What Does A Textile Print Designer Do?
Have you ever wondered who designs all the wonderful prints you see in the garments you wear? Prints are used in everything from apparel to home decor. This is the job of a textile print designer. Many apparel brands use either graphic screen print designs or all over textile prints on the garments in their collection. Many people assume that a fashion designer came up with every single detail, including the artwork, for the garments in their collection. However, this is not always the case.
Being a textile print designer is a job in itself. It actually takes a very long time to design original artwork. This is why a fashion designer, who is also responsible for a myriad of other tasks, may not have the time to design all the prints themselves. Designers often call upon the services of either a textile print designer or a print service company.
If a fashion company uses a lot of prints in their collection every season they probably will employ an in-house textile print designer, or a computer aided design (CAD) department. Click here to read about computer softer wear used by designers.
We couldn’t cover everything about the fashion textile print business in just one post! This article is part of a 5 part Fashion Textile Print Business Series. If you are considering becoming a textile print designer check out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page.
Below is a general example of the job responsibilities of a typical in-house textile print designer in the fashion industry:
- This person or team will work directly with the designer to create seasonal print stories that enhance the collection.
- They will be responsible for the creation of original art, colorations, and repeats of seasonal print and pattern development through to production.
- They must have a good grasp on print and graphic trends happening in the market place.
- Must keep current and updated with color, fabric, and fashion trends applicable to target market products
- Capable of matching color standards to printed output from high-end color copier and wide format printers.
- Each season they will create seasonal product trend presentations for the design team.
- Then they will develop creative designs that are appropriate for their brand and market.
- These designs can be created through many different techniques including hand painting original work, or importing purchased files (from print service companies), cleaning and placing prints into production size repeats.
- Each design must provide production ready artwork, meaning it shows the technical breakdown of the color separation, pattern layout, and pattern specifications to be used as a communication tool for the vendor.
- Scans and cleans up prints to assist vendors on executing to proper number of screens. Executes color separations.
- Maintain library of seasonal patterns and prints
Typical Requirements For A Textile Print Designer
Many textile print designers have a background in art, painting, or graphic design. Below are the most common requirements for an in-house employed textile print designer:
- Degree in Design or Textile Design
- Experience in Textile Design with strong sense of textile development process from conceptualization to finished design
- Strong sense of color for the creation of color ways and the ability to match colors accurately
- Knowledge of repeat patterns, textile printing, dyeing and finishing techniques used in the apparel industry.
- Experience with a range of textile media
- Experience with CAD systems
- Strong organizational, time management and communication skills
- Self-starter, can work independently with minimal supervision.
- Ability to work in a fast paced, high volume environment.
The Design Process
A textile print designer can design their artwork by hand painting or other techniques, but in today’s world of technology they likely are using a CAD program such as Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, NedGraphics, or Koledo. Once the prints are selected by the design team the textile designer must be able to put their designs into a repeat format that will be sent to the factories to be executed on the fabric chosen by the designer. These files shared with the factories must clearly show the repeat of the design and the color separation.
Once the print is developed, a strike-off is produced by the factory. A strike-off is a test sample of the printed fabric. The textile print designer must approve the strike off for pattern repeat, and color before it goes into production.
A textile print designer must also have a strong understanding of different type of printing techniques to achieve the desired result. They must also have a clear understanding of the print limitations that the factory being used has. (Not all factories have the same equipment or printing process capabilities.)
Fashion Textile Print Business Series
This post is part of a five part series. Check out the entire series here:
- What Does A Textile Print Designer Do?
- Top 10 Tips To For A Successful Textile Print Designer
- How To Build Your Own Textile Design Business
- Interview With Neil Elliott, Founder of PatternBank
- How Top Textile Print Designers Keep Coming Up With New Ideas