Textile Design: My First Wallpaper

The first defining moment that led me to a career in wallpaper and surface pattern. Introducing my first wallpapers, Baxter and Maund, in collaboration with the University of Oxford.

How it started...

My career began with The Paper Partnership, a creative design studio specialising in traditional wallpaper prints for the international market.

As an intern, I was naturally tasked with the monotonous job of scanning and digitising the thousands of French archival designs that the company had procured. After paying my dues as a blueprint-scanning intern, I was offered the long awaited opportunity to become a Junior Designer. I was taken under the wing of senior artists and introduced to the world of designing wallcoverings for both the UK and internationally.

One of the first collections I had the chance to work on was a collaboration with the University of Oxford. We were given exclusive access to the University’s archives and tasked with creating a collection from the wealth of historical imagery found there.

After sifting through an abundance of architectural designs, sporting memorabilia, and weathered tomes, I finally stumbled across a range of beautiful botanical illustrations that I just knew were destined for modern print. And so my journey into wallpaper design began.

“Baxter” wallpaper for The Paper Partnership in collaboration with the University of Oxford – Digitally Printed

In order to develop a design that best captured the charm and romance of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, I took inspiration from the man that knew it best.

William Baxter was Curator of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden from 1813-1843 and funnelled his passion for the site into his book, British Flowering Plants.

From his book, I took a range of illustrations that complemented each other in terms of shape and colour. I then tweaked the layout, adding in the text and page background design to offer additional depth, and finally married up the repeat to achieve the end result.

“Maund” wallpaper for The Paper Partnership in collaboration with the University of Oxford – Gravure Printed

Creating the Baxter design opened me up to a world of varied botanical illustrations that I wasn’t ready to part with just yet.

Taking some of the illustrations that didn’t quite fit within Baxter’s design space, I began work on a second pattern for the University of Oxford Collection, Maund.

Maund utilises a similar illustrative style, in a more simplified way. Using some of the smaller and more uniform flowers, as well as a small amount of text for added depth, I arranged this design in a format that lends itself well to gravure printing and conventional wallpaper, which is what this design became.

Baxter and Maund will always hold a special place in my heart. I was lucky to work with such a prestigious establishment early on in my career, and the inspiration I found in these illustrations is what has driven my passion for wall-covering design ever since.

Since developing the above designs I’ve been opened up to a world of wallpaper design and manufacturing. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience manufacturing at some of the leading wallpaper mills in the UK and Europe gaining invaluable colour and mass production understanding.

See more of my wallpaper and fabric designs here.

Find out more about my bespoke wallpaper design service.

If you’re interested in working together on your next design project, or you would like to talk further about the content in this post, then you can contact me on hello@laurenpeploe.co.uk.