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Old 09-08-2011, 05:23 AM
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Toiny Toiny is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 10,033
From the Piggy NDC 2011: Round 1 Review

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.

Note from theStudio Admin & Design Team:

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:
  1. 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)
  2. Creativity: Did they interpret the theme and colors in a unique way, do they have creative/unique looking elements, unique papers etc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
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.

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