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Face to face with… Four Corners

We find out more about the international collective of surface pattern designers.

The Four Corners may sound like a funky pop group, however, the name actually represents a new, international collective of surface pattern designers who are creating fresh, modern patterns available to licence and buy.

The seven founding members, who are based in the US, UK, Australia and France, have been enjoying some fantastic successes since launching in November last year, including securing licences with Guildery, Minted, Aladdin and Padblocks.

Beth Schneider, Emma McGowan, Jocelyn Proust and Kevin Brackley made their debut at Surtex earlier this week, while Pippa Shaw and Julie Anson exhibited at New York’s Blue Print on May 12-16. The seventh member of the group, Glasgow-based Jane Kirkpatrick, was the first to kick off a year of trade shows for the collective when she exhibited at Premiere Vision Paris in February.

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An interesting twist is that Beth, Emma, Jocelyn and Kevin met “in real life” as Beth explains, for the very first time at Surtex.

“It’s been a fun challenge to co-ordinate everything across different time zones,” Jocelyn observes. “The Australian contingent has had some very early morning phone calls!” she laughs. “We’ve been in contact for months over the details of our booth which we really want to stand out from the crowd so that it conveys the variety of work that we’re offering.”

Although some members of the collective have met before in Paris, Glasgow, Bath and Sydney, “coming together in New York was the ultimate blind date!” quips Emma. “We’re thrilled to have been able to launch ourselves at Surtex as this is the first time that we have exhibited together.”

Adds Kevin: “We’re united by a love of colour and a commitment to quality and detail. We keep each other up to date with trends to make sure we’re always thinking about how our patterns will help clients sell more products.”

As you would expect, each member of the group has their own distinctive signature style. Between them, they’ll be showing over 500 repeat and placement patterns, including on trend florals, geometrics, character and seasonal designs suitable for the bolt fabric, apparel, home décor, gift, paper, packaging and stationery markets.

These include full collections as well as individual designs, which are available for licence and sale, covering a wide range of themes and occasions. Already successful individually, the designers have worked in a range of industries for a roster of clients to include well-known brands such as Nikon, Crane & Co., PayPal, Procter & Gamble, Shutterfly and Warner Bros.

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So what does each designer be bringing to the table?

Australian artist Kevin Brackley’s exciting portfolio features crisp geometrics and fluid organics. “My experience as a former visual merchandiser and graphic designer taught me the importance of telling a powerful visual story with a product – knowledge that I now bring to surface pattern – where I create designs that compel customers to look, touch and buy,” he states.

Also travelling from Australia is Jocelyn Proust, who is building a growing fan base for her bold graphic prints and patterns. The Australian-based artist specialises in strong, contemporary florals and geometrics and is currently working with several home décor companies on a range of new collections. “A signature collection with a major US textile studio is also in the pipeline,” Jocelyn confirms.

Based in Chicago, Beth Schneider’s designs are currently available on home décor, housewares and stationery via retailers Minted, Guildery, Kleinfeld Paper and PaperStyle. “Products include sophisticated florals and hand drawn geometrics with bold colours that are available on pillows, drapes, lampshades, wallpaper, ottomans, wall art, stationery and fabric by the yard,” Beth confirms.

Jetting in from the UK will be illustrator and surface pattern designer Emma McGowan who lives in the English seaside resort of Brighton where she creates luxurious, laid back illustrations and patterns for stationery, packaging, gift and paper products. “I travelled to Surtex with a portfolio packed with dramatic florals, vintage-inspired prints, and cool characters which are available to licence and buy,” she enthuses.

As Beth puts it: “We wanted to really show how those early morning planning calls worked out.”

This feature originally appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of Art & Design Licensing Source Book. Click here to read the full publication.

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