Eventually there comes a time when we have to stop making samples and choose a cover model for our new pattern. And you know what? Sometimes this choice is very obvious, and sometimes not so much, and like so many other decisions that have to be made on the way to publishing a pattern, our skill (or the lack thereof) in this area has been a work in progress. But here’s the deal, we’ve learned a LOT over the course of publishing 30+ patterns (some of it the hard way), and the result is that now we have a pretty good handle on what we’re looking for in a cover model for our patterns.
For this cycle, we actually have FIVE potential cover models to choose from. They are pictured below in the order in which they were introduced to you on this Blog. Take another look at them as you scroll down the page and then read about what criteria we’ll be using as we make this oh-SO-important choice!
|The Lumina Model||The African Striped Model|
|The Waxed Print Model||The Ribbon Model|
|The Pieced Exterior Model|
So… having said all that, what exactly are we looking for in a perfect cover model?
Well, maybe it would be best to first define for you what our cover model is NOT. So listed below are the FIVE things we try to make sure we keep in mind as we make this all-important decision.
The Perfect Cover Model …
- is NOT necessarily my favorite. I make every effort to make a calculated, unemotional decision because I have found out the hard way that just becasue I love a particular bag is no guarantee that anyone else will. 🙂
- is NOT necessarily the one I think my customer will “like” the best. Because after all, which customer would I pick. The 20-year old? The 80-year old? The teacher? The policewoman? You get the picture……………
- probably does NOT look like an everyday bag. For everyday use, most women choose colors that will go with most of their clothing and will stay clean and new for a long time when they choose a new handbag. But the last thing I want in a cover bag is for it to “blend” in with the surroundings. Ideally, I want our cover bag to “stand out in a crowd”, with a light or bright-colored interior that makes it easy to see all the way to the bottom corner!
- is NOT primarily a dark color. I shouldn’t have to tell you after all this time that I LOVE working with black (and white), but bags that are mostly black or navy blue can appear “flat” in a photograph. Their features, no matter how interesting and unique can disappear and let’s face it, we want our bag features to jump off the page. We don’t want customers having to strain to find the features we’ve been working so hard to perfect! 🙂
- and is NOT created with a special pieced exterior. I like to fabricate bag exteriors in a freestyle way, without pattern pieces, but I’ve learned from bitter experience (and quite a few scoldings) to NOT place a bag with such an exterior on our cover (reference the Lollapalooza). Even if the piecing technique is easy (which it was) … and even if the directions are pictured in color and are available as a free download (which they were)! Unless there are actual pattern pieces available, it goes on the back cover (as an alternate view), not the front! 🙂
And now that you know what we do NOT want, here are the FIVE things that are most important to us as we make our choice.
The Perfect Cover Model ….
- is fabricated in such a way as to draw attention to the bag’s design features. Some prints are so “busy” that the fabric can seem to “compete” with the bag features for attention (similar to #3 above). I want interesting fabric for sure, but I want the design to shine thru unimpeded, because after all, I’m not selling fabric!
- is compelling to look at. What I’m REALLY going for here is a striking look. My goal is to choose a cover model with such an undeniably, interesting exterior that customers can’t help but take a second look… or pick up the pattern… or stop in our booth to check it out.
- features ALL of the design components for that particular design. It goes without saying that a cover model should have ALL the features promised in the verbiage on the cover. Samples made early in the design process often do not have all the pockets that the final design model will eventually have. But here’s the thing… the model that is chosen for the cover is the sample that will MOST be associated with the design… it’ll be the “spokesmodel” so to speak. But if it’s missing a promised exterior pocket, then every single person who picks up that bag at the shows we travel to, will want to know why it doesn’t, or worse still, they’ll think that the design DOESN’T include an exterior pocket at all.
- is photogenic. For some reason that I’ll never understand, sometimes the most beautiful bag just doesn’t photograph well, no matter what color it is…no matter the lighting…. no matter the background….no matter what… I…. do! But here’s the deal, no matter how pretty and ideal it is in person, if it doesn’t photograph well, it just NOT a good candidate for the cover model!
- has a look that’s consistent with our “brand”. Under ideal circumstances, customers should pretty much be able to identify one of our patterns or models at a glance. For example, we tend to design with bright color and graphic details. If all of a sudden we departed from that formula and placed a model on the cover that had “primitive” colorations instead, this would be inconsistent with our brand. As beautiful as it might be, I would be doing myself no favors in this case, because I would be forfeiting any advantage I might otherwise enjoy amongst my “brand-loyal” customers.
So…Let’s have a little FUN!
Now it’s YOUR chance to put on the “designer hat”.
Scroll back up to the top of this post and re-examine our five cover model candidates keeping the “five Do’s” and the “five Do Not’s” in mind. Then I’d love for you to tell me which bag YOU think would be the best choice for the Wrapsody pattern cover (in the comments section below). I would also enjoy hearing the reasoning behind your choice. Then stay tuned for the next post in this series to see how closely your reasoning aligned with mine when I reveal which model will be on the cover of the Wrapsody.
((I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing your comments!) 🙂
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