I have just spent the last two weeks in London on a work a placement with the company Studio Flock, run by creative director Jenny Wingfield. (http://www.flock.org.uk) Flock works with designers to produce wallpaper and fabrics for interiors, and I was really inspired by the work as I felt it an ideal example of the work I aspire to produce myself. Keeping on top of my organisation skills, I enquired about the work placement early October and was lucky to receive a quick response accepting me, and it was all arranged to happen in January.
The first half of the day consisted of sample cutting. I needed A4 sized samples, 4 of each design with there being 15 overall in the collection. These samples are needed all the time as they are sent on to customers and more importantly stockists. This was quite time consuming however tis important to have samples readily available as this inevitably saves time in the future. Currently the Flock collection is stocked in John Lewis, Heals and Liberty London.
Whilst I was cutting samples, I was able to chat with Jenny and ask questions about what it was like running the business and how the collection was put together. It has opened my eyes to how much there is involved in producing designs. For example, the printer requires a minimum order of 100m so its important to be certain about the design you are printing as it needs to be sellable or else you will have wasted time and money. This has made me more aware of the selection process in design and how relevant research and trends are, as they signify the up and coming within design.
One task of the day was to put wallpaper samples to scale on the computer to show how it will hang on the wall in order for customers to visualise (see image below).
This guide is key, particularly for this design as it does not align simply so could be tricky when hanging on the wall, therefore having a visual reference helps the customer to know how it will hang. Initially I couldn’t understand how to scale the design down accurately but once I got my head around it I found it quite simple, and thought it is a good thing to know how to produce as it means I can apply this method to my own work in the future whilst knowing its accurate.
I spent the morning creating a mood board looking at colour and pattern from the early-mid 20th century to help with inspiration towards an archive collection. This was fun to do as I was learning and seeing new things at the same time. It was good to do because the outcome was useful in giving an understanding about the era that the archive collection was from.
In the afternoon we went to visit a fine artist looking to collaborate. This was interesting to see another designers studio and how their work could be combined with Flocks style to create a textile design. The tricky element was working out how to take the print and put it into repeat form. It was concluded that this is probably easiest done on either Photoshop or Illustrator, and that it is becoming more and more necessary nowadays to have the relevant skills on these programs.
Overall I had a really great experience at Studio Flock and am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to go there and get an insight into the company. It has also shown me a new way of designing and how I could possibly go about my work once I have graduated. I would love to go back and do more work with Flock in the future.