At Joules, our collections are proudly inspired by the infinite grace and beauty of the UK’s landscapes from field to coast. So every year our designers embark on a journey to stoke their passion for getting outdoors, nature and the British seasons in all their glory. A print design pilgrimage, if you will.
This year we eagerly travelled to a remote cottage nestled on the stunning Norfolk coastline to take inspiration from the rugged, stark beauty of the region. Follow our adventure, from exploring the potting shed, paintbrush in hand, to measuring the distance between beach huts.
The cottage, its quintessential English country garden, the quirky charm of the potting shed, and the unique allure of the nearby British beach in high summer all fired our imaginations.
We took inspiration from all aspects of our Norfolk odyssey. While the botanical beauty of Britain is a constant influence, especially our nation’s breathtaking wild flowers, we were particularly drawn in by the time-honoured technique of flower pressing.
Designer Kristina Cartwright delved into her collection of vintage pressed flowers and decided to give them a contemporary twist.
She said: “The faded-yet-vivid beauty of these flowers was a source of wonder to the team and we took great pleasure incorporating them into our designs.
“This time-honoured technique led us to create graphic prints that look playful and bold, yet sophisticated.”
Other unlikely sources of inspiration were the humble ladybird and the wonderful geometric design work found on vintage plant pots.
Designer Dan Matthews was taken with a striking blue and white design he found on a pot, as well as the composition of a wrought iron grate in the potting shed.
He wove them into a beautiful geo pattern used on a pair of statement trainers. The end result is a shoe you can pair with anything yet still ‘pops’ with fun and vibrancy.
Our team was charmed by the vividly-coloured beach huts at Wells Beach, close to the gorgeous harbour town of Wells-next-the-Sea.
The print team even took inspiration from the spacing between the huts to create some of the stripe layouts used in our collection.
And the sun-bleached pastels of the huts’ paint inspired a subtle palette that’s both fresh and familiar.
Our designers were also charmed by vintage floral prints.
Senior print designer Joanna Roberts found one particularly eye-catching design featuring wild flowers. She re-drew and re-coloured it to develop a gorgeous pattern that is bold yet understated.
“For inspiration I’ll head off to Britain’s beautiful countryside or coastline with my sketchbook and some paints and drawing pens.”
Joanna, Senior Print Designer, Joules
The team also developed the theme of ‘halcyon haze’ – the difficult-to-define yet exquisite feeling you get after a day spent on a sunny British beach – to guide their creativity.
For example, Joules’ designers discovered some hollyhocks on the beach at the charming coastal village of Salthouse.
The flowers’ striking colours were combined with a fresh blue check to create a zestful summer print that evokes picnics on the beach.
By getting out and exploring Britain’s beauty spots, our designers are able to channel the iconic landscapes and national character into our products.
As founder Tom Joule says: “Over the years, Joules has changed a lot, but one thing that has never changed is the adventurous spirit we all have. Our print team travel from shire to shore in search of inspiration.
“Our design team is always trying to find new shapes and styles. And we’re constantly looking at new and exciting ways of engaging with you – keep your eye out for something extra special that will be happening at Joules in the coming months.”
You’ll find these prints and more making an appearance on our best-loved styles and new show-stopping pieces in our spring/summer ’19 collection, which is available both online and in-store now.