We talk to Rach about the process she went through when designing her first card range, Mika. I’m sure this will brighten your day!
Rachael Lawton is our newest designer at our studio in the heart of Nottingham. She talks here about the design journey she undertook when creating her first luxury greetings card range, Mika. Inspired by playful, Japanese summer meadows.
Rach, how did the wonderful Mika range come about?
Initially, we talked about the need for an updated luxury greeting card floral range. We knew it would be a popular choice for a birthday or an open occasion.
So, where does a greeting card designer start?
First, I think about colour combinations and proportions, as that’s what I am naturally drawn to. Strong shades of jade and chartreuse green paired with wild rose and blush pink are at the heart of this colour palette. I then began sketching out ideas with no detail, just focusing on the feel and shape. Playing around until things felt right. I also made a mood board with loose patterns, colours, textures, and finishes that I’ve kept over the years to emulate what I envision the range to look like.
We’d love to know what was the initial inspiration behind the range.
Playful, bright fresh flowers are my favourite, so finding inspiration for this range was easy, I didn’t have to look far, my garden is full of beautiful flowers!
Who are your greatest influences?
There are so many! Matisse’s playful use of colour, Josef Albers’ abstract work and Monet’s ability to capture light and natural forms are all my favourites.
Which floral destinations are you dreaming about visiting?
There are so many! Tulips in Amsterdam, Monet’s garden in Giverny, France and cherry blossoms in Japan.
What was the goal for the range?
To make the cards feel fresh and super special. The detailed spot embossing, along with luxury gold foil really makes the cards pop and glisten in the sunlight. I liked the idea of capturing floral arrangements in hanging baskets, hand-picked bunches and posies from the garden. I am always drawn to the striking contrast of black and white so this had to of made an appearance somewhere within the range.
How would you describe the Mika collection in 3-5 words?
August in full bloom
Which mediums/software/tech do you like to use?
Besides drawing, painting, and collaging by hand, I also love designing using Procreate on my iPad. There’s so much to love about it. There are hundreds of brushes, styles, colour palettes, and tools to choose from. You can layer your art for precise control. It was perfect for this project giving a super fresh contemporary feel.
How did you feel when the finished cards went to press?
Nervous and excited!
Which card from the range would you pick for your mum?
Oh, so many. She loves her garden and always picks the first flurry of flowers from there, so this floral reef would be perfect for her. However, she turns 50 soon, so the age card would be great! Also, my mum recycles everything! That’s why she loved them even more when I told her they are 100% recyclable!
Mika also has a Mother’s Day line, how did that happen?
Mika’s full luxurious range of 28 designs got so much positive feedback that we expanded it! They’re perfect for Mother’s Day! It would’ve been rude not to!😂
If you could pick a favourite design from the range what would it be and why?
The ‘Thinking of you’ card. I feel like this sums up that feeling when you don’t know what to say. You want to let them know you’re thinking of them, whatever they’re going through. The lockdown has made sending a card to friends and family ‘just because’ a nice way to check in with the ones you love!
Take a look at the full Mika range on our website. www.rachelellen.co.uk