June 14, 2017

The New Designer | Abbey Costello

You probably think you’re seeing a pattern with my New Designers posts and you would absolutely be correct with that theory – I am absolutely obsessed with mark-making. Designer three is no different. Internet, meet Abbey Costello, the Staffordshire lass looking to bring some colour and fun to your home.

Costello’s textiles and prints are inspired by artistic processes such as collage and mark-making, resulting in fresh and sophisticated designs intended for modern interiors. Blending traditional techniques and digital imagery, each creation has a strong emphasis on layers, texture and tactility. Overlapping shapes and colours provide a DIY feel but ultimately each piece brings a refreshing burst of abstract expressionism.

Talking about her design process Costello states her work often begins with large-scale and expressive painterly marks, which in turn are used to create collaged compositions. Her drawings are then tweaked digitally to create surface pattern, placement prints and textile designs. In my opinion, her placement and colour choices are simply glorious, what do you think?

I caught up with the lady herself ahead of her New Designers One Year On showcase to find out the important stuff (read: favourite shape).


Can you describe what you do in one sentence?

Fun, refreshing print design with a focus on shape, abstract composition and colour.

What will you be showing at New Designers One Year On?
I’ll be showing a new collection of prints as well as some fabric accessories including pouches and cushions. I’ve focused on creating a bold collection with a really strong colour identity. I’ve got a great space at the exhibition and really want my work to tell a story and showcase my brand.
Can you tell me about your design process?
My work always starts with collage – I spend a lot of my design time creating textures and surfaces which I then cut and paste. I mostly work from small groupings of everyday objects like vessels, bowls and plates. It’s a very organic process and I work quite playfully and intuitively.  My final colours usually develop when I’m digitally reworking the collages and help to link together shapes and compositions; because of this the colours can change quite dramatically from my original collages.
If you could design a print for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Iris Apfel – I feel like she’d appreciate the colour!
Favourite shape?
Circles – they’re the nicest shapes to use in compositions and I always find using them helps bring the final piece together.
What are your expectations from exhibiting at One Year On?
I’m really looking forward to the opportunity for networking, I’d like to start conversations with retailers and brands about potential collaborations as well as find stockists for my prints and fabric products.
What’s next on your agenda?

I’m aiming to carry on designing my own products, hopefully expanding the range and finding really great stockists for them. I’d also love to exhibit at a trade show in the next year and attend more markets.

To see more of Abbey Costello, pay a visit to New Designers 2017. Abbey will be showcasing her work during Part Two of the exhibition, taking place at the Business Design Centre, between 5th July and 8th July. Entering its 32nd edition, the New Designers exhibition brings together design education, design consumers and the design industry to celebrate and recognise and the next generation of graduate designers.

AND NOW FOR THE DISCOUNT! With code ND508, purchase day tickets to New Designers 2017 in advance for just £10.50* instead of £16 on the door, or a VIP Tickets for unlimited access across both weeks of the show for £21* instead of £30 on the door. Book online now at https://goo.gl/FJ8S5d

*£1.50 booking fee applies per advance ticket purchase, offer expires midday 18 June 2017

For more information on Abbey visit: abbeycostellodesign.co.uk


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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