Getting inspired by something we see. On the web, in magazines or the world around us. For example: this tumblr picture of a swarm of origami birds.
We research shapes and color palette. Then we call up our friend/handcraft guru Twirre van Kraaijenoord to learn how to fold this. We love the idea of butterflies in soft natural tones. Should we add a touch of fluo to our swarm, yes or no?
We hand over our butterflies and ideas to Theo, our photographer, image manipulator, print wizard and overall secret weapon. He knows exactly how to create amazing looking photoprints on fabric This guy was already Photoshopping when it was still done in photo slides.
After the photographs have been uploaded, we start the actual designing on the computer. This is a whole new phase of research. “What should the angle of the butterflies be?” “How to create a flying swarm?” “Should we add shadows?” “Should it be against a white background?” “Something isn’t working yet for us... but what is it?”
Each design brings different challenges and sometimes we get stuck. But then at some point, the dots start to connect. Like in this case when we ran into this window display. This was the swarm feeling we were looking for.
The design is coming together. We took out some butterfly colors, added more playfully angled butterflies, created shadows for a more sunny and flying feel and we added a backdrop of a taupe linen. Just because it felt right.
Now the sampling begins. We often receive several rounds of samples. This proces takes some time and patience. Especially when more colours are involved. They get better each time, usually. And sometimes an older version turns out to be best one after all.
After giving the final approval on a sample it’s showtime. We fly to our producer in Portugal. It’s exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time to see a design coming out of the machine for the first time.
Quality control. No misprints will pass when these two masterminds are at work. It’s quite intimidating when you hear them argue in Portuguese about whether a hint of yellow or blue should be added.
Boxes filled with Butterfly bedding arrive form Portugal in Amsterdam. Now they can be shipped to stores and customers all over the world. Good night!