Insider Secrets: Sticking to Your Style, International Pricing & More!

Be a fly on the wall of this private VIP coaching call where our company leaders, Longina Phillips, Bec (Creative Director) and Sara (Head of Design) are asked about pricing designs internationally, working within a signature style and replicating successful designs. 

Read on and favourite this page for future reference!

If you're creating floral prints with a signature style, how can you use your signature style to create other designs such as abstracts or animal skin prints to include in your portfolio? 

Bec: Good question. If your style is naturally very detailed, you would just take that across into your skins where you might use more detail in the hair of the skin or the movement, you'd be more detailed in the way you draw a flower.

If you are very loose and abstract you would still take that same handwriting into paisleys or animal skins. I think it's just practice and finding the right methods for your handwriting. What do you think Lola? 

Lola:...

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Create an easy repeating pattern with Photoshop

What even is a repeating pattern? It’s a design that stretches seamlessly for infinity, just like the design on a roll of fabric. And if you’d like to become a surface print pattern designer, then it’s one of the most important skills to learn. 

Tutorial by Lyndsay, Senior Designer

 

  
 

Here we break it down for you in 5 easy steps.  

1. Place your hero

Start by creating a bunch layout in the centre of your art board. Make sure there’s some bare canvas around it.

2. Duplicate and place over-hanging motifs

You can see that this flower is hanging off our canvas at the bottom so to make this repeat work, it will need to reappear that the top of the canvas.

To do this, duplicate the motif then use the x and Y axis in the toolbar to move it north exactly the length of the canvas. This canvas is 64cm, so you’ll see me type -64 into the Y axis to move the motif 64cm exactly north.

TIP: Make sure that the triangle in...

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Has Your Design Career Stagnated?

Do you wish you could do more business or earn more money? If you’re spinning your wheels but getting nowhere, consider: could you be getting in your own way? Here’s five ordinary habits that can stall a design career, and the techniques to turn them around. 

Words by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager 

1. You design the same design over and over

When we stumble on a successful approach to well, anything, it’s natural to want to repeat it. Maybe there was a design style that sold really well for you last season and you’ve reinvented it few times since. You have the formula down and now it’s fast to produce. You’re moving at a rapid rate but your work is starting to feel too familiar. “There’s a lot of competition for textile sales out there and if you are not providing enough variety then your designs are not appearing new” says creative director, Rebecca. “Customers always want the ‘newest and...

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Watercolour 101: Don't Do This, Do This!

Written and produced by Morgan, Social Media Coordinator

 

In this video you’ll learn some incredible watercolor painting tips, the essential do’s and don’ts, from our talented artist and designer Bec. These skills are ideal for beginners and for anyone who needs a good refresher. 

You can also paint alongside Bec as you watch this video.

 

The tools you’ll need to use throughout the video include;

  • A watercolor palette
  • 1 Flat Brush
  • 1 Thick Round Brush
  • 1 Thin Round Brush
  • 2 Water Jars
  • Some paper Towels 
  • Standard Paper 80GSM
  • And Watercolour Paper preferable 220GSM

Have you got everything? You do, great! Now let’s get started!

 

Different paper stock. Which is the best for watercolor painting? 

There are so many different paper stock options available to purchase nowadays. However, with watercolor painting, your choice of paper can drastically change the outcome of your artwork. 

Here Bec is painting on the...

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My Design Journey: Emily Heath

Emily's path to becoming a pro painter happened in four short years. Taking one of our courses led to an internship with the Longina Phillips Designs studio, which evolved into a job offer.  Working in-house she was exposed to a painting style that would change her career and her life.

We love this story because it proves you can pivot a creative career while raising kids — AND find success pretty fast!

I started at Longina Phillips Designs as an intern in 2017 and ended up staying for four years! I had very young children when I began and was fortunate to find a workplace that was flexible and supportive of my role as a mum. Much to my delight, after finishing my internship I was offered a job. I think my most memorable moment would be selling my first design… pretty sure I cried! 

I owe my painting style to LPD.

The regular in-house workshops held at Longina Phillips Designs were a great way to learn new skills and when Tannya...

