New fabric design: Butterfly Mail

butterfly stamps duvet.jpg

Here’s my entry to this week’s limited colour palette Spoonflower design challenge. The brief was to create a design using four specific colours - spearmint, forest green, rosé and bronze - and beyond that the theme was left open to interpretation.

The way I often approach these challenges is to go through my list of design ideas and see whether there’s one that would fit the brief. One of the design ideas that I had jotted down for inclusion in my “Gossamer and Petals” collection was oversized butterfly postage stamps. As a lifelong collector of ephemera and philately, the travel-themed novelty prints of the 1950s featuring stamps and luggage labels have always appealed to me. My aim was to create a design that would call back to those original 1950s prints.

butterfly stamps preview.jpg

Some of the vintage postage stamp and travel-themed fabrics I took my original inspiration from are shown below. To add authenticity to the stamps themselves I researched real vintage stamps from around the world, and traced typography and border art; the postmarks are also taken directly from original ephemera. To create the butterfly artwork I referred to a variety of vintage lepidopterological fabrics tand illustrations - I didn’t want them to be too realistic, but to be somewhat stylised and evocative of midcentury designs. For a little personalised touch, the countries and locations referenced in the stamps and postmarks include places that are special to me.

I’ve expanded the original design into a full coordinating collection. The designs in this collection also complement the Gossamer & Petals collection.