How To Be A Successful Textile Designer
In my previous article titled “What is a Textile Print Designer?” I described what a textile print designer did and what their responsibilities are working as part of a fashion design team.
Now that we have describes the job of the textile print designer I would like to discuss what it takes to be a successful textile print designer. The world of fashion is always changing and it is important to adapt and continue to learn your trade. Below are some tips that will keep you on the cutting edge of the industry and make you a valuable member of the design team.
Six Tips For Print Designers
- Researching Trends – To stay on top of trends it is important to regularly shop the market that you are designing for i.e young menswear or swimwear, etc. In addition to making regular shopping trips, one needs to attend trade shows such as Print Source in New York City each season. Here print service companies from around the world show their latest collections to designers. Here you can get an idea of textile print trends happening in all categories. It is an excellent resource. There are also other online trend services that might be available you such as WGSN.
- Presentation Skills – How you present your research is just as important as what you present. You are essentially selling your ideas to your design team. You have to prove to them that you know what you are talking about and that these are the best trend ideas to move forward with and include in the line. So, do your homework and try out some different presentation styles. Depending on how you will be presenting you may want to try a video presentation, PowerPoint slide show, or a large board presentation. And don’t forget to give your customers (design team) something to walk away with. A print out of your presentation that they can take with them and refer back to is a great idea.
- Keep Up With CAD Systems – There are many different CAD systems being used in the industry today. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, NedGraphics, or Koledo are just a few. Even if the company you work for only uses one it is extremely important to at least have the basic knowledge of the others. You never know when that company may change systems or you may want to switch companies. Staying up of the technology will raise your value in the marketplace.
- Knowledge of Printing Techniques – The most valued print designer knows their limitations. Having a clear understanding of printing techniques and their limitations will make you a smarter textile designer. To gain this knowledge you can attend seminars or take classes offered in the various printing techniques, dyeing, and finishing. Cotton Incorporated offers Cotton University online courses. These are free and are a great resource.
- Work Smarter Not Harder – It can take a long time to design original artwork. You don’t want to have to start from scratch for every single design. A smart designer will build their own well of textile motifs, textures, and brushes. For example, if you design a beautiful watercolor design with flowers and leaves, you should save each individual motif so that you can use this same motif in a different design. Prints are subjective. When you present your work if the designer wants to make changes or does not want to use a particular design you can still use the individual elements of that design to make a totally new design in less time.
- Build Your Own Library – Trends change every season and it is useful to have resources to use to get started on your designs. There are many textile motif books available that are a great resource to add to your library.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a textile designer to grow your fashion career I highly recommend the following reads: