Panera Bread Gift Card Challenge

avocado Panera bread gift card
Panera Bread Gift Card

One of my favorite ways to challenge myself as a designer is to be involved in contests. Many of the patterns that I create come from Spoonflower’s monthly design contest. Designing creatively for a contest or a challenge provides a theme, context, and motivation for making interesting patterns and designs. So, when my friend, Joy, told me about Panera Bread gift card contest, I knew I had to take part! The results of my designs can be seen in the images below.

Why I Entered the Design Challenge

I greatly enjoy Panera as a company and restaurant. Though I do not visit Panera nearly as much as I would want to, I love the atmosphere, the food, and the environment of people who have similar taste in delicious food. Receiving a prize from Panera would be wonderful, of course, but there is something about being a designer when you see your products in the real world. I spend hours, days, and weeks on designs, I only wish I could describe the type of excitement when I can point to a product and say “That is my design!”

Why I Made These Designs

When I started to think about the design to make for these cards, I was inspired by Rifle Paper Co.’s floral designs and wanted to add my own take on the flower designs using some interesting color palettes I had that I wanted to use. The company Panera promotes the freshness of their food compared to other food companies. Being summertime, fresh often means fruit in many people’s minds. Combining fruits with current popular themes such as banana leaves and avocados, the basis for these designs were set! I first created the food characters then used their colors to develop the florals around them, finishing with extra design aspects like the banner to help complete the design and help the card feel full and complete. To help the designs look better, I placed them on a gift-card mockup to make them feel official.

I love feedback on my designs, so be sure to share which is your favorite in the comments below!

About the Challenge

Panera has set up the contest in a way that corporate will decide on the 10 finalists and allow public voting for the top design. You will be able to view the finalists here. Starting August 12, everyone will receive one vote for their favorite design. I certainly hope that one of my designs will make it to the final 10, and if it does, I would love to have your support in votes!

Future Uses of the Designs

While these designs look great as gift cards, they will look even greater in patterns. I am currently in the process of turning these designs into its own pattern collection that will be available for purchase on Society6 and Creative Market.

Be sure to leave a comment below to let me know your ideas for future pattern designs. Also, don’t forget to say which design you think that Panera should choose to put on their gift cards!

Find more of my design on my blog.

Panera Bread Gift Card Challenge

avocado gift card for Panera Bread contest made by Crystal Whitlow of CW Design

banana gift card for Panera Bread contest made by Crystal Whitlow of CW Design

blueberry gift card for Panera Bread contest made by Crystal Whitlow of CW Design

strawberry with cute floral patterns and a happy face

Set of four gift cards on a mockup that looks like the designs are ready for stores

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