Cath Kidston – Conversational Print Proposal
For YCN 2013/14, I have chosen to carry out the Cath Kidston brief, whereby a new, fresh and exciting conversational print must be designed for their target audience, meeting their brand and pre-existing style.
The target audience is a 29-year-old, female, with a new budding career, her first home in order, friends with young children, family and the luxury of having time to herself, whether this be shopping in town, at car boot sales or attending festivals and craft fairs. The audience is a key part of the brief, and it is important that this is maintained throughout the research, design process and the final outcome.
I have developed a concept based around the conversational topic of British Weather, with a reflection of Festivals, such as Glastonbury, which I am proposing to put forward for this brief. This is a theme that hasn’t been experimented with in this way before, by Cath Kidston, or competitors such as Liberty of London, and I feel it is undoubtedly a topic of interest for the target audience, and a very interesting, unique idea to put forward and propose.
Historically, conversational prints have been in production since the early 1900s, experimented with as an outlet to express events, social events, emotions, feelings, current lifestyles, cartoons, aesthetics and patterns, enhancing ones lifestyle as well as informing and educating.
Taking this into consideration, I have taken into account the context and aesthetics of existing prints, using both primary and secondary research, before developing a concept. I have liaised with Cath Kidston staff through primary research, whilst asking about their history, products and their in-house design team, whilst visiting their Leeds store recently. I have also carried out secondary, reading their book “Coming Up Roses” and researching through online resources for inspiration, design aesthetics/styles and visuals. I feel these methods of research will be of benefit throughout this brief, especially throughout the design process.
The idea and concept for the conversational print has been derived from several individual ideas and concepts – British Weather, Festivals, Camping and Nostalgia. British people are said to talk about the weather more than any other nationality, which emphasizes the power and importance of this conversational print. To add further context, additional festival and related items have been proposed to also be included in the print, such as campfires, grass, stones, wellington boots and bunting.
The print will be delivered as standalone and tiled prints, in digital format, which will be used across three different categories and ranges of products within Cath Kidson: Women’s Fashion, Accessories and Home Ware.
Keeping true to the aesthetic and design approach of Cath Kidston, the conversational print will be hand drawn originally before being digitally worked with and manipulated using Adobe Illustrator, giving colour, depth and tone.
A maximum of 12 colours can be used throughout the prints, however 3 different colour variations need to be created, for the submission. To avoid using more colours than the maximum allowed, opacities will be used to create shading and highlights. By using key elements of Cath Kidston’s stereotypical colour theme, such blue and red, this means the print will remain subtly patriotic, in keeping with their brand and pre-existing design works.
I am confident that this unusual, conceptual, and conversational print will be visually exciting for the brand, and fit in with their current range of existing products, whilst being appropriate and aesthetically on point for the target audience.