We're delighted to be collaborating with print designer Amelia Graham, in honour of Raft's 20th anniversary. We spoke with Amelia about what inspires her unique style... Tell us a little about your background… how did you come to start a career in print design? I studied Textiles at Chelsea College of Art, and when I graduated I worked for several fashion print studios in London, and Paris. I launched my own line in about 2013 - prints for interiors, cushions and scarves, whilst continuing to work on commissions for clients and collaborate with other designers and brands.
Photo: Jo Bailey & Josh FrayYou have a distinctive signature style using ‘rhythmic’ patterns. What inspires your designs? I actually work in a very instinctive way, playing with colour and form until I find something appealing revealing itself. I suppose my visual language is informed by a long term love of modernist architecture and fine art movements from abstract expressionism, colour field, constructivism etc.
Photo: Jo Bailey & Josh FrayHas your artistic style changed or evolved over the years? I think I have always had quite a modernist and graphic hand-writing, but as the years have rolled by I have focused more on the geometric forms that I find the most appealing. People are sometimes surprised to know I still design a lot of floral prints for fashion! You’ve created designs for a wide variety of different disciplines, including fashion, interiors and art prints. Is there a difference in the way you approach these various types of project? Everything is really about the dialogue with the client, or designer you are working with. Fashion of course is often more ephemeral, and seasonal. I have always wanted to design in a way that crosses the boundaries of distinct disciplines and could have some sort of universal appeal or application. So rather than being boxed in as a fashion print designer or an interior designer, to be able to work in all domains of design. For RAFT’s twentieth anniversary you have created the stunning limited edition JAVA cushions. What can you tell us about that design? I wanted to design a print that made reference to the origins of the product, expressing the nature of the reclaimed teak without being too literal. It is an abstract take on it, an homage to the providence of the timber in Indonesia. The print has a slightly ethnic feel, reminiscent of batik or ikat, a contemporary take.
Photo: Jo Bailey & Josh FrayWhat do you enjoy most about your work? The designing part is the bit I enjoy the most, and that moment when it all falls into place and you know you are there! I also love meeting clients, and seeing the product at the end is always pleasing. What designs, projects or products are you most proud of? Ahh that’s a hard one, as each project has brought new knowledge and growth… I am very proud that I will have a super new stockist in London next year for my scarves, I can’t say who yet, but it is the ultimate for me! Stay tuned! What are you working on next? I am currently designing the window for a well known womenswear line, which has been fun… and I have a contract furnishing line launching in November. You can find out more about Amelia's work on her website and on Instagram. And you can view our beautiful limited edition JAVA cushions here.