I remember sitting night after night reading Beatrix Potter books to my children when they were young – secretly however it wasn’t the words I was interested in. Sure, the stories of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck and Benjamin Bunny were lovely but really my concentration was on the incredibly beautiful illustrations. What a talent she had!
At that point I had no reason to create my own but having more recently opened my shop CarolineLaursen.Redbubble.com, a creative dream of many years came to fruition and Chester Rabbit was born.
So far I have 35 variations of designs including him sitting on his own, sending hugs to the people we miss, giving a message of hope, love or maybe saying sorry with his gesture of a daisy and even playing marbles in all sorts of colours.
These make really great children’s designs and look beautiful in youngsters rooms on bedding, blankets, cushions and wall art on a choice of canvas, metal print or posters…
In 2009 I found myself in need of an extra income on top of my day job in estate agency, and when my then new boyfriend asked if I could design some leaflets to promote his business as a pianist, he recognised that I could be good at making a go of this. Within a blink of an eye ‘Design by Caroline’ – Bespoke Invitations and Stationery was born.
I had no real experience in this kind of thing other than to create flyers for my day job, but set out to see where this might take me. I bought a decent printer able to print on thicker card types and started letting people around me know what I was doing. Within a month or so I came across my first real client – a lovely lady who was looking for all the stationery required for her son’s Bar Mitzvah, everything from save the date cards to invitations, reply cards, items for the day such as name place cards, table numbers and menus, and then thank you cards for her son to write afterwards… When all was done she turned out to be so happy with what I came up with, she emailed her son’s entire list of classmates to promote my work.
Design by Caroline grew at an astonishing rate. Before long I had a 6-12 month waiting list which was in part due to my USP of offering a different design for every customer. Common themes requested included everything from graffiti style, social media themes such as Twitter and Instagram, iPhones and iPads, all sorts of sports, science enthusiast designs and ticket style invites were particularly popular. But of course, every single person was given something different and with around 500-600 clients over the 8 year period alongside my current POD business at CarolineLaursen.Redbubble.com with almost 800 designs in itself, that’s a lot of ideas to come up with! …and so fonts play a huge part in my designs.
Take for example this beautiful Audrey Hepburn quote… ‘The Best Thing to Hold onto in Life is Each Other’ – not wanting to detract from the words themselves, I carefully chose three fonts that I felt work together perfectly on all of the 50 products the design is available on (homeware, clothing and accessories). Do you agree?
Equally, I felt this popular ‘No Rain, No Flowers’ quote for different reasons – being actually quite deep and meaningful required simplicity, and I chose just two fonts to sit alongside the elegant flower I drew, also available in a selection of colours…
And the last example I’d like to show you today for something very different, relates to a passion of mine. Having become an avid wild swimmer this year I’ve made a range of collections including the ‘Born to Swim’ shown here, as well as ‘Just Add Water’, ‘I’m a Chilly Dipper’ and ‘The Water is my Happy Place’ among others… and in this design you’ll see I’ve used a font that reminded me of splashing water…