How to Create a Best Selling Mother’s Day Design in 10 Steps

posted in: Gifts for her | 3

How do you create a best selling Mother’s Day design?

People often ask me what the process is behind my designs so I thought I’d share it with you and with Mother’s Day around the corner what better design to discuss than our old favourite “Home is Where your Mum is?.”


The first step is keeping your finger on the pulse with regard to trends and style (don’t laugh, yes me). Are people wearing yellow this season or blue? Skinny or cropped flares? Hockney or Lowry? Negroni or Bellini? Skandi or Art Deco? The 1975 or Rag & bone Man! You get my drift.

And even though this might not be directly evident in the designs (as I don’t find that following trends to the letter work for my style) the influences are there.

I also think at this stage who will buy this design or product. What would they like to see? And is it for a specific occasion, like this one for Mother’s Day.


  1. Mood Boards

OK – this is where the fun starts! It’s time to throw all of the imagery together with some words and see what happens. The process of sticking, jotting and laying out these initial generate the first seeds of a design.

  1. Initial concepts

For this design I thought about what it means to be a Mum at Mother’s Day, to be a nurturer and also how it feels to live away from your Mum as I do. I liked the idea of baby and Mummy animals and experimented with quite a few before settling on a mummy duck and her duckling.

The interplay of words and imagery has always been an important element to me too so I will spend time choosing the message that the design will convey and making sure that it fits with the imagery. I love literature and am lucky enough to be married to a talented writer so this one is easy!

Once I’ve chosen the words and the main idea or image it’s time for the real work to start!


  1. Paint, sketch, collage, print…

It’s time to get messy – I usually start by sketching out the main images and playing with composition. I like to get a feeling of movement and flow in everything I do and composition is important too. For the ducks I did this with scale – but that’s another blog entirely! When I’ve got some idea of composition and imagery it’s time for…



  1. Printing

Always an element within the work be it mono, lino, screen or intaglio. I love the variation in line and texture with printing and I love the simplicity with lino as you really have to break your composition down and simplify. For “Home” I went with mono-printing to give the ducks a naive feel – especially cute for MOther’s Day gifts from wee ones!


Check out the mark making – it’s just not the same in pencil!
  1. Surface Pattern

Ok, so my degree all those years ago was in surface pattern (SP) so I’m always creating new patterns and repeats many of which rock up in the designs. If not surface pattern then inks, paint, bleach, tea – anything really to add interest and vibrancy.

Early experiments with pattern
  1. Composition

So I’ve got the final images and the words, it’s time to look at the finished composition. Will everything sit on a coloured background? Or white? Textured paper? A page out of an old book? How big will each of the images be and what will the dynamic of the overall piece be? Sometimes the simplest of compositions are the most difficult to define.


  1. The Final Mother’s day Design

It’s tough to stop going through different incarnations of the design but at some point you need to stop and decide. This can be a quick process but for some design I’ve had almost 30 versions before reaching the finished piece!


  1. Application

So I’ll already have decided in stage 1 what the design will be used for – in this case prints for Mother’s Day but what other surfaces might it lend itself to? After all, I am a Surface Pattern Designer! In this case the design worked well on a variety of surfaces including our best selling mugs, coasters and gift wrap.


  1. Production!

So it’s taken a lot of doing but we’re finally at the stage where the items can be made, packaged and shipped to you lovely lot! Most of our goodies are created in house at the studio here in Nottingham and we work hard to source our raw materials either from within the UK or overseas but ethically produced.


So there you have it – how to create a best selling Mother’s Day design in 10 easy steps! I hope this has inspired you to create or to ring your Mum.


And if you need a special design-led gift for your Mum this Mother’s Day check out the full range of Mother’s Day Gifts over at where we’ve knocked 10%* off all our “Home” products in celebration of Mums everywhere! Just enter code “ilovemymum” at the checkout.

*For a limited time – offer ends 12.3.17

3 Responses

  1. Kate

    Really enjoying reading your blog, loved your dad’s one and this one is really interesting too you are so talented. As you already know I absolutely love your designs.

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