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What is Surface Pattern Design?

Written and produced by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager

 

Ever wondered what surface pattern design is? Then you’re in the right place. We break it down (with picture references) in this two minute vid. Enjoy.

Look around you. On your desk you might see a pretty notebook, mug or phone case. 

If you’re in your bedroom there might be a floral bedspread, a stripe wallpaper or a polka dot pillow.

Open your cupboard doors.

Photos: a beautifulmess.com

 Have you got dresses? Skirts? Trousers? Or workout gear?

Photos: Joyce & Girls; Monte & Lou; Ralph Lauren; Lulus; Ell & Voo at Rebel Sport

These may be feature florals, checks, paisleys, tropicals or tie-dyes.

So basically, any art created to be mass produced on a product surface is considered surface design. And that counts for every kind of product. Homewares, accessories and also fashion apparel.

The pattern part of the term “surface pattern design” of course refers to repeated...

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My Design Journey: Tannya Harricks

This week we cheer on prize-winning painter, Tannya Harricks (who also happens to be our former creative director at Longina Phillips Designs). Her chunky acrylic paint application and bold colour choices will make you want to pick up a paint brush, pronto!  Scroll for her story and a timeline of creations.

Photo: This is from about 2014 I think when I did some freelance design work for Longina Phillips Designs.

I worked at Longina Phillips Designs in the mid nineties after studying graphic design and working in-house for a fashion designer. 

The LPD studio was an exciting place to work with an abundance of reference materials from around the world and plenty of space to create. No day was the same, every brief and every client was different. I think we only had one computer then and I mostly did the illustrations for placement print designs, storyboards and logos. I do remember the first print design I did that sold. 

 

Photo: This...

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The Secret to a Successful Career in Surface Design

Words by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager

First of all, congratulations for being on this design journey — wherever you are, whatever stage you’re at.

You've made the wonderfully rewarding decision to nurture your passion for print. The fact that you are even reading this blog proves it!

You are doing the work and putting it out there. And we know that can be scary. Even the simple act of putting brush to paper,  and not sharing it online will expose you to the worst critic there is….. yourself. 

We know here from personal experience how awful that inner nag can sound. 

“My painted rose doesn’t look anything like I wanted!”

“I have published my digital folio but had no interest in my work!”

“I’m a failure.”

“I’m not a good enough artist to be in print design”

“I cannot complete this print in Photoshop, but I should be able to!”

“My work is rubbish.”

...
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My Design Journey: Maxine Hamilton

Meet Maxine! In the early oughts she worked on our team at Longina Phillips Designs, producing prints for the collection and graphics for various projects. Now she's a children's book illustrator and we thought you might like to see her beautiful work.

Read Maxine's story in her own words, below.

Book illustration was something I always wanted to do but...

I knew it was not the most profitable of career choices. So I put my dream on the back burner for many years so I could afford to travel overseas and buy a house.

The passing of two close friends prompted me to finally take the leap.

After losing my friends I felt like life was too short to not do what I love so I went about making my children's book illustrating dreams a reality.

My favorite part of illustrating is when...

I am painting up the final illustrations for a book.

My process involves...

When illustrating children’s books I mainly use watercolor, colored pencil, and aquarelle crayons. For my...

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How to design fabric for high-end brands

   

Written and produced by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager.

Dream of designing prints for the big guns of fashion? Your Staud, your See by Chloe, your Stine Goya? In this little vid (just five minutes long!) we show you how to design specifically for the high-end market. What do these brands look for in a print design in 2022? Find out now.

If you love fashion, you won’t need us to explain the difference between a designer brand and a high street or commercial one. For those of you who aren’t quite sure, think: Missoni versus Mango. Burberry versus Banana Republic. Givenchy versus Jigsaw.



Of course, there are MANY differences between the high and low. The prices, the branding and the heritage, just to start. 

What you might not be so clear on, is how the print designs in these two fashion markets differ. And if you’re a print designer hoping to cater to both the high and low, you’ll need to know exactly how. 

Luckily, we at ...

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