Homegirl London pays homage to Susan Taylor. Susan designs vintage-styled typographic art prints, tote bags and kitchen accessories – mugs, tea towels, placemats and coasters. Her designs fuse screen printing, digital illustration and ink drawings mixed with experimental typefaces. The subject matter focusses on her love for cities – their popular buildings, landmarks, familiar icons and interesting facts. With a bold, strong style combined with a contemporary colour palette, these designs are very memorable and make thoughtful gifts. I caught up with Susan Taylor to find out more.
Selection of Bristol City Icons Products
Meet Susan Taylor
Susan studied Graphic Design at Brighton University. After gaining her degree, she worked as a designer for advertising companies in Brighton, London and Bristol. During this time Susan created adverts for BA, Virgin, Mattel and tourism agencies.
Susan tells me how the business venture came about –“I lost my enthusiasm for the advertising world when I had children. I wanted to work for myself and be available to collect the kids from school. It actually all started when I opened my house as part of an arts trail in May 2008. I sold my prints and when they’d all gone I realised that my designs could lead to an interesting business which could actually make some money. I think my knowledge of target markets and zeitgeists gained through years working in advertising helped me to create designs people might want.”
Chicago City Icons Print
Being based in Bristol, Susan benefits from being part of a creative community and is always inspired by the city. She tells me – “I work alone from my home studio in Bristol. However, I also screen print at Spike Print Studios, which is wonderfully therapeutic. It’s a great excuse to leave the house and socialise with likeminded people.”
Susan Taylor Collection
Susan explains her trademark graphic vintage style – “My designs are inspired by my background in advertising. I love vintage posters – travel, movie, theatre and revolutionary plus vintage illustrated books. I’m also extremely interested in art and architecture, especially the Bauhaus movement, Brutalism and Futurism. I recently saw the Italian Futurism exhibition in New York which is housed in the Brutalist Guggenheim so that was pretty special. I think I might be the only person who is fascinated by car parks and I’m a massive fan of concrete! This is evident in my work; my illustrations of buildings are simple, straight-edged and honest.”
Berlin City Icons Print
There are three collections – City Icons, City Facts and Animal Facts. City Icons illustrates the UK and international cities. The city name stands out loud and clear in the specially selected typeface fonts. If you look closer you’ll notice popular landmarks and buildings.
Liverpool City Icons Mug
For instance, the New York design features the Empire State and the Statue of Liberty. These are mixed in with skaters which can be found in Central Park and Yellow Cabs which are unique icons of this city.
New York City Icons Print
City Facts is just what the name implies; facts about a city designed in the style of a vintage theatre poster.
Bristol City Facts Tea Towel
For example, the London Infographic Tea Towel gives you interesting information about Big Ben, Nelson’s Column and the Shard plus more.
London City Facts Tea Towel
Animal Facts reveal facts captured inside the drawing of an animal. For example, the Flamingo screenprint explains why these birds are pink and how they feed.
Flamingo Animal Facts Print
You’ll also find a giraffe, hippopotamus and penguin in the range. These are adorable and ideal for a child’s bedroom.
Giraffe Animal Facts Print
Susan greatly admires David Hockney, she tells me – “I saw his show at the Royal Academy a couple of years ago and it was incredible. He’s prolific – he gets up early in the morning to sit in a random field and paint giant canvasses. I would love to be so pro-active! I also admire the fact that he’s an old guy now but has embraced new technology and has made some really stunning iPad drawings.”
Buy Susan Taylor Products
To find out more about Susan visit her website Susan Taylor Designs. To give you an idea about prices, A3 Prints are £35, 100% cotton Tea Towels £10, 100% cotton Tote Bags £9 and ceramic Mugs £10.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Susan Taylor. Thanks: Susan Taylor.