Design is key to the creation process. Sketches are your friend in this process.
Like anything else, the design process is the crucial part of creating anything. A lot of thought goes into creating the design for different RoyalPoint products. Each design goes through many iterations before it makes it to the customer.
The first step is a quick pencil drawing to try to figure out the rough shapes, design components, and proportions.
It doesn’t need to be anywhere as detailed as the pen & ink drawing above. I would even suggest against it, especially making all the little dots for the lining, but it definitely gives you a good idea about what the final product would look like.
The next step is to create a digital version of the pattern and then print it on card stock. I use CorelDraw (got to support our Canadian suppliers when you can which also has the option to purchase the software outright instead of a monthly payment plan), but Adobe Illustrator is commonly used. The card stock is then cut and used as a template to cut out the first attempt out of leather.
The design then gets tweaked and modified several more times, each time being printed on card stock and then cut out in leather.
Once happy with the design, the pattern is then printed onto normal paper, glued onto bag stiffener (in this case Texon 626, available at Tandy and the like), and then the bag stiffener is cut out to form to use as a cutting guide in the future. An alternative to bag stiffener is 140lb watercolour paper (Canson XL is a good pick and then you can use it also to design your items too). Important design components are marked on this cutting guide which simplifies the production process.
Depending on the complexity of the project, preparing more formalized sketches or drawings often proves to be helpful. Although many designers prefer markers to prepare colour sketches of their designs, I prefer watercolour.