Rihanna Ellington


Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern designer who graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2013.

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  • Her designs are inspired by colour and contrast
  • She starts her design projects by visiting museums and archives.
  • She describes herself as having a natural curiosity which help her to collate inspirational objects to work from. An example of this is the flowers she collects which are then dried out and pressed.
  • In her recent work she has worked with digital manipulation of natural history and botanic
  • I am interested mainly in her colour palette.  She uses combinations of blues, greens, pinks and purples which are quite unsettling in some ways. The clashing colours and layering of images are almost holographic giving the illusion the designs are floating.

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Hannah Rampley


Hannah Rampley is a Designer and Illustrator currently based in Edinburgh.Screen+Shot+2015-06-17+at+13.33.06

  • Her work is inspired by nature, fruits, vegetables and natural forms. She also uses bright and unexpected colours which together form the definition of her unique style.
  • All of her designs are hand screen printed.
  • She frequently uses Mood boards for inspiration, colours, shapes, ideas and much more – This is something I think would really benefit me and may help spark new ideas.

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Wendy Kaye


Wendy Kaye is a surface pattern and fabric Designer.  I came across her work in the latest edition of the Elle Decoration magazine. It was initially the colours on the cushion prints that caught my eye. These are clearly modern colours which along with the black over lay of shapes make it very contemporary.

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  • She uses a combination of block colours overlaid by simple, linear patterns. I really like how she uses a small colour palette consisting of muted greys or greens, along with a bolder colour, which in this case is yellow. She also includes black in her design which, feel adds depth and boldness to her pattern.
  • After doing some further research into Wendy Kaye she talks about how she loves to play with shapes and colour. Being someone who lacks confidence in using colour, I feel this is something that would be very beneficial to me and help to inform what colours work best with what. Hopefully by doing this it will also give me a colour palette that I can work with myself.
  • Wendy’s inspiration comes from finding ‘mid-century gems’ at markets or charity shops. I think this is a great way of taking inspiration from unusual found objects and using them to influence your work. This could be in the form of colour, shape, texture etc. Doing the task where we had to buy something from the market to draw from really helped inform my ideas for drawings. It also made me think about doing something as simple as that could progress into looking at shape compositions. From now on I am definitely going to keep an eye out for interesting objects, which could spark new ideas.
  • Another influence of Wendy Kaye is Scandinavian design, which I shown in her patterns. She creates these very simplistic drawings with minimal colour and prints them onto fabrics used for everyday objects like cushions, lampshades or paper products.

Marcus and Jackson Text Essay

With Reference to the texts by Marcus and Jackson, describe the social, historical and/or technological changes which took place in the 1950’s, and assess their impacts on design in the period.

The devastation of World War Two heavily impacted the design industry. The shortage of materials meant that production and manufacturing of textiles came to a halt.

After the war people wanted to put the past behind them and look to the future of design. The Festival of Britain was a chance for the government to give the British people a feeling of recovery by showcasing new, fresh designs. “Design did not just have to be new, it had to be free of any reference to the decorative styles of the past” (Marcus, 1998, p.7).

The United states lost less money and people after the war so the impact of devastation was not as great therefore Modern design happened more quickly. “But the need to be modern was felt everywhere” (Marcus, 1998, p.7).

As factory production had been grounded there was a ‘revived admiration for the values of handcraftsmanship” (Marcus, 1998, p.8). A much needed desire for innovative, modern design flourished throughout Britain. Embracing elements of handcraftsmanship, organic shapes and geometric machine styles from earlier periods combined with optimistic colours helped shape the new style.


Along with two other female designers, Lucienne Day became one of the pioneers of contemporary design in the 1950’s. Her distinctive linear motifs and abstract patterns based on plant forms as well as the bold blocks of colour were loved by many. The optimistic message behind her designs was the reason for her success. Calyx was exhibited at the Festival of Britain and was the first design that brought her fame. ‘In the aftermath of the festival of Britain, the immediate task was to capitalize on the success of Calyx by putting more patterns into production of a similar style’ (Jackson, 2001, p.78).

1950’s was very much a time of social change. Broader class barriers and less distinction between the classes meant that it was not just the rich who could afford the desirable designs. More people were working and earning money which resulted in them spending more money on things like decorations for the home. ‘Although Lucienne preferred cotton and linen she was prepared to experiment with some of the cheaper synthetic fibres coming onto the market in an attempt to reach consumers from lower-income brackets” (Jackson, 2001, p.79).

Excited by the idea of expanding contemporary design to more consumers, Lucienne Day created a series of patterns for a variety of companies including the British Celanese, Edinburgh Weavers and Liberty. She had grabbed the opportunity to revitalize British homes with both hands and was not about to let go. “She was rightly credited with introducing a new creative freedom into British Textile Design” (Jackson, 2001, p.80).


Roisin Johns – Visiting Lecture – 23rd October

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Roisin Johns graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2013 and has recently just completed her Masters at Central St. Martins in material Futures.

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I found it very interesting to listen to what she had to say about how she got to where she is now. She has been through the education process that we are currently pursuing so it was good to hear her view and for us to be given some advise to help us in our tracks.

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Some points i noted from her talk included:

  • Keep up to date with the latest trends and exhibitions
  • Keep the quality throughout
  • Photograph everything well
  • Remember the reason behind why your doing what your doing
  • Be confident with your work and OWN IT!
  • Think about where i want to be after the 3 years
  • Think about who i want to work with
  • Use every opportunity to try out workshops

Sustainability Lecture – 23rd October


  • Meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • The characteristic of being able to co-exist with another system indefinitely, without either system being damaged. 

Sustainable Design – ‘A new and uncomfortable space for many designers to occupy’ – Valeria Casey

‘Most things are not designed for the needs of people but for the needs of the manufacturers to sell to people’. – Papanek

‘Cheap Fashion comes at a cost far beyond what we pay at the tills’ – Matilda Lee

The UK produces 250’000 tonnes of textiles waste every year.

  • The Hannover Principles – is a set of statements about designing buildings and objects with forethought about their environmental impact, their effect on the sustainability of growth, and their overall impact on society.
  1. Insist on the right of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.
  2. Recognize interdependence.
  3. Respect relationships between spirit and matter.
  4. Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems and their right to co-exist.
  5. Create safe objects of long-term value.
  6. Eliminate the concept of waste.
  7. Rely on natural energy flows.
  8. Understand the limitations of design.
  9. Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge.

Some companies to consider:

People Tree – Paying a living wage rather than exploiting them

Marks and Spencers – Plan A – ‘Doing the right thing’ Becoming the most sustainable retailer

Jez Eaton – Roadkill Couture is a collection of garments created using parts of animals that have died naturally, for example victims of Roadkill.

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