Section 2: Files
The files section is another key component in being able to effectively communicate with a factory with what you are looking to create. Do not worry if you don’t have the majority of these files or any at all, this is after all a work in progress and it’s something that you should be revisiting continually. You can upload as many files as you would like per section. Feel free to ‘drag and drop’ or simply upload by clicking on the box.
Just a note here, remember to use our '?' and 'Learn More' items in the case that you are confused or have any questions. It's really easy to upload files. You can either 'Drag and Drop' or simply click on the box to upload. There isn't a limit to the storage and you can upload as many files as you like.
You also have some tools at your disposal as well within the files section.
With each file upload you will have 3 tools at your use... listing image, text edit tool, and remove.
- First, is the 'listing image' icon. Click on it to select the one image you would like to be the main image of your project. You will see this icon when hovering over your files.
- Second, is the pencil icon. Use this tool and you can rename your file as well as add a description.
- Third, is the X icon. Use this to completely remove the file.
Some notes on naming best practices.
- Be sure to name your files and give an accurate description. Factories have hundreds of files that they’ve saved. Naming your file properly after they download it will ensure that it’s easy to find. Some of the best practices we’ve seen for file naming are ‘SteelCake_Leather_Option1.jpg’. or ‘Trench coat sample 1’. The name not only does a great job of being easily legible but also serves as an indicator of what it actually is.
- The description serves as an opportunity for you to add any additional notes. Some key things to highlight would be any special treatment or considerations. Some of the best examples we’ve seen in appropriate description naming are ‘This is a reference image of finish I would like with my leather. I want to use the same sort of shine/texture’. or ‘This is a picture of the brass rings that I intend to use on the front panel of the backpack’.
- Reference Images
- ‘Reference images’ are images of already existing product components that you are looking to replicate/draw inspiration from. For example, if you are looking to construct a leather wallet, you may want to reference another wallet that has the same type of construction, treatment, material or details that you are looking for in your design as well. A great way to find ‘reference images’ is to look up other products that fit within your category. It is perfectly normal for you to provide a variety of ‘reference images’ that are unrelated, so long as you are able to accurately describe the thing that you are referencing from that particular product.
- Your sketches are a great opportunity for you as the designer to showcase your product idea. Sketches are a drawing that depict what you are trying to create. This section is for drawings and renderings done by hand or on computer. If drawing isn’t your strongest skill, consider taking more time to find additional photo references to communicate your idea.
- Additionally, it’s also okay for your sketches to be of low fidelity in the beginning stages. This is a great opportunity to utilize your ‘reference images’. It’s also okay to just draw smaller portions of your product that focus in on one specific part. An example of this, is that instead of drawing the entire product, you instead draw the elements which need specific attention such as a certain type of button you are looking for, or a specific positioning that you would like for your pocket.
- You can watch the following video by Nick Verreos on ‘Sketching Fashion Illustrations’.
- What do I do If I don’t have sketches or a techpack?
- If you don’t have your own sketches, you can leverage your reference images. Additionally, you may want to have some very simple drawings that highlight the overall design and some specific details. This is an indicator of where you are currently in the process. Some factories may or may not require a techpack. We do recommend that you get a techpack made regardless just in the case that you do decide to work with another factory.
- Additionally this may be a good indicator of where you are in the product development stages. You need a sketch and or techpack to successfully move into the pattern stage. You want to research actual designers that provide sketching and techpack development.
- You can read our blog post on ‘What is a Techpack’.
- Each section also comes with a 'Learn More' button. If you are ever confused feel free to click on them and read more.
- Patterns and Draftings
- A pattern is physical template that is used to construct your garment. A drafting is related to the furniture industry and is a physical template that is used to construct your piece of furniture. Pattern-making is taking your idea and making a blueprint of it in order to see what the correct measurements will be. Patterns help construct the design and is the guide that is followed when producing your product.
- Patterns are paramount in that they are used to create your sample. A great pattern will lead to a great sample...a great sample leads to higher quality products.
- If you do have a pattern, be sure to take pictures of each piece and upload them. It will be paramount in the factory understanding what your product actually is.
- ‘What if I don’t have a pattern/drafting’?
- If you don’t have one don’t worry. Ideally this signifies your current status in the development process. In your factory search you should be targeting your search to either factories or service providers that handle pattern making for your particular product. Before reaching this point you should have either a techpack and/or your sketches complete.
- ‘Materials are the things you’ll be using to produce your product. It’s important that the factory know which materials will be used...some materials may take special machines. Factories may also want to know if these materials are already sourced or if you need help in sourcing them.
The final section is 'Help Me With' items. Let's dive in. How to Use 'Help Me With Items'.