Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Color dilemma...help me decide?

So...before I ever post pictures of new fabric I'm getting ready to launch in the Etsy store, I always go through a several rounds of design, ordering of swatches, washing of swatches and only THEN do I take the photos, post the pictures on my blog and declare the fabrics ready to sell.

I follow this process this because I'm very particular about my colors, and because digital printing can be tricky with getting the color you're looking for and in getting the colors to hold up the way you want them to.

And I got so excited about this new Nesting Chairs collection that I broke my usual process (bad designer) and did not wash my fabrics before I snapped pics and posted them in my sneak peek post. Well... I washed the fabrics last night and 4 of the 5 are divine. Colors holding well and just what I had hoped.

BUT, I'm just not happy with the way the yellow background is holding up in this chairs fabric.
(This is the pre-washing photo)

The large areas of uninterrupted yellow background are just not setting very well. (I've experienced this before with yellows and greens as well...) So what this means is that this design just isn't going to end up working out for digital printing in it's current incarnation. So, I'm going to have to reduce large fields of contiguous yellow in this design. Which makes me sad because I love it just like this... But that's nature of the beast.

I've been tinkering with the colors and wanted to get your thoughts because I am really torn. It's also an interesting view into how much color modifications can really change the feel of a design.

#1: I started by simply swapping the colors (light grey background, yellow chairs and dark grey upholstery.) Not loving this...



#2: So then I tried mixing up the colors and making some of the chairs yellow and some dark grey but keeping the light grey background. Better, but not perfect...




#3: So then I tried swapping the light and dark grey and really not loving this at all...

So I'm left with a dilemma. I can keep tinkering with lighter and darker shades of grey which would probably make some impact, but frankly, what I really want is the one with the yellow background that I started with! But since that's not an option, of these 3, I am probably leaning towards #2.

So I'm going to delegate the decision to you guys. :)

Do I go ahead and kill the yellow chairs design and just launch the collection with 4 patterns? Or do I replace the yellow chairs with #2 above? Or do I keep tinkering with different greys?

My gut tells me that none of them will have the feel that I'm after (because I want the yellow background!) and that I should just put that design on a back burner for now and go with the 4 in the collection instead of 5. Aaargh!!! What do you think? Your feedback would be MUCH appreciated!

p.s. Heather and Ashley: You ladies asked about other color stories for this collection. :) I am thinking of aqua and orange but am still tinkering... Feedback from all encouraged of course!
Of course, it would be a few weeks before I could get these tested and ready for sale. But what do you think?







53 comments:

madhatcher said...

orange and aqua for sure- that looks so awesome. and i love the yellow background so much- just makes the collection come together as a whole. i really like the number 2 option, though, and i think i'd release the collection with those 5 instead of throwing it on the backburner and only releasing with the 4.

Tina @ Squirrel Acorns said...

Have to say that I absolutely love the idea of aqua and orange. Okay, but on to current color dilemma because we start talking about new colors! I was going to say to just scrap it if it doesn't seem right to you, but then scrolling back to the previous post where you shared the whole collection together, it just doesn't seem complete without the chairs print. Therefore, I'd vote for number 2 as I think that one looks the best. The dark gray is too dark in number 3. And I think that the yellow cushions in number 2 look better than the gray cushions in number 1. Continuing to look at it, I actually like number 2 better than the original. Love the upholstered scrollwork print the best!

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicki @ DottyJane said...

I'd go with #2 also. I know you had your heart set on the yellow background, but I actually like this just as much as the original:) I'd really hate to see you leave it out completely!

Lindsay said...

First off, I love aqua and orange. Back to your question though, If I had to pick one of the three I think I would lean towards two as well.
However there are already two other prints in the collection with varying degrees of white backgrounds so I dont know how it would work with the overall collection. But the gray background is just too dark and I am not a huge fan of gray chair seats in 1. I enjoy the yellow seats much more.

Regan said...

AAAACK..orange and aqua..yes please!!!

Ashley said...

I see what you mean about the three options - of the three, I agree that #2 is the best. However, I don't love the idea of the white background - is it possible to do a lighter gray background, and keep the chairs in the dark gray and yellow? (I guess I just don't tend to use as many fabrics with a solid white background).

Love the orange and aqua! (particularly like the aqua you selected which looks to be a bit more on the greener side) Lovely!! :)

badlandsquilts said...

