Project 1 – Colour palettes and proportion
Research point 1
Voyage Decoration – A British company based in Glasgow that produce a wide range of interior design textiles using British woven cotton, linen and wool fabrics. Their textile collections are inspired by nature with depictions of plants, animals, both wild and domestic and some patterned fabrics including checks which compliment the main textile scheme . The images used are designed and printed in a painterly, artistic way with a watercolour quality. They don’t have a restricted palette of colour but the use of muted colours and tones with accents of bright pink, mauve and green are part of their characteristic and allow the collections to be interchangeable.
Marimekko – Based in Helsinki Finland and registered in 1951 by Armi Ratia who found talented young artists to join her in her quest for new bold designs for her textile printing company. The company has remained fresh and innovative throughout the decades, with new designers bringing their own cultural influence into the patterns and designs. The designs are stylized images of flowers, plants, fruit alongside bold pattern, large spots and stripes. Colours used are often complimentry or monochromatic schemes which are vibrant and playful.
Mary Katrantzou – A young fashion designer who uses digital technology printing in her designs. Geometric patterns combined with historical art and objects of luxury feature in her work. Her use of colour is bold, vibrant, playful and slightly psychedelic. She uses colour to create a visual illusion, to play with the eye so you look at the clothing and not the person wearing it. Whilst she uses lots of colour in each garment the colour is not often used in large blocks but broken up with the construction of the pattern.
Wallace Sewell – A collaboration between Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell established in 1990 producing woven textiles. They use colour in geometric blocks and stripes influenced by the Bauhaus period. The colours they use range from muted natural colours to bright pinks and reds. Probably the most well known of their work is the upholstery fabric used by Transport for London in their trains.
Cole & Sons – Founded in 1875 and produced block printed wallpapers. Today the wallpaper they produce is a mix of classic and contemporary designs featuring themes from nature and geometric designs. A lot of their papers use a limited palette, 2 and 3 colours, however there are a few contemporary designs that use a wider range of colour, which would suit the current trend for all white interiors with an accent wall decorated with wallpaper or emulsion. Each design comes in a number of colourways for example “Palm Jungle” has 7 colourways giving their designs a wider market range.
Norma Starszakowna – A Scottish textile artist who produces large digitally printed textiles which hang in groups displayed from floor to ceiling. The textiles have a mixed media quality, she uses text, rust marks and surface texture which is transferred in the print giving them a depth. She uses muted colours which are taken from her source material and with areas of contrasting colour which are used to communicate a mood or feeling.
Paul Smith – Trained as a tailor and worked on Savile Row designing mens suits before opening his own shop in 1970. His iconic band of specific colours set out like a barcode is probably one of the best known designer trademark logos. The range of colours used in his logo are also used in his clothing designs either in the instantly recognisable stripes, or as accent colours along side the more conservative colours of his designs.
Vlisco – A Dutch textile printing company founded in 1864 who produced roller printed wax designs similar to batik that became popular in West and Central Africa. They still produce their strong colourful designs which consist of geometric patterns and large motifs. They use a limited colour palette but the designs come in more than one colourway. The colours and motifs tell a story of the people, they indicate the wealth and heritage of the wearer and are a reflection of the landscape and flowers of Africa.
Ptolemy Mann – A contemporary hand weaver and dyer who uses stripes and blocks of bold colour in her woven textile designs. She uses stripes of a colour hue which blend into tones of that colour alongside bold blocks or stripes of a harmonious and complimentary colours. She has a very successful way of blending all these colours together to produce beautiful textiles that vibrate with colour. They are perfect textiles for the current fashion of all white interiors as they are so striking and warm. I think that they have a feel-good factor.
Voyage Decoration – Morning Chorus
The colours are soft but colourful with good proportions of colour with some accent colours (pink and green) which add a dynamic to the design. The colours are appropriate because it is a painterly representation of British plants and birds, the colours also combine with other fabrics in their range. The design and colour palette are interdependent especially as they are part of a larger collection that can be combined with each other.
Purchased sample of fabric
Marimekko – Unikko – the rebel flower designed by Maija Isola 1964
This design is of large bold simple flowers and is available in different colourways using either tonal or complimentry colours that produce a powerful stylised representation. The design is important in this example, bold bright colours add impact but it looks equally good in monochrome. It is a design that is still relevant today, 53 years from its conception.
Wallace-Sewell – 150th Anniversary throw for London Transport museum
This throw is designed using the same colours that identify the different underground railway lines on the London Underground, iconic colours understood by anyone who uses the underground system and possibly recognised by people around the world from the London tube map. This is such a clever way of adapting a predetermined colour palette that is still understood and is relative to the finished article. Here the colour is fundamental to the design.
Ptolemy Mann – Red Vortex rug
This is a circular 100% wool hand knotted pile rug in which Ptolemy Mann uses the three primary colours of red, blue and yellow. These colours are used across the rug in bands of different widths and within those bands there are different tones of those colours. Her method of using colour produces a visually stimulating result, it has impact and vibrancy. Colour plays an important role in all her work, she studied colour theory and is a colour consultant.