In conversation with… Harriet our Print Designer

We’re big on florals here at The Re.Store HQ. Our new office is soon to be adorned with old botanical print drawings, bold graphic flower prints and vases of fresh cut blooms, and amongst these decorations will be a frame containing the original hand painted flowers of our Bloom print.

The elements of the Bloom print created by Harriet Ruscoe

Designed by Harriet Ruscoe, our floral prints are heavily inspired by British heritage. Our first print was not only designed to match an aesthetic we were going for, but to connect to the brands ethos of craftsmanship over mass production. Inspired by the hand block prints of the William Morris led era of The Arts and Crafts Movement, our blue and white print has all the elements of a traditional block print, juxtaposed with the modern fine details we were looking to create. This process of design highlights the skills of Harriet and her craftsmanship of print design.

We sat down to chat to Harriet about her design process for our prints and find out more about her.

Re: How did the prints for The Re.Store come about? What was your design process?

HR: As a fellow lover of all things vintage, Mische and I were very much on the same wavelength when discussing the look of both prints. I’ve always loved William Morris, and immediately whipped out one of my many reference books to inspire our first print, Floral Flow. I begin every print by putting pencil to paper and sketching ideas as I flick through moodboards and books. The Floral Flow print was drawn and repeated by hand, much like a traditional block print would be. Adding our navy and white colours digitally as the final part of the process. I love a print that has a surprising detail within it, so among the florals and leaves of this print you can also spot our flow ladies! For our second print, Bloom, we both starting pinning images on Pinterest for inspiration and I fell in love with vintage floral snow suits. I began by sketching each floral motif separately using my favourite floral reference book ‘Flower Colour Guide’ to pick the perfect colour palette of bright happy flowers to include in the print. I then painted each flower by hand before scanning them all in and placing together digitally to create the final print.

Re: What medium do you use to create the prints?

HR: I use a variety of mediums in my work and choose which to use based on the desired look of the final print. The Bloom print florals were painted using gouache paints, Holbein do an amazing range of colours. I wanted the flowers to be bold and bright, gouache is the perfect medium to create bright flat colour and neat bold lines.

Re: You love flowers as much as we do at Re.. What is it about the blooms that makes you want to bring them into your work?

HR:The colours! I love going for a woodland or countryside walk and suddenly seeing a bright pop of colour from a flower or beautiful tree. I keep a folder of flower photos on my phone for colour and floral inspiration to add into designs.

“I studied Textile Design at Leeds Uni and after graduating I began working at ready-to-wear brands, suppliers and retailers as a print and graphic designer.”

Re: How did you become a print designer?

HR: My Dad is a very talented graphic designer/art director/illustrator so I grew up around design and within a very creative household. I’ve always loved to paint and draw, and have always loved fashion since I was little. I discovered that print design was the perfect way to mix the two passions. I studied Textile Design at Leeds Uni and after graduating I began working at ready-to-wear brands, suppliers and retailers as a print and graphic designer. Before making the move to freelance a couple of years ago and honing in on my own style as a designer. I now work with a range of studios and lovely small businesses like Re.!

Re: What does a typical day look like for you?

HR: I work from home, so I like to give myself a ‘commute’ to work by going on a morning walk with my mug of tea in hand. Once home again, I’ll write out my to-do list for the day which usually looks like admin and design work at my computer in the mornings, we have quite an array of coffee shops near our home so I like to pick one and work from there some mornings. Afternoons are for painting new prints for studios & clients, usually at my kitchen table so I can make as much creative mess as possible! I’ll end my day with a quick gym or Pilates session (whilst of course wearing Re.!). Evenings are spent working on my new side hustle business h.e.r home, whilst usually binging my way through something on Netflix, Bridgeton has been my recent binge of choice!

Re: What do you like to do in your down time? (Not Busy)

HR: I have a magazine obsession. Always have, always will. So, sitting down with a cuppa, in a cosy spot, with my latest stack of magazines is by far one of my favourite ‘Not Busy’ moments in life.

Re: Which pieces do you own of The Re.Store and which is your favourite (and why)?

HR: I absolutely love my Solstice Bloom shorts, I love throwing on an a big jumper or stealing one of my boyfriends t-shirts to wear them with. I also have the plain navy and bloom leggings and Solace tops which are my go to’s for the gym or just to lounge in! Super comfy and the perfect amount of support.

“I love creative people doing their thing and making beautiful art for the world to enjoy!”

Re: Who inspires you?

HR: I have many shelves full of books on artists and designers who inspire me (lots of which were ‘borrowed’ from my dads bookshelves!). Celia Birtwell, Marianne North, Monet and Gauguin are few favourites among them. But also fellow designers and creatives, who I work with or find through Instagram. I love creative people doing their thing and making beautiful art for the world to enjoy!

Re: Do you feel like you have bloomed, have yet to bloom or continue to bloom?

HR: I think I’m a bud – Not quite bloomed but certainly on my way! My 30’s are definitely feeling like my decade to bloom.

You can find Harriets designs adorning our recycled, UK made yoga wear here.

You can find Harriet on Instagram @harrietruscoe and you can follow her inspired home wear brand from the beginnings @h.e.r.home.

To work with Harriet or to find out more head to her website.

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