Oh my, I LOVE that orange & aqua! As far as the yellow goes, if it not to your standards/total happiness I'd put it on the back burner...I agree with you, your original is the best. Thanks for letting us weigh in on the options!

AllieKatMom said...

I really love the orange chairs on the bottom!! If I were to choose from the yellow and gray chairs, I like number two the best of those, but what if you did some kind of a yellow background design element like the blue part you have on the Orange chairs. (little diamonds or something in the yellow so its not overpowering.) That way you still get feel of the yellow background and it should hold up to washing better.

Katie said...

Love the aqua and orange! I like the second option - do it. I'll buy some ;) I also really like the third one.

The Hungry Crafter said...

I actually prefer option 3 -- but yes, the yellow background is the best... :( Bummer -- I hate those kinds of dilemmas! But mostly I was prompted to comment because I LOVE the aqua/orange combo! That's a must-go-for line there...

Johanna said...

I would also lean towards number 2, although I love the amount of grey in number 3. But it just doesn't fit with the rest. And I agree that the line wouldn't be complete without the chairs...

Peg said...

I feel your pain about the yellow because it really is divine. Using # 2 would mean 3 of the 5 prints have a good deal of white, so I agree with Ashley, maybe do something with the gray between 2 and 3?

Nellie's Niceties said...

What a shame. I wondered if you could use the black in the chairs and the pale grey for the background and the yellow accents as you've done? I've never used any design software though so I'm shooting in the dark. I just thought it may give you a bit more freedom to make it blend with the other fabrics as there is black in the some of the others. I love the orange and aqua too!

DianeY said...

I actually like #3 or maybe a gray in betwwen #2 & #3. I'd hate to see you put it on the backburner, because I love the design. And I really love the orange & aqua. Just out of curiosity though, is it not something that maybe Robt Kaufman might want to pick up as a followup to Tufted Tweets? Seems like that might solve the color quality problem

Hannah said...

I definitely see what you're saying about the collection being... just different without the yellow background, but I think the new version is still adorable, and I'd hate for you to leave those cute chairs out completely.

Also, I've never loved the aqua/orange combo, but that pic you shared is just gorgeous! I'm sold for sure!

Debra said...

You have to keep the chairs. I actually love option #2. Aqua and orange definately!

Laura said...

I like option three-great contrast!

Anonymous said...

I like option 3 three the best after tossing out the yellow. And definitely agree with everyone on the orange/aqua...gorgeous!

becca said...

orange and aqua- yes please! And I actually like #3 best. I often find a white background hard to work. And I am also always looking to add more greys. Love the new collection!! :D

Poppyprint said...

It's hard to find good grey background fabric. I like your yellow chairs with grey background. And I LOVE the orange/aqua print!!!!

A. said...

I really like #2!

Beverly said...

I so love the yellow background. The other choices just don't do it for me. If you made me pick, though, I'd have to go with #2.

The orange and aqua is devine!!

pioneervalleygirl said...

This was my favorite of the five designs, so I hope it doesn't go away altogether. I like number 2, the gray background I'm not crazy about, but I REALLY like the aqua and orange.

Ginger said...

Well, I hate to be contrary, but I love option #1. I like how there are larger splashes of gray in it. And actually, I like #3 also.
The aqua and orange looks great too!

Sarah Craig said...

Couldn't you break up the solid yellow with a subtle threaded design - like a paisley, dot, or arabesque - maybe in white or pale gray? I love the design with the yellow background, but couldn't it be something that reads as solid? Would that help solve the problem?

Kelly O. said...

I think that Sarah Craig and I have theame thought... good luck, but without the yellow background, I'm not a fan

Laurie Wisbrun | Scarlet Fig said...

Thank you all for all the very thoughtful comments. It's always so helpful to get feedback. You guys are the greatest sounding board. Loads of great suggestions here that are rich with ideas...I'll be hard at work on tweaking the design and on testing the aqua & orange color stories as well. Stay tuned and I'll update in a few days!

quiltilicious said...

No.2 for sure. I'd like to see magenta and orange together...not sure if anyone else would tho!

woof nanny said...

Does it have to be yellow and gray? I'd personally love a chartreuse

woof nanny said...

Ooh magenta and orange--yes! Magenta or fuchsia and silver would be pretty too.

work-and-process said...

Hello!

I like the yellow background but if you are not satisfied I would go for number #2
And the last picture of your new orange and aqua design is beaufitul!

