Dec 06, 2018 | By Jane Boddy
We love Longina Phillips Designs Instagram account, which is jam-packed with print inspiration, catwalk snaps and artists at work.
So we decided to take a look behind the scenes of Australia’s leading creative print studio, to find out how they craft their signature florals and trend driven designs.
Firstly, can you tell us a little about the history of the studio and how Longina started the company?
Longina Phillips Designs was established in 1988. A one woman show for the first couple of years, Lola was a graphic design graduate with a love of textiles and fashion. Everything was painted by hand and the pace was much slower than today. Lola was the first studio in Australia to add a CAD system and then slowly our Mac’s took over. Almost 30 years later and the studio has grown to over 20 designers and is now Australia’s leading creative print design studio. We have graphic designers, fine art graduates, textile designers and fashion designers, each with their own unique handwriting.
What does a typical designer’s day involve at the studio?
A designer’s day will consist of coffee first and then down to creativity 🙂 We create inspirational moodboards for our designers to work from, so a designer will decide what story is inspiring them that day and then set about creating artwork for the brief. This could begin with some quick research, finding the right reference book in our amazing library (Lola has been collecting books for the past 30 years, so we have a pretty good choice of inspiration) and then off to the light box or painting area to start. Once the motifs are drawn, the designer scans and begins laying out in Photoshop. Once approved by our creative directors, the design is printed onto silk and then ‘headed-up’ ready to go out with our sales team. We print digitally in-house on our Mimaki ink jet printer. It’s a fantastic machine! We can design and print fabric in one day, plus, it’s eco-friendly, with only one tiny bucket of recyclable waste, and it’s very light on water usage.
How many prints do you have in the collection per season?
Our collection is constantly evolving and being added too. Because we sell internationally, we are working on all seasons all of the time. We have customers who work less than 6 months ahead of delivery and others 2 years ahead, so we have to be on the ball with demands globally. There is never a beginning or end, it’s a constant cycle!
How do you create the trends for each season?
Our inspiration comes from multiple sources. WGSN, forecast books, blogs, art, music, travel and social media all go into helping our Creative Directors collate and create moodboards. We have brainstorming sessions within our teams, allowing all our designers to contribute ideas and inspiration.
We’ve heard about your fantastic Print School. Please could you explain a little more and what style of courses you have on offer?
Our skill swaps where the beginning of our Print School. When we initially started the conversation about up-skilling, we could not find courses in our local area, so decided that we are the experts, let’s just teach each other! And if we want to learn these skills and grow as artists, surely there are others out there that want the same thing? So The Print School was born. We have some amazing classes that we put on every couple of months on a Saturday morning. We have space for 6-10 students with two of our designers as teachers. The classes we offer are: Floral Illustration, Abstract Florals and Watercolour Florals for Textile design. We also offer a Fashion 101 class which is aimed at those looking to set up their own fashion business.
The Print School has been such a success, we’ve had requests to teach them all over the world. We would love to fly to Madrid, Rio, Milan tomorrow, but unfortunately it’s not feasible. So we have just filmed our first set of classes that will be available for subscription online from February next year. It has been a huge project and we are still in the editing process, but we can’t wait to be able to offer our new Print School classes to everyone world wide. Keep an eye out on our social media for updates on this as there will also be a closed Facebook feed for all subscribers to ask questions and get feedback from our designers.
To find out more about Longina Phillips Designs, head to their website at website.
Want more? Check our WGSN’s five expert tips to design a print collection here.
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