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Why we go to Surtex: Dot Dash Design

Commercial director Paula Taylor explains how the show is a great platform for design talent.

Dot Dash Design will be returning to Surtex for the second time this year after a successful debut in 2015 where we launched our very first print and pattern collection.

Having first-hand experience over the past seven years of working with some of the UK’s top brands, the team felt the time was right to launch their own collections for licensing.

Surtex was the ideal choice as a launch pad into the world of surface pattern.

Surtex for us was the only choice as ‘newbies’ in the world of art licensing. Last year proved to be a great experience both creatively and from a business perspective. It’s fantastic, you get to meet and rub shoulders with so many artists, art agencies, art directors and art buyers and at the same time get really inspired by all the wonderful talent around you from fellow exhibitors. Everyone is so friendly. There’s a really lovely vibe about the show. You’ve been following and talking to all these amazing artists on Instagram all year and you all come together in one place.

We found Surtex was a great way of meeting clients not just from USA, but from around the world. Our work generated a lot of interest from fabric companies, book publishers and huge manufacturers. It was fascinating.

It’s also a great place to meet and develop strong relationships with clients. We already have meetings planned with buyers that we met here last year. With todays technology it’s becoming a lot easier to work with clients across continents, but nothing beats that face-to-face contact and relationship building.

Often you see a range of decision makers walking around the show together, including sales, marketing and creative teams. To learn what their needs are collectively helps us to provide artwork collections that will be successful to the company as a whole. It’s crucial to learn about buying seasons i.e. when to submit seasonal art for cards, fabric and fashion as many buyers work to varying timelines.


The conference programme is also excellent at Surtex. As an exhibitor you get to access two free classes, which really help to build your knowledge especially on the business side and if you’re new to art licensing. This is invaluable for a creative mind.

We are very excited about returning to Surtex this year. We’ve been working really hard and have developed some beautiful new collections which have been partly based on our experiences last year. We have four designers in the Dot Dash team (Nick, Christa, Paloma and myself) all with very different art styles. These range from the popular, very graphic Fruity-Toots! characters, our whimsical cute animals and naïve pattern to beautiful watercolour florals.

Give-aways, promotions and competitions are also a really good way of attracting interest at the show. With so much creative talent in one place it’s a good way of getting noticed. This year Dot Dash have launched a ‘colour me’ competition. We are giving packs away on our Booth #226 , alternatively this can be found on our instagram @wearedotdashdesign.

All you have to do is colour in the Fruity-Toots! character, cut out and post on instagram, ensuring you follow @wearedotdashdesign and tag us in your photo and adding the hashtag #fruitytoots. The prize is an exclusive signed print and a goody bag which includes a t-shirt and other exciting products.

Also at the show we are giving 10% discount on all artwork sold during the three days.

Surtex runs from May 15-17 at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. If you’re visiting the event be sure to pop by Booth #226 and say hello and pick up your goody bag. If you’d like to make an appointment or learn more about the company’s collections, you can contact Paula on

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