7 March 2019
Twice a year, we publish our Kids Lifestyle trend books bringing unique and compelling stories to life and inspiring product ranges every season. The trend books are a distilled and physical expression of a large body of work which brings together a network of creative experts across different industries and geographies, with their own individual specialisms. Like us, these experts are driven by a huge sense of curiosity to understand more about the future of life at home.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with freelance Textile, Illustrator and Product Designer Rosalind Maroney for over five years now on our Baby & Kids prints and illustrations. With fifteen years’ experience, Rosa has worked with some of the world’s leading brands in the Baby & Kids industry including Mamas & Papas, John Lewis and Great Little Trading Company to name just a few.
Images left to right: Rosalind Maroney, Personal Project Spoonflower Design Challenge
Could you tell us a bit more about yourself? How did you become a print designer?
I originally studied product design and was lucky enough to be offered a position as a Junior Designer at Mamas & Papas after a client project they set in my last year of University. It gave me the opportunity to work on a wide array of projects within furniture and toy categories. It became clear that an understanding of surface pattern would serve me well. I taught myself Illustrator and print and pattern work gradually wove its way into my work more and more. Today, approximately 70% of my work each year is print design. Having a product background has helped my freelance career as I’m able to take a product from brief to manufacture or turn my print characters into 3D toys which is always exciting to see!
What inspires you? Where do you find inspiration?
In my personal work, I feel really inspired by nature, walks in the woods with my kids and living by the sea which is a constant source of energy for me. Being a freelance designer I feel inspired every day by the people and businesses I work with, I am a complete business nerd and feel so blessed that I get to delve into the inner workings of small start-ups who are just realising their first ranges through to major corporate retailers and everything in between. The fact that they trust me to come on board and allow me to bring their ideas to life is an absolute dream come true!
Images left to right: Rosalind Maroney Personal Project Spoonflower Design Challenge, Great Little Trading Company
What is your thought process when you create prints for different purposes?
I try to see myself as the customer for the end product and ask these questions; what do I want it to do for me, is it something practical or a particular feeling I want to gain from it, will it be a pattern I have to look at and live with every day or is it something I will feel good about giving to someone else for a particular occasion?
In practical terms, I will think about scale and also the manufacturing process. A design may be limited to 3-5 colours so being thoughtful with the detailing will make the print look considered and not lacking next to a full colour digitally printed design.
What do you enjoy most about collaborating with Trend Bible?
Apart from it always being a joy to collaborate with the team at Trend Bible, I love the challenging and inspiring mix of styles that I’m asked to create for their Kids Trend Book each season. The briefs are always really well considered as you would expect and it’s great to have an insight into the upcoming trends.
Images: Rosalind Maroney for Trend Bible
Where do you see print design direction heading?
In terms of the children’s market, there are always popular recurring themes which are reimagined to fit within larger market trends. I think the nostalgia for a simpler time before screen time dominated will continue to set the tone with naïve hand-drawn and fun painterly motifs. My biggest hope is for the un/conscious gender bias within children’s design to be broken down much further and faster within both large and small retailers so that a real impact can be made for the wellbeing of future generations.
Images: Rosalind Maroney for Hibou Home
Having had years of experience in the industry, what tip would you give to continuously develop your design skills?
I feel like my skills are honed and developed with every project I undertake, I love the fact that I’m still learning every day. I would say to take on a wide variety of projects. In the last year, I’ve worked on baby books, fabric designs, wallpaper, bedding, seasonal gifts and toy design. They all rely on the same set of skills but used in a slightly different way which keeps me fresh and continuously developing. I also recommend taking on personal projects or enter challenges and competitions. There are so many out there now and it allows you to keep the joy of experimenting, knowing not everything will turn out exactly how you want it to every time, but that’s OK, you’ve learnt something new!
Interested in collaborating with us on our Trend Publications? For information on how to get involved contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are working 3 or 18 months ahead of the season, our Baby & Kids Lifestyle Trend Books are available to buy from our online store. To receive a free demo of our Spring Summer 2020 Kids Lifestyle book click on the free download feature on this post.
Overall a great day which involved getting everyone's thoughts, ideas and reservations down on paper. I am looking forward to seeing how this information will be overlaid with the vital trend insights we need to drive new product development and long-term business growth.
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