Roddy & Ginger tray rockinghorse

I am delighted to announce that confessions of a design geek is the official blog for Pulse again this year, and so I will be running a series of interviews with the new designers exhibiting at LaunchPad. As anyone who’s received a copy of the Pulse Edit in the post will know, roddy&ginger are one three brands I picked as “ones to watch,” so who better to kick of the interview series with?

What’s the most important thing to know about you?
I still haven’t given up the day job, so I combine roddy&ginger with freelance graphic design and illustration, which can be a bit tricky at times!

Roddy & Ginger sun cushion

What inspires your designs?
All my designs are inspired by something close to me, a mid-century rocking horse I found in a junk market, a welsh blanket, a book I loved as a child, a garden in Spain, a logpile – also in Spain, I like to visit it every time I am back there!

Roddy & Ginger new work in progress

Talk me through your design process from initial idea to final product?
First I need to find time to sketch ideas, always in an A4 black sketchbook, often when I am away from London. When I am home I work them up in Illustrator and fiddle with the repeat and separations. I am self-taught on the computer so my methods are my own and probably a bit eccentric! I make my screens in a print studio and then print at home in my basement where I experiment with colours and print samples and prototypes. I hand print fabric for my cushions but my home wares and wallpaper are manufactured for me in small batches using traditional methods.

Roddy & Ginger logpile wallpaper yellow

How do you overcome creative block?
I leave everything behind, put on my wellies and dig my allotment.

Roddy & Ginger logpile wallpaper silverbirch

Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of roddy&ginger.
A good day – the sun is shining, I have made some new screens, I’m sampling colours and fabrics, and it’s all looking good. This is all best done at the weekend when the phone doesn’t ring mid squeegee.
A bad day – it’s raining, I have a deadline and I am staring at a computer screen all day long.

Roddy & Ginger logpile pencilcase

What are you most looking forward to about Pulse?
Showing new designs for the first time and meeting new people, as well catching up with friends I met when I was part of Spotted at Top Drawer in January.

What are you most proud of?
My twins Charlie and Lucy.

Roddy & Ginger logpile olive teal cushions

How do your products make people’s lives better?
My products are simple and light hearted. I hope people buy them because they like the colours and design want to add a bit of cheer when times are glum.

Roddy & Ginger chopping board log pile tea towel

What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Spend as much as you can afford on really good product photography. I use Heather Hobhouse for my best shots and she always does a lovely job for me.
Be organised with filing and storage, both on the computer and in the studio – advice I wish I had followed, being able to find things quickly would make my life a whole lot easier.

And finally, what’s your favourite colour?!
A greeny yellow, a bluey green or a muddy pink – I can’t decide!

Roddy & Ginger chopping board and asparagus

Further reading for the especially geeky: