One of the reasons we love doing shows, is that it gives us the opportunity to show off fantastic new artwork and designs from our lovely Advocate artists to lots of people. This year is no exception; we’ve done a big call out to all our greetings card illustrators and designers, and boy have they wowed us with all their new work! We’ve got great Christmas, female, male, birthday, and boutique ranges all mocked up and ready to show you at PGLive and Surtex this year, like this quirky Adventure Trail set from Sophia Touliatou; this sweet Bunting range from Suzanne Khushi; lovely bold floral designs from Nicola Evans, and these ultra feminine, classy Bijou styles from Lynn Horrabin.
Posts Tagged ‘Trends’
We’ve put together an even bolder and brighter issue than the last, with a stunning cover from newly-joined artist Jenny Wiscombe, and art from Annabel Spenceley, Jenny Wren, Katy Donaldson, Jo Parry, and Sophia Touliatou. You can also see brilliant work from our greetings cards and art licensing artists, get a closer look at the world of a freelance illustrator in our artist features, look through the latest trends, and read about our amazing new web interface ImageSearch, which will change the way you search for pictures.
Adding to our general excitement about its release, the nice folks over at ArtBuyer Magazine have just promoted our MaG in their latest news bulletin!
To find out more information about our greetings cards and art licensing artists, or to see where we’ll be at upcoming shows, visit our website.
Have a look at these beautiful new mood boards designed by agent hannah. She has been taking them to meetings to showcase what we think are some great new themes and trends that our greetings card illustrators and image licensing artists are really getting right!
Fun Fur features cute bears and other fluffy animals set off by lovely pastel and ice cream shades. Some of the illustrators whose work inspired this mood board are Anna Shuttlewood, Martina Hogan, Tiago Americo, Ellie Jenkins, Rachel Green, Sarah Goodreau and Sonia Possentini.
Modern Florals features bright floral designs with vibrant patterns, folk influences and shocks of colour on neutral backgrounds. The artists inspiring this trend are Victoria Nelson, Amanda Hillier, Darren Pindar, Nicola Evans and the Pope Twins.
Willow features beautiful blue designs with loose floral and oriental influences. Butterflies and hearts are a key feature is this trend. Artists getting it right include Amanda Hillier, Kim Hankinson, Anna Staub, Louise Angus, Nicola Evans, Mat Edwards.
Last week, we uploaded our latest trend boards to the Advocate art blog, these include ideas for everyday and christmas trends. Since then Advocate’s Hannah has done an insightful interview on trend spotting and our fantastic new mood boards, read on to find out more . . .
When you’re managing work from over 300 artists, supplying most major multiples through to boutique publishers of paper products, wall art, ceramics and melamine, you need to have a handle on not only what is on-trend, but also on future fashions. It is also important to understand what will only be an accent and which looks will have longevity, as well as which ones will have a mass-market appeal and which will remain niche. If you get it wrong, not only will you be sitting on artwork that remains unsold, you may also be selling designs through to retailers that trust your opinion and then end up with stock that won’t shift.
How do you spot new trends?
Mostly by keeping our eyes and ears open! Some of our artists are great at spotting new ideas and often share them with us. We also receive hundreds of new designs a week, sometimes you can spot patterns of recurring motifs. These ideas are often validated (or sometimes disproven!) by the mood-boards and trend forecasts that our clients send us. We find that if we share our ideas with publishers and artists, they’re more willing to reciprocate and discuss how trends are being received in the market place, so we can be quick to expand upon, or dilute, an idea.
How can keeping up with trends benefit artists?
Just like fashion or interior design, the greeting card and stationery market is a trend-led industry. New trends can act as a springboard to inspiration for an artist, helping them to keep variety in their portfolio and offer something new to clients and retailers.
What are the best places to spot new trends?
Retailers like TopShop, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are a good place to spot new trends – they have a very high turnover of new products, and are quick to market them, which mean they are constantly being updated. High-street fashion magazines such as Grazia and weekend newspaper supplements are also good resources. Personally I always find interior design magazines – Elle Decoration, World of Interiors, Ideal Homes etc. – a great inspiration. We also have an active internship program at Advocate – sometimes we can see a trend reinforced when it walks through the door on an intern’s t-shirt!
And what are the worst places to spot new trends?
