Friday, August 31, 2012

Amy McAdams Design

Design-led, humorous & with amazing film references, you've got to love a bit of graphic typography, & and Amy McAdams gives you just that! With lines taken from films such as 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory' to 'The Goonies', Amy creates beautiful typographic posters. You can check out her  Etsy shop for her wonderful poster range!

You can see a sneak peek of Rachael's new typography range here!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Designer Charity Doodle Wall at Top Drawer!

The team at Rachael Taylor Designs officially invites you to come & watch the fantastic live event, 'Designer Charity Doodle Wall', which is running from the 16th to the 18th of September at Top Drawer! Rachael Taylor along with a group of her very talented designer friends will be doodling away to create a wallpaper sponsored by, the doodles will then be manipulated & turned into a fabulous wallpaper! All proceeds from the sale of the wallpaper will go to Cancer Research UK. Please donate to the wonderful event via our JustGiving page!

Drop by & say hello! We are at stand number A116! Kelly :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Marks & Spencer ordeal

Here it goes...

Most of you may know about my recent ordeal with Marks & Spencer & their strikingly similar design. Unfortunately the matter is still can read the earlier blog posts here & here.

It's deeply upsetting as I followed the correct legal format, my design is well documented (first created in 2008) I'm an active member of the ACID community. I sought legal advice & complained immediately to Marks & Spencer, I kept the whole thing quiet & tried to work with Marks & Spencer to resolve the issue yet they have left me with no choice as the matter is still unresolved....I decided to speak out publicly so they took the matter seriously. I also felt it was my moral duty as a teacher to raise awareness on the re occurring issue, to not be afraid to speak out & protect what's rightfully yours.

"After a series of legal letters, which is very expensive for a micro design company against a major retailer, M & S lawyers responded with a defence that they were “unaware” of the existence of Rachael Taylor’s design. Frustrated and disappointed that M & S would not acknowledge infringement of her rights, Rachael raised the lookalike matter through social media. Without admitting liability M & S responded straight away and said that they had pulled the product immediately".

I've kept everything low key over the past three to four weeks as I've been so distracted, distressed, exhausted & upset by the whole ordeal. I'm not someone who likes to post about negativity or dwell on things. I've tried to keep my regular positive attitude & have really tried to forget about it all (whilst my solicitor has been dealing with the matter). The truth is that behind the scenes it's been a very different story.... On Facebook & Twitter it may seem like everything is OK but no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors & the emotional strain it's had on me... The stress & financial pressures have been overwhelming. I've not been sleeping at all & have really lost my creative drive. Is it fair to treat designer's in this way?

For me the most disappointing thing is that I've always liked Marks & Spencer & regularly shopped there. As a freelance designer I have actually designed for them on a regular basis (via a design studio) on products such as: greeting cards, stationery, gifts, toys & even their packaging. I have even created some of their bestsellers! (I have designed for them since 2008) Some people have said I should be "flattered". But it is really insulting to think that a previous employer has done this. It's really distressing & truly upsetting that it has come to this. I really don't see how it's flattering? I would like to think that's it's any designers worst nightmare...

My designs published on greeting cards (above) for Marks & Spencer!

Marks & Spencer have publicly blamed their supplier but is it OK for Marks & Spencer to take the profit of the sales? To continue to sell the design for over two weeks after I complained? (After I followed the correct legal format) Marks & Spencer have been quoted to have said they removed the tops "immediately" after my complaint... I didn't realise over two weeks was immediately... The top was first spotted on one of the London stores key window displays back on the 9th of June. (We know the tops were selling for at least four weeks from the date of the initial sighting to the day they say they pulled the tops from store).

I have never voiced my own personal opinion in the media or on previous blog posts but why should I be scared to speak out? No one sees the impact it has had on my business and not to mention the steep legal costs. Today I have decided to personally speak out, Marks & Spencer may think that because I'm an independent designer I will be too scared to fight the cause...they may think I'm going to just go away... Should I have just let them continue to sell the tops without my permission? I firmly believe in standing up for yourself & this is something that I not going to suddenly stop doing.

For me the most disappointing thing is that Marks & Spencer still haven't done the right thing, they have been given numerous opportunities to do so...

They have not offered any damages or royalties based on their sales (they have kept all of the profit *based on over at least four weeks of sales) They also refused an offer of mediation. Marks & Spencer have also refused to become signatories of the voluntary ACID Code of Conduct. 

I'm actually astonished that they still haven't tried to resolve this...when myself and ACID really have tried to work with them (*this has been dragged out since June).

Marks & Spencer top (left) my Etched Floral tea towel (right)

My Etched Floral lighting design (above) as part of a USA licensed range.

Above three images - examples of my designs published & sold by Marks & Spencer

So what is next? Please sign this petition to help enforce better rules for designers. I am backing ACID all the way and I hope you join me in this fight as this is something that is harming the design world...we need to fight back and be heard! (*If you want to show your support here too, feel free to publish a blog comment).

