Print Design Pearlers: How to draw fast, excel at your job and avoid doing this!


Want to learn to draw fast, create production-friendly designs, and become a kick-ass surface designer? Bec, Creative Director of Longina Phillips Designs, gives you some of her BEST insider insights here.

For more juicy info sign up for our next mastermind intake in January 2024.  

You'll receive direct input and create ten highly commercial, SELLABLE designs with career-defining superpowers.


How to draw fast

As commercial designers, we need to work fast. Understanding which corners to cut is vital. It's okay to make the laborious task of drawing faster by tracing motives. You can edit as you draw. This can save hours and then you can spend more time making sure your colours are pleasing and your composition Interesting. Watch the video here.


Biggest printing mistake to avoid

If you are planning on printing your designs to fabric, there are a few things to consider. When ink is printed to fabric, it bleeds ever so slightly into the weave or fibres,...

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Surface Design Trade Shows: Insider Insights

business tips Jun 15, 2023


Surface design trade shows are vibrant industry events where visitors can explore the latest trends and technologies and source new product for their businesses. It's a multi-billion dollar enterprise globally (that's right, billion with a b!). So what are the big shows and, as a print designer, should you get involved? Here's our trade show round-up, with insider insights on what it's like to sell at a stand.


Longina Phillips Designs has had booths at shows for over a decade. "For us, it's a marketing exercise," says Longina Phillips (Lola), owner, and founder of our medium-sized design studio. You have buying teams from the biggest fashion and lifestyle brands like H&M, ASOS, and Zara, and fabric converters like SET come in to buy in bulk.  "So while financially, a show can be very good, it’s also very important for a studio to see and be seen," she says.

Buying teams are constantly changing. "You have people...

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Studio Critiques | What's Wrong with This Tropical Floral?

Hi, everyone. We are going to be discussing this very first tropical design that one of our designers has been working on. So we are working quite heavily towards swimwear at the moment. We have a big show coming up in Paris where we sell a lot of swimwear designs. So we're really focused on making sure we've got beautiful, happy colors for swimwear and really great vibrant designs. 




So this one was done for a very free-forming tropical leaf story. 

And you can see here that the designer has done a great job with color, super commercial. I especially love this green and pink combination. It's really happy. It has white in there for freshness, which is really important for swimwear. So I think the only issue I would have with this design is that it's a little bit messy.

So she's done this on the iPad, which is fine.

No problems with iPads as long as you don’t do everything in Procreate. As long as there's...

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Designers: Why you need to go shopping!


In this business, it’s crucial to stay in front of fashion trends however, online research can only take you so far. Visiting retail stores in person can provide valuable insights you just can't get from browsing online. Check out the link for our four best reasons to go shopping right now!


Today, I want to talk about the importance of shopping at bricks and mortar stores. As Head of Design at a world-leading surface design studio, I can tell you that in the business it’s crucial you stay in front of fashion trends.

However, online research can only take you so far. Visiting retail stores in person can provide valuable insights and inspiration that you just can't get from browsing online. Keep watching for our 4 best reasons to go shopping ASAP!

1. Learn from watching others shop

First and foremost, when you are in a retail store, you get a better understanding of how a print customer buys a print. 

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Introduction to Surface Pattern Design + Photoshop

Many of you ask why you should learn to design surface print patterns in Photoshop when you already know how to make them in Illustrator.

Others ask, What on earth is a 'repeat' and do I really need to know how to make one to become a professional print pattern or surface designer?

Our lovely Longina Phillips Designs designer, Phoebe, clears it all up in this week's vlog.


Why use Photoshop?

As a studio, we use Photoshop as it allows our designers to have the most creative freedom when it comes to editing and manipulating their prints.


When do we use Illustrator?

So a good time to use Illustrator is when you want to create vector-based artworks. So they are shapes that use points and anchors instead of pixels. So it means that they are infinitely scalable. So a good time to use Illustrated would be if you're doing a Pucci print or maybe you're doing a Geo print that you don't know what the scale of it might be. So it could be put on a billboard. And in that case,...

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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? 


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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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How to design fabric for high-street fashion brands

Always wanted to see your print designs on a garment in Zara? Or Anthropologie? Or Reiss? We explain how mass production sets parameters for print designers so you can create the correct style of work for this specific customer. 




Written and produced by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager

If you're reading this you're on the path. You want to make a solid living from your surface prints and we congratulate you on that! You've made the decision to create the life you've always dreamed of. 

But we don't want to lie. Making it in this competitive biz takes work and a lot of learning about the print industry and how it operates. The good news is, we've created a course so we can explain everything  in-depth to you. Check out our Comprehensive Business Builder for Surface Designers and sign up for the waitlist right here

How to design fabric for high-street fashion brands

So you know that, within the realm of fashion,...

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3 Crazy-Good Business Tips From our Founder, Longina Phillips

Wondering if you can share your design on social media once it's sold? Or how to reply to a customer request for a selection link?

As the founder of our parent company, Longina Phillips Designs, Longina is our GREATEST source of business knowledge. She's been selling print designs for over 30 years and continues to lead the industry with her savvy, strategic skills.

Three students of our Comprehensive Business Builder for Surface Designers e-course had a burning question for Longina. Read on for her direct reply to them over Zoom (transcribed and repeated here for you lovely blog readers!).

1. Can you post a sold print design to social media?

Some clients do get very upset if you post without their permission and it's better to avoid that argument. It does rattle you because you think, Well I've done all the hard work, I should be able to post it.  But ask for their permission first, or if it's already in the marketplace [in stores etc.] then it's usually fine to go ahead and...

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5 Secrets for Selling Surface Print Patterns

business tips Oct 28, 2021

Words by Lyndsay, Creative Lead and Senior Designer

Are you a surface print pattern designer? Want to make money selling your prints one day? Unless your goal is to work as a designer inside an established studio, you'll need some sales skills. Yep, not only do you need to know how to design impactful, impressive, and on-trend designs, but you'll have to convince a customer to buy your design (and not someone else's!).

So what does it take? Well, we'll tell you! We're Longina Phillips Designs and we've learned a thing or two about selling prints over 30 years of being in business. Read on for our top sales secrets and turn your creative mind into money now!

1. Curate an enviable collection with broad appeal.

If you want to create a commercially viable, diverse, and desirable selection of work, you'll need to offer a broad array of styles. Customers have different needs and so the more looks you can supply, the greater your chance of having the right print at the right time. ...

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