Other publisher’s ranges. If you are constantly looking at competitor’s work, the best thing you will produce is a ‘me too’ design, and you could also be replicating something that is not selling.
Is the internet a useful resource for trend-spotting?
Although the amount of information you can find online can be overwhelming at times, there are some great resources that are devoted to trend-spotting. Sites such as print and pattern, design sponge and pinterest are updated daily and often showcase cutting-edge trends. Artists’ personal blogs and company blogs are often also useful. For inspiration with colourways, kuler is a great help – users can upload images to extract pantone colours, or create their own palettes from scratch. As part of Advocate’s blogging routine we spend 2 hours a day looking at other artists’ blogs and commenting on them. This helps link us to the artistic community.
How can you tell if a trend will have longevity?
It’s hard to tell without hindsight, however trends don’t just start and stop – there is a process of evolution. For example, one of the key trends for Christmas 2011 was peacock (jewel-colours of purple, green, gold and fuschia) which this year has split into two new looks. The first of these is ‘snowflake’ – a soft, light look with key tones of mint green, teal and mauve. The second is ‘midnight velvet’ – a sumptuous mix of dark purple and black with metallic highlights. Similarly, the woodland theme has evolved from stags on natural colours, to a brighter trend combining natural grounds with neon highlights.
Do Christmas trends work in the same way as everyday trends?
Just like everyday trends, we notice a yearly shift in colour palettes, subject matter and art techniques. Sometimes a popular subject can even cross over into Christmas – just look at the number of London-themed cards that were on the market last year. We do tend to look in different places to spot new Christmas looks. One great resource is ChristmasWorld in Frankfurt (part of the PaperWorld show which is held in late January) – they are normally very early to spot new looks and are bold with the trends that they promote. After walking around a show like this, you tend to come out with a better overall understanding of trends than you would doing a competitor shop.
Is it important to keep up with trends in different retail areas?
At the moment we are seeing an increasing flow of ideas from one product area to another. On a practical level, wall art is often successful when it fits in with wider interior design trends – people want art that fits in with their colour scheme and furniture. Some retailers like Matalan, Next and B&Q actually group their products by colour and theme. Interior trends often also filter down to different retail areas – the influence of motifs and colourways in fashion can often be seen the next season in greeting cards and stationary.
What are the key trends for 2013?
For everyday we are seeing a resurgence of nautical-themed icons – anchors, retro sailor tattoos, tied in with British seaside nostalgia. Modern Craft is a combination of traditional crafting techniques (applique, cross-stitch, knitting etc.) with a modern digital look and a 1950s colour palette. Design Classics takes inspiration from mid-20th century design icons such as typewriters, telephones and classic movie posters. The colour palette is bold and masculine. We have also identified Edwardian Etching as a key look – this combines traditional botanical etchings with a modern colour palette of teal, muted mauve and lemon yellow. Lastly, Tropical Paradise combines bright, bold prints with icons such as parrots, palm trees and pineapples
Christmas trends are very colour-focused this year, with similar subject matter running throughout. My personal favourite is Snowflake – a beautifully soft combination of muted teal, mint green and creamy white. Midnight Velvet is a sumptuous mixture of deep purples and black with metallic highlights.
To see Advocate’s trend forecasts in full, visit blog.advocate-art.com
At Advocate art we have been very busy creating these great new Christmas mood boards incorporating all the elements we think will be on trend for Christmas 2013. Below each one we have written a description of the colours, tones and imagery we are looking for – this is a perfect brief for all you greeting card designers out there are and we can’t wait to see all your fantastic illustrations in response to them! We have two more mood boards to come so we will keep you posted! We have also posted these on Pinterest, click here to visit our page and spread the word!
Warm tones of burnt gold, bronze and deep red inspire this look. Metallic finishes are mixed with natural wood textures to give this trend a homely appeal.
Light, dreamy and soft – this look is defined by the unusual mixture of mint green and muted teal. This is paired with iridescent finishes, and delicate snowflake, star and woodland motifs.
Sumptuous, rich and elegant – this look draws inspiration from the glamour of the 1920′s. The colour palette is limited to deep purples, indigos and black, with metallic highlights.
This year Advocate Art has designed mood boards in order to brief our artists, depicting trends that are emerging in 2o11.Advocate sends it’s agents out to search the shops for trend indicators, uncovering new looks that are going to be huge in 2011-12. We have broken them down in to the following categories;