I'd like to thank everyone for their ongoing support you will never know how much it means to me... I can't thank you enough! A special thank you goes to The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Drapers, Elle Decoration, ACID, The Design Trust, Own It, Fiona Pattison (my PR consultant) Kelly Hudson (my solicitor) & Kelly Crossley (my assistant). I've even had support from my local MP Stuart Andrew! BBC Watchdog & BBC Radio4! 

Please support the ACID "Commission it, Don't Copy it" Campaign. You can sign up & show your support here.

Here are numerous links & coverage on the case:


We were truly an M&S household even my Husky dog Alfie was used as a model in their 2012 calendars!

The blog (as it always is) has been left open for any voluntary comments. If you also blogged about my recent Marks & Spencer ordeal please share your link & I will add it to the list.

We love...owls!

Happy Monday!

We love owls and they are so on trend at the moment, the cute birds are everywhere! From fashion to furnishings, the owl trend can be seen across a range of products and we just love seeing them. Rachael has even drawn her very own 'Crazy Cuckoo' on a card for a brand new greetings range! (See below). So have a 'hoot' and enjoy looking at the lovely designed products below!

Have a nice day! Kelly :)

Miss Selfridge 'Moody Owl Vest'

DENY Designs (Cori Dantini) 'Miss Goldie Shower Curtain'

Rachael Taylor Designs 'Crazy Cuckoo' Card

Graham and Green's 'Owl Knobs'

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sneak Peek! - New Typography Range!

Happy Typography Friday! We are very busy in the studio preparing for Top Drawer but we just wanted to end the week with a lovely message for you from Rachael's new typography card range! Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MOYO magazine launch!

Today is a special day in the design industry… it sees the launch of MOYO, the world’s first online magazine dedicated to surface pattern design! Packed with interviews, design briefs, colour challenges, art reviews, student showcases, design tips, inspiration, trends and more, this free resource will be published quarterly, and you can read and download the inaugural issue here!* ISSUE ONE August 2012 This premiere issue includes an exclusive interview with hot new talent Louise Tiler, a designer diary from myself and a design brief for you from Japan! Read it here! Please feel free to share this resource on your blog, in your newsletters etc and tell all your friends about it. You can download it by clicking on the magazine and saving it from there. It is free and we want to share the wonderful world of surface pattern design with as many people as possible! Thank you so much.

ISSUE TWO Out November 2012! We already have so much exciting content planned for the next issue (out November). It will include a Q&A with Khristian A Howell and a designer diary from Studio Seed, so stay tuned for more surface pattern design goodness! Click here to subscribe.

This magazine has been several months in the making and we are thrilled to launch it into the world. ‘MOYO’ (pronounced mo-yor) is from the Japanese for ‘pattern’. We hope you like the name, design, layout and feel of the magazine! Beth Nicholls and I have worked with a dream team on this project (see page 4 of the magazine!) and we hope this will become a regular read for you. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped bring this project to life, especially designer Jessica Swift, project manager Louise Gale and illustrator Robyn Taylor.

*To download the publication, click on the envelope icon, the click the folder icon. Sign in with Facebook and then click 'download' and you have your very own issue!

We commissioned Robyn to create unique team illustrations!

Studio Sneak Peek!

We have been meaning to share some images of the studio for a while, & here they are! We have lots of new product development at the moment so the studio is very full! Even Alfie loves the new ranges :) My studio is full of inspiration & colour that keeps me going through my designing & has a variety of bits & bobs that we have been given or collected over the years! With Top Drawer coming up we are in full preparation mode!

New wallpaper test samples!

Hello Alfie!

New test sample Aprons!

Top Drawer Preparation!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Team @rachaeltaylordesigns - Kelly!

Today is a special little post to introduce my lovely assistant Kelly! The talented Kelly Crossley has been working with me since mid May (2012). She started at the studio immediately after finishing her final year project! She was actually at the studio when her degree results were announced & I had the honour of confirming she was a awarded a 1st class honours! (I had a little happy cry).

I chose to hire Kelly after she had carried out a work placement last Summer, we kept in touch & she even carried out a little bit of freelance work for me. As soon as Kelly joined the studio I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders...she's super efficient, talented & organised. We are an extremely busy studio & Kelly really has been thrown in at the deep end! Since joining me she has helped to design & manage my new product lines, plan my Top Drawer stand, liaise with buyers, clients & manufacturers, re vamped my blog, managed my website, planned a charity event, helped with the e-course & designed for a brand new magazine... the list is endless. I throw so much at Kelly & I really don't know what I'd do without her!

So a huge thank you goes to Kelly today for keeping me sane & agreeing to join my crazy, hectic studio! You can follow Kelly on Twitter @KCTextileDesign & on Facebook here.

Me (left) & Kelly (right) at the studio!

Kelly getting filmed at the studio!

Kelly's desk that she works at from home!

Examples from Kelly's own portfolio!

Beautiful line work

Fab typography above!

Test samples arriving at the studio...Kelly wearing my apron design (above) she does it all!

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