For my thesis project, the problem I wanted to address was that for many people, starting a new hobby in the arts can be a daunting task. Often, because of the high cost for all the necessary supplies, many people miss out on the many benefits that crafting and having a hobby can bring. There, currently, aren’t many resources that gather information on the best way to get started in many hobbies. I also don’t think that many people realize the possible benefits of being creative and maintaining a hobby. My target audience for this project was young adults, 18-25 years old, in Cincinnati, OH, particularly those who don't already participate in a creative hobby.
How can I connect young adults in Cincinnati, OH to accessible* resources and tips to learn about crafting to reduce their overall stress?
*Accessible meaning affordable and easy to get started in.
For my research, I conducted a Literature Review on the benefits of participating in a creative hobby, a Competitive Analysis of the current “solutions” to my research question, and a survey to gauge interest and current participation in creative hobbies. My 4 biggest takeaways from my research were:
How & Where to Learn
Doing it for Stress Relief
Expense as a Barrier
Time as a Barrier
When designing Palette & Pencil, I began by mapping out the service blueprint and user flow for the website. I felt it was important to get a fuller understanding of how the company would operate and be laid out before doing any visual designing. I decided the company would offer complete kits with tutorials, hand-curated using secondhand supplies to lower costs. This helped me get a better sense of all the different screens I needed to design and how to best relay the information that was necessary.
When developing the brand for Palette & Pencil, I wanted to have a sketched, DIY aesthetic. I also wanted to challenge myself to go outside of my comfort zone and tackle a mostly illustrative style, which I haven’t done for a full brand before. I wanted to keep the colors and styles gender neutral and youthful. I then used this throughout my website and cards that go inside the kits.
Once I finished my website & kit cards, I began testing. I asked some of the participants from my survey (both current crafters & non-crafters) to test my website’s usability and for feedback on the service as a whole. Overall, Palette & Pencil received a positive response. Many thought the service would be helpful, if they were to begin a new hobby. The main feedback I received was that several participants would have liked to also be able to buy individual supplies from the site and to have some kind of guarantee of what they would get in the kits. If I were to expand this project, I would definitely like to include those features, as well as expanding the service to cover more mediums, aside from just painting & drawing.