 AM
Thankyou very much for the feedback. It's greatly appreciated. :)

09-08-2011, 07:14 AM
Thanks to all of you for going the extra step and providing us with this information. It is incredibly helpful not just for those continuing in the contest, but for all those designers and soon to be designers. It really gets right to the heart of the question: what makes a kit sell.

09-08-2011, 07:22 AM
This is a WONDERFUL review!! It's great to learn new things, what scrappers look for, etc. I'll keep all of this in mind when creating future kits!

09-08-2011, 07:42 AM
Wonderful review and applies to so many people as well. Good to know what you are voting on in respect to the contest. Thank you so much for this!

09-08-2011, 07:44 AM
Thank you for the review! This is great information to have and I'm stoked to go on to the Second Chance - thanks for having it. I know that I can do this! Have a great day!

09-08-2011, 08:02 AM
I would have liked to have known that before the contest started. Could you include this info in next years challenge. It would have changed some things I would have done differently. This was my first kit, I was not happy with my preview but I felt like I had to rush thru it, just to get it up in time. I hate to wait til the last day to get it in. But I appreciate the chance to learn, and the 2nd chance as well, maybe I can do better! Good luck to everyone who tries!

09-08-2011, 08:03 AM
Thanks for all of you that took the time to contribute to this review. I know it took extra time and effort but it is greatly appreciated. It is hard to improve when you do not know what areas need the improvement. Thanks again!

ADBDesign {anita_d}
09-08-2011, 09:15 AM
yes, echoing those before -- thank you! for taking the time to provide thoughtful feedback. Very helpful as we move forward to next challenge!

09-08-2011, 09:58 AM
It is hard to improve when you do not know what areas need the improvement. the helps me lots thanks

09-08-2011, 10:30 AM
This is really useful info! Thank you for taking the time and making the effort, just another reason I enjoy this site.

09-08-2011, 10:37 AM
Lovely thought to include this feedback. You all are special people and very helpful. Thank you!

09-08-2011, 11:24 AM
Fantastic feedback, thank you so much everyone!

09-08-2011, 01:52 PM
I wasn't even in this competition but am just learning design and it was extremely helpful to me too. I loved looking at all of the kits and can't wait to see the next round. Congrats to all. I am jealous, but learning!

09-08-2011, 01:52 PM
great info, thanks!

09-08-2011, 07:26 PM
thank you for taking the time for the feedback it is very helpful.