A Textile Designers Reading List For 2017

As textile designers it is easy to get stuck in our own little bubble, trying to juggle designing patterns with the pressures of conjuring up content for our social media,  finding new clients, keeping existing clients happy, launching products, marketing, paperwork…who has time to read a design book right? Wrong! you must make time,  even if it is just one every six months.  It can offer so much inspiration, trigger new ideas for your own business, or just give you some escapism and refresh your tired brain from that whirring around, trying to come up with that next amazing print. Here is my reading list for 2017, it is not your typical pattern design book list in that I’ve made sure to include other topics that would benefit designers in different ways, from business tips to helping create that work/life balance.

How to style your brand: Everything you need to know to create a distinct brand identity

This is for any surface designer with their own product line. The author, Fiona Humberstone has been styling brands, websites and running workshops for the past 16 years, and has founded, grown and sold one of the UK’s most successful brand styling companies. She now works as a freelance creative director on branding projects. The reviews on this are absolutely amazing, with people likening it to having an actual consultation, resulting in a more focused brand vision which is what we all need!.

How to Style your Brand by Fiona Humberstone front cover

Business Card Advise page


Don’t get a job….make a job : How to make it as a creative graduate by Gem Barton

This is aimed at graduates, and it isn’t just for textile designers, but I really like the idea of it and am still going to order. Growing up I was never really given much information about self employment, and looking back as I left university I just had tunnel vision. I was obsessed with getting a job, which led to bitter disappointment when I didn’t land one.  I love the idea that this book challenges that way of thinking, and will hopefully open someone’s eyes to other ways of working. I’m ordering it for myself because I love hearing how other people work and sometimes being inspired by others can just spark a new idea about your own business.

Don't Get a Job...Make a Job front cover

Strategy advise page in Don't Get a Job..Make a Job


The little book of Hygge: The Danish Way to live well by Meik Wiking

You may have heard this term and if you are around my age or younger may be wondering what it is. Hygge is nothing new in itself as my mother has explained, but it seems to have become a trend, more so among those of us that have never heard of it before. The author is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has been described as the happiest man in the world!. Hygge is the Danish word for enjoying life’s simple pleasures. I know that we designers get totally caught up in our projects and looming deadlines and I am totally guilty of not living in the moment when I clock off for the day, usually because I am still planning ideas for my business that coculd be years away ( I have just had a baby, so can’t do it all right now!). A large part of Hygge is burning candles and it gives lots of tips on making your life generally more cosy and happy.

Front Cover of The Little Book of Hygge


Manifesto in The Little Book of Hygge

Fashion & Textile Design with Photoshop & Illustrator : Professional Creative Practice

There are always new tools and techniques to learn in both programmes, and I do get stuck in my own ways of doing things sometimes, so I love learning new and hopefully quicker methods!. This book also has case studies from different designers and projects , and is geared towards textile design rather than a general Illustrator book so I think it is worth a try.

Front Cover of Fashion and Textile Design with Photoshop and Illustrator


Botanical Style: Inspirational decorating with Nature, Plants & Florals

I couldn’t finish without a book full of inspirational eye candy!. Selina Lake is one of the best known interior stylists and has published many lovely books full of beautiful interior shots.  She explores five different types of the botanical look, including vintage, boho, natural , industrial and tropical, yum!.

Front cover of Botanical Style by Selina Lake

Make a Botanical Pinboard Page in Botanical Style