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Design Trends: Well-Being, Vintage Couture Figures, Comforting British Retro

So many card publishers rely on artists’ agents and picture libraries to be their eyes for the emerging design trends, providing them with artwork that reflects and ignites the public’s aesthetic appetite.

Above: Yellow House Art Licensing’s director Sue Bateman.
Above: Yellow House Art Licensing’s director Sue Bateman.

Sue Bateman, director of Yellow House Art Licensing highlights some key cultural events and influences in 2019 that she feels will have an impact on visual product trends:“The year 2019 is a very unknown quantity. I feel that the public will enjoy traditional, even nostalgic, cultural happenings as an escape from real life. It won’t necessarily be the new cultural events that are the most influential, but instead the annual excitement of Wimbledon, the Proms, Ascot etc will take on new relevance.

The comfort derived from the known, in the form of film re-makes and continuations of franchises, such as Toy Story 4, will soften any political turmoil in the headlines. Escapism will be the order of the day. Fashion, always a pleasant distraction, will become even more so with the influence of two major fashion exhibitions at the V&A featuring Quant and Dior: Punchy British flair and sophisticated French elegance, both competing to influence current day art and design.”

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Above: Traditional British events, such as The Proms, held at the Albert Hall, and more recently Hyde Park will have real resonance.

Sue shares what she feels will be three key trends for 2019:

Well-being and self-improvement

“The interest in physical and mental well-being will continue across the board and the phenomenal rise in the popularity of cycling as a hobby/obsession will go from strength to strength. The words and phrases of encouragement used by the cycling community to push themselves that bit further will become more mainstream and this also feeds into the trend for type based imagery.

Yellow House artist Spencer Wilson, being a keen cyclist himself, is the go-to artist for cycling images. Creator of the Mamil brand, the images are licensed onto calendars (Portico), books, journals and cycling accessories

Yoga popularity also increases year on year, as much for physical benefits as for the mindfulness aspects of the discipline. Cally Johnson-Issacs’ images of yoga are delicate and inspiring.”

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Above: Spencer Wilson’s powerful cycling imagery is available from Yellow House.

Vintage couture figures

“The two blockbuster exhibitions planned for 2019 at the V&A featuring Christian Dior and Mary Quant will capture people’s imagination and I believe will be hugely influential, as much as the Frida Kahlo one was in 2018. Although very different in style, both designers made hugely bold statements and their influence is still widely felt. Artists will be inspired by the clean lines and elegance of Dior and by the fun, bold colours and general joie de vivre of Quant.

We might actually see human figures appearing more on cards as the trend for anthropomorphic animals abates.”

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Above: The 60s fashion influence can be seen on this Paul Thurlby design available from Yellow House.


Comforting British retro

“There is currently a degree of uncertainty about what 2019 will hold for Britain. Our place in the world is being re-defined and this is causing some anxiety, consequently I am expecting there to be a renewed interest in ‘comfort’ images depicting a rosy view of British life and society.

Our archive of retro black and white photography will be popular and other images that reflect the constancy of British society will be sought after. Watercolours by Paul Cox that depict the British at play will be enjoyed by many.”

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Above: The British at play, Country Life Summer by Paul Cox from Yellow House.



Top: Images from Yellow House Art’s portfolio which celebrate the trends of well-being, vintage couture chic and comforting British retro.

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