Good luck!
Marieke

Anonymous said...

love the orange and aqua,
skip yellow and orange.
I have seen some small yellow print or almost solid - how would something like that work.? or something like the aqua background and then the chairs?
Don't lower your standards

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Yes - the aqua and orange!
And I do like #2.

Sooz said...

Definitely #2. And I like it without the yellow background. I like how the architectural elements really pop with the contrasting yellow and gray chairs.
And I am DEFINITELY excited about the aqua and orange...yummmm.
good luck!

Becky said...

Loving the aqua and orange!

I'm the wrong person to ask cause I really don't utilize yellow fabric much. I always feel pale near yellow fabrics. But I do wish you could work out the printing problem cause it fills out the whole collection. If you must choose then go with #2.

Megan V said...

First of all, I like #2 the best but I believe that if it's not going to live up to your favorite original design then it might be best to scrap it!! You want to love everything you've done :)

And the orange and aqua? FABULOUSSSSSS!!!!!!!! I am loving the shades of the two colors and it looks very very nice, expensive and well thought-out. :)

Jennifer Ladd said...

I love the orange and aqua. The gray one is almost there, I think .... maybe tinker some more with that one??

Cynthia Strickland said...

Well, I am going to be a little different in that I like the #1 option if you are going with a light background. But I think that breaking up the backbround like many have suggested with a subtle pattern may be a good option as well. What it you lightened the yellow that you were using and maybe the gray a little, would that help with the color wash? I have used a soft yellow in some of my designs and it washes well. Good luck, I love your designs!! Oh yea, aqua and orange are my favorite color combo's and still in vogue this season!

PoetWhaleStudio said...

I prefer the original, first photo if you can deepen the gray. I'd experiment with the style of chairs. There's a lot of legs that make the eye dance around. Maybe add a chair that's modern to break up the leg issue. I'd interchange all the colors with seats frames.
I also agree with considering a subtle pattern for the background.

Cynthia Strickland said...

ooooh, here's another thought. How about using the white background and doing your pattern on the chairs?

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

What a shame the yellow background doesn't work out .. it's so beautiful!

I too would go with #2 rather than put yellow on the back burner ...

how does orange and grey look in the chairs? that could be super yum?

Helene said...

Yeah, such a shame about the yellow, I know exactly what you mean, it really wants that full yellow background. Ah well, as you said. If not that, then I agree, no.2 is the best, although I do like the grey background. Also, that orange and aqua - beautiful!!!

Andrea said...

I loved the large yellow you originally had...it really sang a good song with the collection. And I agree that options 1 and 3 are not good....to dark and not enough pizazz. I also like the idea of Aqua and Orange and really love the scroll work in the background! That's a great touch! I would like to see you release a set of five prints so whatever you can come up with for the yellow/chairs would be worth it in the end! Keep plugging - you'll figure it out! Perhaps a break from hyper-focusing on it for a half day or so will give you the fresh sense of inspiration you are looking for!

Rachel Locke said...

Love the aqua and orange!! what about yellow chairs on a white back ground? or yellow and gray on white?

Lisa said...

I actually like #2 more then the original yellow design. #1 works for me also. This whole collection is really great and I can't wait to get my hands on some!!

Anonymous said...

I would stick to the four if you aren't happy or keep tinkering with the grays

Val Campbell said...

Laurie,
First of all, the orange/blue chairs are to die for! You know the picture on your last post where you put the whole line in one photo? Can you swap the chairs/grey background into that photo and then put the two pictures (the mosaic including chairs with the yellow background and the mosaic with chairs with the grey background) right next to each other? That way we can see the different options all together. Then we can visualize what the quilt would look like that we plan to make with this yummy fabric as soon as it comes out!!!

Sam said...

I like #2, but I adore your orange and aqua combo.

Bingaling said...

What a bummer about the yellow...I like the second option best of those you presented. I LOVE the aqua and orange!! Love, Love, Love it!!
Chanda

Ann said...

You probably figured it out...I would say to use the darker grey/black you have in the other ones for the chairs and I think they would pop more on the yellow. Love the yellow - can you stripe it very thin to help with the issue?

Judith said...

Thank you for stopping by at my blog and commenting on Monty's Urban Circus quilt.
I would go with option 1 of your colour dilemma. I am sure this doesn't help at all..... and will only confuse more.

Marcia W. said...

If you are not satisfied, drop it. If you are open to more change, would a less bright yellow background with black and grey chairs work in digital printing? As you wrote, need one piece with a yellow background.