'the life of a textile and surface pattern designer'

Archive for January 9, 2013

Company in Focus : Marimekko

During research for my first project, I started reading the wonderful book, ‘Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge’ as a source of inspiration.

I loved reading the ‘stories’ and profiles of each designer within this book and it was here that I originally stumbled upon the Finnish designer Maija Louekari.

An interior design graduate with a talent for drawing, I adore her organic abstract style which is often complemented by vibrant colour schemes and expressive motifs. Much of Maija’s inspiration comes from observations of her surroundings. For instance, she finds Cities and their multi-layered dimensions, from people to architecture, absolutely fascinating.

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It was through Maija, that I then found the Finnish company ‘Marimekko’. Oh my, I have absolutely fallen in love with this vibrant design store. So many delicious products AND a fascinating history which has impacted the design market dramatically.

Siirtolapuutarha mug by Maija Louekari for Marimekko.

Siirtolapuutarha mug by Maija Louekari for Marimekko.

Marimekko cleverly continue to allow their business to grow by letting their designers create ideas that they are passionate about, rather than what they are told. They are encouraged to keep their work loose and free, pushing boundaries without restriction. Designs are rarely planned and are often spontaneous, growing organically, telling a story. This approach continually keeps the designs fresh and ahead of their time, rather than merely following others.

Klapi Cotton Fabric by Jenni Rope for Marimekko

Klapi Cotton Fabric by Jenni Rope for Marimekko

It is the passion of the designers that really keep this company alive. Marimekko wants to set them free and to be emotionally inspired, expressing their individuality just like there target customers, who they were to give an “…authentic taste of life…” (Marimekko Yearbook 2011) It is this supportive ethos and energetic way of working that would really make Marimekko one of my top companies to work for, they really have thought of every aspect from a designers point of view.

Mini-Unikko Coin Purse by Maija Isola for Marimekko

Mini-Unikko Coin Purse by Maija Isola for Marimekko

For instance, even though their core business is through great design, Marimekko believe that manufacturing of the products go hand in hand. Therefore in 2011, they expanded their large manufacturing facilities even further. The manufacturing center is nearby to their design hub, so that the designer is able to oversee each of their projects through from start to finish ensuring it stays true to the design.

Kalku Mug by Sami Ruotsalainen for Marimekko

Kalku Mug by Sami Ruotsalainen for Marimekko

With such a strong spirit and original approach, working together as one team to facilitate a unique and creative atmosphere, I am feeling so inspired by Marimekko and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.  Their designs are always so bold, experimental and dare I say it maybe even a little ahead of their time.  Each design has been created from the soul and (from my background reading) I get a great sense that each design has been created from the heart even if sometimes this can be an emotional experience.

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