For me, designing a new print or range is a long process. I come from a design background where speed is key + repurposing old designs is the norm, but in reality, this isn't my style. I really missed working on original designs, which is one of the reasons why I started my own business.
For the most part, I always start with a hand drawing or painting. I definitely don’t have a natural flare for sketching, but I find it helpful to get some ideas down on paper that can be refined later. Depending on the design, there might be some painting, dying, or another messy technique involved (marbling is a personal fave!) - l love experimenting with colour + texture. For the paisley print, I was working with a simple colour scheme, so I just did some initial sketches.
The next stage is digitising the print, in this case I used Adobe Illustration to start. After scanning in my sketches, I start to fix some of the imperfections in my hand drawings - I don't fix them all though, because I love to show a bit of the handmade quality in the artwork. This is the part where I wish I wasn’t a perfectionist. Despite a decade of experience with illustrator, it’s easy to get caught up looking at every tiny detail zoomed in at 500% + spending hours on something that no-one will ever see!
Once the shapes are complete, I start putting them into a repeat pattern. A repeat pattern means that you can basically print the design to infinity, without any lines or marks in the design - it lines up seamlessly. I think this is something that can take a lot of designers hours to work on and a lot seem to stick to ‘placement prints’ (where there’s no need to do a repeat). But, after years of practice and learning a few tricks, the repeat comes together naturally. I play around with lots of different options for colour, scale, layout + have fun putting the design together. In the end I never seem to be able to choose a favourite, so I generally offer a few options.
After some further changes to the colour + scale, the print was then ready to use. Although I'm a specalist in print for fabrics, I couldn't resist using this in a wedding stationary range, as it fitted the brief so well. Here's a few examples below of the print being used;
If you've been keeping an eye on the trends, you may have noticed that for SS18, paisley designs will be making a comeback as part of the 'Indian Summer' trend. It can be hard to keep up to date with the latest fashion trends, as the information can be so expensive. So, as a thank you to my subscribers, I'm offering a free trend board, every month, to help with their busienss. You can sign up for the free baords below; your details are safe + won't be shared with anyone else!