Design Talk > Jitesh Patel’s Tote Bag


My first sighting of a tote bag was perhaps the woven plastic ones, the kinds that Madras maamis carry. When we moved to Mumbai, I saw my kaam-waali-bai carry a green printed cloth one and often wondered what she kept inside. Turned out to usually be paan, beedi and some food she gathered from her home visits. In Kolkata, I watched them call it jhola and it was the man-bag before man-bags ever became fashionable (or are they). The Tote is an essential now, easy to carry and inexpensive to collect. They’re also an easy canvas for designers to showcase creativity. And the all-important rallying cry against plastic. Which is why Jitesh Patel’s book is fun and interesting. It takes something that has become such an ubiquitous part of our world today and catalogues it. His interest clearly being in its graphic output and the designers who created them. The form is the same, the designs keep changing. In some cases, it relates to the form of the bag, in some to the use it could be put to. But largely, it’s used much like canvas, with no interaction to its purpose as a bag. The designs could just as well work as a tee, but a bag is perhaps easier to make, one size fits all.

< Photograph courtesy Jitesh Patel. Jitesh Patel is a designer and illustrator. He runs a multi-disciplinary digital design studio, Jai Studio, in Shoreditch, London. He also has a blog dedicated to tote prints. If you’d like to submit your own ‘self-initiated, self-published and commercially available project for potential inclusion in future editions of this book’, do so here. >

If you’d like to make your own Tote bags, check Morsbags for instructions.

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