Sunday, 9 February 2014

Post 13

Printing a 3 metre length of wallpaper
block in position ready to be rolled under press
If I were marketing these designs, colour ways could be changed according to the customer’s taste, All designs could, if desired be printed in a colour scheme hand selected by the customer, in this way the client can play a more active role in the design process and the wallpaper will feel more personal. 

Spring Fair Birmingham NEC (National Exhibition Centre)

This is a trade show for gift, home ware products etc. there are many hundreds of exhibitors on show.  I was overwhelmed by the volume of products on sale, a yearly visit to this show and there is no need to look around any shops.  Very few products had a real artisan feel, although many were attempting to look like one-off handmade items rather than mass produced products.  The variety of imagery being used in stationery, fabrics etc. was immense and made me realise how challenging it is to come up with something new and different.  Good imagery stood out and it was an eye opening experience.  It was interesting to view the exhibitors competing against one another; some were a jumble of different colours and ideas, others displayed more clear-cut collections, and I was reminded once more that often less is more.  It was evident which stands worked and which did not.  

Daniel Heath, a successful independent wallpaper, textile and surface designer came to talk to us about his work. I was interested to see that he used the same two designs for the majority of his work, only varying the colours on request.  It had not occurred to me that an artist/designer may need to stay with a certain design if it is successful in order to make a living, my college experience has been very much about trying to be experimental and constantly thinking about doing something different.  Hopefully in the future I will still have the opportunity to be experimental and challenge myself.  I had not realised that over time a designer becomes known for a certain style and can get stuck in rut, it can be a gamble to change designs as they are at risk of losing their valuable client base.  This is obviously a big subject which I had not previously considered.  He also mentioned that designs can have a masculine or feminine identity, I will be aware of this from now on.

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