Prop Studios Research

“Launched in 1979, Prop Studios is a multi-award-winning company specialising in the design, project management, manufacture and installation of bespoke luxury retail window display schemes and in-store visual merchandising; as well as events, sculpture, set-builds and public art.”

After being given the chance to explore visual merchandising more over this module i have taken the time to do some research into the existing companies and design studios in the industries.

Prop studios focuses on luxury brands, and although this is not necessarily something i want to do right now i feel that it’s interesting to see what’s out there. Within the studio there is a design team who design the overall look of the display and then there is a team who make the display, those with specialist skills. The design team are responsible for coming up with a design and then visualising that for the client- producing Photoshop mock ups, budgets and sketches etc.

I feel that this structure is probably what is present in the majority of big VM companies, i would be interested in seeing how it all works and applying what i have been involved in on a small scale to a much bigger scale operation.

I have really enjoyed the challenge of working with little or no budget- i think it forces you to be more creative and come up with different outcomes to if there was a huge budget.



Love Arts Cover Final Entry

For my final entry into the competition i have sent a series of images saved as a PDF. The first page sees the last image from the previous post on the fist page accompanied by the text below:

I have recreated the Love Arts Festival Logo through embroidery, incorporating thumb prints as a link to the theme of identity. I have photographed the stitched piece in a park close to Leeds city center as I felt that this was a space that everyone can relate to. It is hub for the diverse community of Leeds, which contributes to the unique identity that the city has.

I have also included a series of the other images that i took as i felt that they were also really nice but maybe just didn’t work for the front cover due to the colours in them but they could work on a website etc.

Love Arts Cover


The specification for the cover mentioned in the brief states that the nhs logo must appear in the top right hand corner of the design. as well as this they mention that usually text works best in the top half of the design. Taking these things on board above are the designs i have come up with.

The first is not good at all. The white logo looks completely out of place- so i first worked on removing the background of this in photoshop. Not something i’m confident with at all, this gave me the opportunity to master this skill- which i’m sure will come in handy in the future. I assembled the whole design in inDesign, which i am more familiar with. After removing the background of the logo i felt it looked much more professional- and flowed with the design so much better. The image being quite dark also meant i came across issues with the type- the only colour that seemed to work on the design was white- but even then some elements of the image were too bright that the type wasn’t clear.

The other issue with the above design is that it feels too big for the page. The image seems to wide- there isn’t enough of a border around the stitched piece which in turn makes the type look too wide set as i wanted it to be lined up with the edge to give it an organised and clean feel.


Thee above image is different to the one above- the background image was taken in portrait format so fits the specific measurements much better. If i was to do anything similar to this again i would look at the specific measurements before photographing anything- this would save a lot of hassle with cropping and resizing- also i really struggled to make the landscape photograph look good when cropped. Again i had to alter the colouring of the image which has taught me how to use feathering in photoshop and the importance of doing that. Here the space between the top of the stitiched piece and the type has been lightened.

The type does not sit well on this design- so i had another go to see how i could improve it. I feel that if i had complete freedom i would put the type in the bottom half of the design- but i feel in this instance it is important that  i work to the given specification.

Below is the final design i settled on.


It takes all of the elements discussed in the previous examples into consideration. I am pleased with how it has turned out and feel that i have really benefited from undertaking the brief. I now feel much more confident in using photoshop which is a skill that will definitely come in handy. As well as this talking to other people about my designs allowed me to understand some graphic design basics, that when entering competitions like this one are really important- i can also use these skills in future reports as well as on websites and blogs to improve the overall look of my work.

Coloured Paper Folds

Using the colour scheme found and discussed before i have set out to create a series of paper folds that can be stitched into. I want them to be visually beautiful but also explore the idea that one cannot exist without the other. They are two separate mediums but work so well together.

The pink looks really nice and the way that the light hits it does wonders for it’s 3 dimensional nature. After stitching the pattern in a turquoise i felt it was missing something. Although it looked good it looked fairly flat and i decided it needed a subtle lift so added a spec of silver thread. This silver thread gives in something extra- you can’t see it overly well all the time but when the light hits it you can. This piece has also made me realise the importance of lighting this sort of work- bad lighting does it no favours at all, which is something i really need to consider if i want to exhibit them.

This grey peice is succesful but i prefer the pink one. They work well together, but the paper fold here left little room for pattern designing i feel that i was limited in what i could do so the pattern doesn’t look as intricate as the one above.

The orange one is the final piece in this particular series again i’m not sure how effective it is- i feel that the fold doesn’t work overly well. i have realised that the fold that is chosen to work with is so important in creating the overlaying pattern. this links back to the existence idea mentioned at the beginning of the post- the fold dictates what patterns can be created and if the pattern doesn’t work with the fold it looks awful.

Reflect Decorations Test

Above are images of the process of making some examples of the pinata style shapes for the reflect party! they turned out better than i thought they would, i feel that to develop them further, a better quality paper would be good- this paper works okay but i feel like something more shiny would be even better- it would be nice to have it catch the light in a dark room- this is tissue paper so doesn’t reflect so much- it seems to be more absorbent of the light.

Of the two shown above i feel that the bigger shape works better- it holds it’s original shape better when covered in the paper- also it would be better to make bigger ones as they take nearly the same amount of time to make and they would fill the space better. With now what feels like enough to call it experience- when working in big spaces bigger is pretty much always better. I definitely think that a large number of these shapes will look really effective in the colour scheme shown on the mood board- you can get shimmer curtains in all of the colours so it would be nice to stay true to that!

This project is still in it’s early stages but is well under way.


after creating a series of good final pieces that involved fold and stitch i was struggling to find another pattern to use. So i found myself looking online having a general search of tessellations in origami. I came across a series of videos on youtube that broke down the more complicated patterns.

Youtube has been so helpful for this particular project- i definitely have learned that i find it easier to through watching someone do something than just trying and failing numerous times. This particular design took around 3 hours to fold and an hour to draw up the correct lines. It was a good learning curve however it just isn’t right alongside the other pieces. I feel that it’s almost too complicated in the sense that that means it hasn’t been finished to the same standard. It looks a bit shabby. But took ages and should look really good. As well as this the paper has decreased in size so much that it looks completely out of place with the other designs.

One good thing i have taken from this experiment though is that the colour of the paper works really nicely and picks up a lot of the light and shadow adding to it’s 3d nature.