A Bagmaker's Handy Design Guide

Bag design

Designing a custom bag is similar to creating a masterpiece. Starting with a blank piece of paper, I sketch out a few styles that are appealing then figure out how I can make it suit my style and needs. Here are a few guidelines that I follow before starting a new project that I hope will give you plenty of information and inspiration.

Choosing A Bag Design To Fit Your Needs

There are several options to consider when designing your bag. You'll need to select the bag type, materials, colors, and features that appeal to your sense of style. Figure out the bag's desired functionality by considering the following:

How will you use it? Do you need a bag to hold just a few essentials or a versatile style that can go from day to evening with ease? Do you need multiple pockets to keep your gear organized or do you want just the basics?

First, determine the bag size and/or silhouette that you want to create. If you prefer smaller bags, then a hand-held design like a clutch or wristlet is a good choice.

For small to medium-sized bag, a satchel is another classic style that can be carried by hand and may offer a detachable shoulder strap for flexible carrying.

If you need something more versatile with larger storage capacity, a crossbody, messenger or shoulder bag with an adjustable strap will better fit your needs. These popular bags offer the flexibility of wearing them off your shoulder or across the body for a more modern look.

With plenty of room for day trips or commuting, a spacious tote bag is always a smart and versatile style. Keep in mind that most bags can be outfitted with a detachable/adjustable strap to offer hands-free convenience when needed.

Selecting Exterior and Interior Materials

Depending upon the bag type that you choose, the materials you choose should be compatible with the design. If you want a tote that goes to the beach and beyond, a sturdy cotton canvas, a nylon/polyester canvas blend, or Ottertex marine acrylic canvas is your best bet. If your bag will be used for daily commutes, running errands, or evenings out, you have multiple choices that can include cork, woven fabrics, or a combo of fabric and cork.

I like to use eco-friendly materials such as recycled canvas, cotton and cork whenever possible. For my NautiPup custom printed fabric bags, I prefer to use a REPRIEVE recycled polyester and organic cotton sateen (for linings). Our signature collection features sustainable materials such as gorgeous cork from Portugal or soft faux suede for durability, impeccable style, and easy care.


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