We are always being asked who designs our products, well WE do! Everything you see in our range is the result hours spent chatting, drinking coffee, writing words, giggling over cheesy phrases, sketching, painting and finally editing on Photoshop. And occasionally we feed our creativity with a bit of cake too!
As designers we do spend a lot of time researching, our first port of call (just can’t resist a nautical saying……sorry) is always Pinterest. WE LOVE PINTEREST! It’s a great source of inspiration, so much so that we often get design overload and end up with a head full of possibilities and no place to start! It’s easy to spend hours trawling through fabulous images and such a simple way to create story boards although I do sometimes miss the old days of pinning tear sheets and colour charts on to an actual pinboard but there’s progress for you!
When we’ve had a chance to gather some imagery we come together for a chat and bounce ideas of each other. Kate usually gets into her creative headspace a lot quicker than me, she’s used to designing several pieces at a time with 20 years experience in the fashion industry. I take a little longer to gather momentum, part to do with only ever being used to designing under my own label in the past and also because I do the admin side of the business too.
Then the actual design process begins with sketchbook doodles and finally into a working design. Kate has always been used to hand painting designs and still does this with most of her designs, mainly in gouache but after a few years battling, she is finally seeing the benefits of computer aided design. I don’t always have the patience to hand paint so I tend to either hand draw or part paint designs in my sketchbook and then do the rest on my graphics tablet. Some end up being used in their entirety, some are broken down and some don’t make the cut at all! Once we’re happy with a design we then put it into production as a card, the cheapest way to gauge the reaction, if people like it then we look at moving it forward into other products. All very simple in principle but the process can take a very long time from start to finish.
We have lots of hand painted designs from over the last few years and people often ask if the originals are for sale. Up until now we’ve sold only to those who have asked specifically but there comes a time when you just need to make space for more work and drawers of our plan chest are overflowing so we’ve decided to put a few of the original hand painted designs up for sale on our Etsy shop. We thought if people like the brand then they might like to own a unique piece of art, you could say a piece of Port and Lemon history. You never know, one day it might be worth millions…….well there’s nothing wrong with dreaming.