Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Freelance Designer in Textile Industry

Freelance designers may either work for independent studios or through an agent, producing designs on paper for which the studio / agent receives a commission when the designs are sold to mills and converters. Alternatively, freelance designers may put together a portfolio of their designs, which they may sell directly to stylist. The work they produce for their portfolio, while it will have atleast to reflect trends, will be often very much what they themselves like and what to produce. While the designer may have a view of the type of customer who will buy their designs when the design is developed  there may be no specific customer waiting to buy their work on completion.

Freelance designers may also develop design work according to a stylist specification. For example, a freelance print designer who is particularly good at intricate florals may well be approached by a stylist to work on a specific print idea that will form part of that company’s new season collection. The brief may include size details, colouring details and even the type of flowers to be painted. This work will be commissioned in advance. The designer develops their paperwork with the knowledge that when it is finished there is a buyer for it.

Freelance, weave and knit designers will normally work on a specific project with a manufacturer. They will be commissioned to produce a range of fabrics, or in the case of a knitwear designer, a range of knitted garment designs.

A third party of designer found with in textiles is the consultant designer. A consultant is employed by a company to advise on design matters and may be given the task of managing the design program. A consultant designer will usually work for several companies at any one time, although their contract may be such as to impose restrictions on their working for closely related organizations. Very often consultants will do little actual working through of design ideas themselves, rather they will make design policy decisions and direct other designers who may be in house or freelance.

All designers systems have advantage and disadvantages to the designers themselves and to the organizations for whom they work. Just as many different people doing different jobs are given the name designer, so too many rooms called design studios. The studio can be any thing from an area set aside on the factory floor to a large, smart office or even suite of offices. One designer of a whole team of designers can work in a studio and a few of the functions and stages in the design process might be carried out there. 


linda said...

Good introduction to textile design. Taking a right turn, does anyone know of a blog written by textile designers who write about what it's like freelancing? I would like to gauge whether or not there is enough work out there for me as a start up on cad design. I was a home furnishings print designer and colorist for 20 years, and now I am considering learning textile design on photoshop to get freelance work. ANy ideas would be helpful. Thanks, apronlow

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