FLOR Design Contest 2012: Plussed
My submission to FLOR’s Design Contest 2012, a.k.a “Plussed.”
I made the TOP TEN!!
Over 500 designs were submitted, then a panel of judges selected the Top Ten designs. This link may not last for posterity, but here it is for now: http://www.flor.com/vote. Then, the winner was determined by popular vote. Over 2500 votes were cast. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pull off a social media coups for the win. But, nonetheless, it was great to be able to be a finalist!
So, that aside, here is the post that I wrote shortly after submitting my entry, which gets into the details of my process (and frustration with it):
A few weeks ago, my mother forwarded me an email from FLOR.com, announcing a carpet pattern design contest. She figured, it might be fun, why not give it a shot? She (and I) assumed it would just be a quick little design diversion, something to mull over while I drink a(nother) latte. I should have known, I suppose, that it would turn into something far more time consuming than a coffee break. (These thigns always do.) It turned out to be a good design exercise in the end, but I found myself getting far too wrapped up in it when I was in the midst of it, mostly out of frustration over some of the limiting rules. Rules, of course, are absolutely necessary in a contest, but let me explain…
The rules were as follows:
1) You must use their proprietary web design tool (FLORbuilder) to submit your entry.
2) You can only use 50 carpet tiles in total.
So why was it so frustrating:
Ok, let me first say that I just vented here to the tune of three long paragraphs, which I have just deleted to spare you, dear reader. You’re welcome.
To summarize that vent session, the rules were frustrating only because the FLORbuilder was a clumsy tool to use, and because it repeatedly gave inaccurate tallies for the quantities of tiles and cuts that a particular design was using. (I have the screenshots to prove it.) When you have to stay under 50 tiles, you really need to be sure that you do have under 50 tiles, according to the FLORbuilder.
For the sake of the contest, one really has to just go with the flow, and accept what the FLORbuilder says (once you think it isn’t all jumbled up with its count). However, what I learned from my experience with the FLORbuilder was that, while it might be helpful to test out carpet design ideas, never order directly from it. Instead, count up your own tiles, then order and cut them yourself. (And this is quite easy to do, by the way. I have hand cut and installed room fulls of the stuff, and I am certainly not a burly dude in any sense. Besides saving money on the cutting fees, you can use the scraps to reduce the total number of tiles you need to purchase; for example, by cutting down a 1/3-tile-sized scrap to fill a 1/4-tile-sized hole.)
In a minute, I’ll post some images of the design iterations that I went through as I was testing the design, and trying to reduce tiles, leading up to the submitted design, also shown above. As you’ll see, I eventually had to just reduce the size of the rug in order to get under the limit. I preferred the composition of the larger rug, but what can you do. By the way, a little extra background info: one of the limitations of using the FLORbuilder is that tiles can only be cut in halves, thirds, or quarters. No diagonal lines. And, tiles can only be arranged on one of two exclusive grids: a standard parquet, or a running bond pattern.