This past week, my team and I have made two different prototypes of our book cover pencil case. For Prototype 1, both Samantha and I made a version of our product. This took longer than expected because the sewing machines kept breaking, and we also had to share the limited amount with another group, and this slowed down the process a lot. We then went and did some market research for some color combinations that some people may want to see for our product, and what additional feedback they had. Based on this research, we then started to make our first Prototype 2.
Something we learned when making our product this time was that if we used a glue stick to attach the fabric to the front of the book cover, it would work much better than liquid white glue. This was because the glue stick wouldn’t leave a stain on the fabric and darken its colors, it would keep the fabric smooth, prevent the edges from fraying, and was still very strong and durable. Something else I learnt was more along the lines of working as a group. Samantha and I had trouble figuring out the workload when making Prototype 1 because even though we had decided she would sew and cut the fabric, and I would gut and glue the book covers, I finished much faster than Samantha did. This was because measuring, drawing, and cutting out the fabric took too much time for one person to do. When making Prototype 2, Samantha and I would measure and cut the fabric together, then she would sew and I would decorate the book cover. This worked much better and we were way more efficient. The last thing I learned from making our prototype was that hot gluing the zipper to the book cover did not make it look very nice. The hot glue was making the zipper hard and bumpy, and we also thought that it’s not very durable or strong. We don’t know what adhesive is best for our situation to substitute hot glue yet, but we know we won’t use hot glue anymore.
Some wonders I have for Prototype 2 is that, will people like our second prototype more than the first one, now that we’ve improved it? What other feedback do people have for us? What other patterns and colors could we explore for future designs, now that we’ve found out more people really like the patterns? Hopefully we can answer these questions when we do our second round of market research. I didn’t mention Sally much previously (sorry), but that is because she has been working really hard on designing the logos and keychains, then printing them out. After we’ve found out that we cannot laser-cut on a precious plastics cake, and also because it’s really expensive, we’ve decided to use cardboard, which is also sustainable, for our keychain. Sally has made two different designs with the Earth and some recycling arrows for our keychains, and we have our first prototype of these done. Something we’re thinking we could improve is adding our business name onto the keychain, so that will people remember our name and hopefully this will help promote our business more.