Separating designs for wallpaper, fabrics and more.

What is separation?

When I separate a design I take a flat image and put it into specialist software. Using that software I pull out each colour, and it’s tones, to put on to its own coloured layer. I repeat this process until each colour has its own layer and the layers blend together to look like a close representation of the original design. 

Using this separation process means that we are able to change the colour of each layer within the design to get total control over the colours of the final design. This process is useful for enabling full colour control when manufacturing a design or to revamp the colours of an existing design.

A short video showing the separation process in action using one of my original paintings (available as an A4 print here).

A short video showing how separating a flat image allows us to completely alter the colours of an existing design.

Elevation requires separation.

I love to separate designs. Whilst the original colour of a design may be beautiful in its own right, the process of separation allows us to bring a fresh, new perspective.

Off-the-shelf wall covering rolls are generally offered in a variety of different shades, made possible by the separation of colours into individual layers. This is a digital process that opens the design to a rainbow of colour and lets us experiment with different tones and textures to elevate the design into something new and exciting.

It doesn’t have to just be wallpaper…

Whilst my separation skills have been built on the foundation of wallcoverings, any flat image is open to this specialist process. I welcome any projects that require colour separation and give me the opportunity to help a client re-vamp, modernise, or simply re-colour their designs to create something fresh.

A video showing the build up of watercolour separations for Elizabeth Ockford Ltd. 

Elizabeth Ockford’s “The Garden” collection can be viewed here. There are four designs in this collection using Elizabeth’s watercolours (Sadie, Kamala, Eleanor and Julia) which I separated.

A video detailing the build up of Elizabeth Ockford’s Bahama design, from The Island’s collection (found here).

As far as separation projects go, this was a tough one. As a digital print, there is no limit to how many layers you can have, so the difficulty here came from selecting the layers and colours that would best complement the overall design.

The choice of the separated layers for Marianne were depicted by an earlier mistake. Whilst experimenting with the layers and colouring on Photoshop, I accidentally switched the light airy tones to the moody and dark negative that you see in the images. I took the flat design into the separating software and kept these two distinctly different colourings in mind when creating the separations.

I’m really pleased with the juxtaposition of the Marianne designs and love that they exemplify how tweaking the separation and colouring can create a completely new atmosphere in each piece.

If you’re interesting in seeing how the separation process can bring your designs to life, or you have questions about separating, contact me on

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I have loved working with Lauren. She is open to my suggestions and also contributes her own. It feels very much like an organic design process – not something that I have found with very many other Freelancers.

Her separation work is excellent – she makes my designs very easy to colour beautifully.

Elizabeth Ockford –

“I knew the packaging design aspect of Scents & Serenity was in safe hands as soon as I had my first consultation with Lauren.

From start to finish Lauren made an inspirational and fun experience. It was great to see Lauren get excited about my products and apply her wealth of art and design knowledge to fit my brand.

I will look no further for all my design needs; thank you Lauren.”

Scents & Serenity –