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Designer of the Week: Eleanor Bret-Day

Barcelona-based print designer Eleanor Bret-Day creates ornate digital and hand-drawn designs that burst with colour and energy. Creating prints for commercial fashion brands, Eleanor is inspired by labels such as Richard Quinn and the Art Nouveau movement.

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What is your studio name and location?

My studio name is EBD, very simply it’s just the initials of my name. I’m currently based in Barcelona although I work for British, American and Australian companies.


Where did you study (if you did)?

I studied a degree in Womenswear at Ravensbourne in London


Describe your design process

I use a lot of mixed media. Once I’ve decide on the concept and colour palette,  (either decided by myself and future trend or brief from a client) I generally create multiple components with paint, pencil and fine-linear. I use photoshop a lot to bring together illustrations alongside digital elements. I’ve also started to draw straight onto the iPad which is adding a new aspect to my work. The process itself is quite fluid and I try not to focus heavily on the end result too early in my process.

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What is your favourite part of the design process from inspiration, drawing to the final printed fabric/product?

I love watching the concept grow as I paint draw and collage and see it transform from what I first envisioned. The sampling stage is also great when you first get to see your designs move with the fabric.


Who do you design for? Who is your muse?

I design on a freelance basis for companies such as Betta Design and Lemonhead print supplying Industry for young womenswear.


What first sparked your interest in print design?

As a teenager my Mum took me to an exhibition of Erté fashion illustrations and from then I new I wanted to work in design in some way.


What is your favourite medium to work in and why?

I’ve always loved working with a simple pencil, years of practice have given me confidence when sketching out ideas. A rough sketch combined with watercolour is my favourite way of working.


What / who are your major influences?

At the moment I’m obsessed with Marni, Pucci and Etro’s Colour palettes. I’m also really enjoying Richard Quinn’s florals and Fendi’s conversational prints. I always end up looking back to the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements for inspiration.

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What has been your career highlight so far?

Getting to paint and create everyday is a highlight in itself.


Your biggest challenge you have faced as a designer

Realising that if at first you don’t succeed it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. It’s hard work starting to break through in an extremely competitive field. Getting your first job/ contract is hard but so worth the effort.

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Best exhibition/museum/research trip/inspirational place

I’m extremely lucky to have spent most of my life living in London and now live in Barcelona, two incredibly inspirational City’s. Hospital St Pau in Barcelona is an Art nouveau triumph filled with beautiful tiles and colour and is my current favourite source of inspiration. If in London, the V&A Museum is always sure to end any creative block.


Favourite music when designing

That really depends on my mood, I have quite a varied taste. I’m really enjoying listening to podcasts at the moment though, specifically Heavyweight and The Moth.


What are you working on at the moment?

Working on future trends for the women’s fashion market, a lot of florals as always and conversational.

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What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

I hope to grow my client base and continue to get to paint and create every day as my job.


Do you have any tips for new designers starting out?

Enjoy and embrace the hurdles.

You can see more of Eleanor’s work here and shop floral prints here


Tags: Designer of the Week, Eleanor Bret-Day, botanical prints, nature, lino cut, fashion print, commercial print, interview, illustration, floral, digital print, print design, pattern design, digital design,


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