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Design challenge - Bonfire Night

09 November 2017 08:37


I hesitated about this month's design challenge theme.

I really wanted to have a Bonfire Night theme - it's such a British institution, although perhaps not quite so much these days.  I have so many happy memories of going out in the dark on a cold winter's night; building the bonfire earlier in the day with my dad, who was always very excited about Bonfire Night; standing as close to the fire as we dared / were allowed, to keep warm; the awe-inspiring fireworks; trying to write in the air with our sparklers held in hands wearing mittens; the camaraderie in the dark (we used to have a private party for a number of local families - probably all the families with children in the old part of the village); the food - we always had the same food: home-made meat pie, jacket potatoes, black peas and treacle toffee.  We never had a guy on our bonfire, but perhaps you did?

But .....

Large areas of dark colours don't work very well with pigment ink.  Bonfires and fireworks tend to imply a black or dark blue background, which isn't ideal.  Fine lines (e.g. fireworks) may not print very clearly with a dark background.  Large areas of dark ink tend to make the fabric stiff.  A lot of dark ink may fade more in the wash.

So, bearing that in mind, can you create a Bonfire Night design featuring bonfires, fireworks, traditional food - or whatever it suggests to you - without too much dark ink?!

Photo by Zara Walker on Unsplash



Please upload your challenge designs to your account on our website.  If you haven’t already got an account, it’s simple to set up.  You just need an email address, password and name, which can be your own name, a nickname or a business name.  (You will be prompted to log in or create an account when you try to save your design.)  Then email me at, to tell me the name of your account and design.  (So I can find the right one!)  This is the name you use on your account, please.  It's the one on the black ribbon at the top of the screen when you log into your account.  I need this name to find your design.  There's no need to send me a link as this will not work until your design has been made public.  Without the correct name, it is very time-consuming for me to find your design, so your entry may not be included.    You may also upload your design to our Facebook page.  I will put any not already uploaded onto Facebook after the closing date.   In case you're wondering about the order in which designs are listed on Facebook, the first to arrive in my inbox goes at the top, with the rest listed in the order in which they are sent in.   We may select one or two to put into our competition winners slot.

 So, the challenge is:  Create a design suitable for printing on fabric based on 'Bonfire Night'.

Technical matters:

Your design should be at a resolution of at least 150 dpi, but not more than 300, using RGB colour space.

When it comes to printing, the repeat options are:  Straight, Centre, Half-drop, Half-brick and Mirror.  Once you’ve uploaded your design to our website, you can play around with the repeats to see which one will look best.  For pictures of what the different repeats look like, check this blog post.

To take part:

Upload your design onto our website by Tuesday, November 21st, giving it a title.  Email me at, telling me the title of your design and the name of your account.  You can also say a little about the inspiration behind your design, if you wish.

The closing date for receiving designs is midnight on Tuesday, November 21st, after which designs will be displayed (at the fat quarter size) on Facebook and on the blog.  Any designs uploaded to Facebook after the closing date may be removed.

By entering, you agree to our challenge terms and conditions.

You may only submit one entry, which must be your own work and based on the theme 'Bonfire Night'. ‘Your own work’ means any form of original art work, photography, etc which you have produced. Your design should not have been entered in one of our previous competitions or challenges.

All entries will be displayed, unless we feel that the subject matter is inappropriate.  Copyright will remain with you, but by entering the challenge, you give us the right to use your design in any way we wish on our web site and social media, for advertising purposes.

All designs entered into the challenge will be made public on our web site without charge and will be available for sale.   The designer will be paid £2 per metre commission on any sales of the design.

Happy designing!


 Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


Firework photo at the top  by Joseph Chan on Unsplash