Behind The Design: Rosie Spencer
I’m Rosie Spencer and I am the Head of Design & Production at Sunuva
My typical workday is a mix of design, in-house creative meetings with the design team, communication with our factories and administration. This is my first foray into people management and to leading a team. I started Sunuva as a print designer and have enjoyed working my way up and taking on more responsibility.
A lot of our design inspirations come from our founders Emily and Sabrina’s travels. Their trips away with their families are a constant source of inspiration. I was also lucky enough to travel a lot when I was younger with my family which has always been a catalyst.
A really special trip, I did independently, was 2 months at a marine conservation in Madagascar when I was eighteen. I went scuba diving every day for eight weeks carrying out underwater transects. This trip inspired my final collection of print designs for beachwear at University. Since then I have always worked with stretch fabric for swim and sportswear and felt inspired by tropical destinations and vibrant colours.
The creative process of coming up with a print design goes like this: Firstly, I brainstorm themes with the directors, from there I build mood boards. Then I start experimenting with the design, drawing different motifs, putting the motifs into a repeat pattern and playing with colour. Depending on the design, I draw by hand then scan the drawings into Photoshop to edit or I draw straight on the computer in Illustrator using my Wacom. I use two design packages either Photoshop or Illustrator to create the design.
I am really proud of our Snoopy collaboration with Peanuts, the outcome is great and something really new for Sunuva. I especially love the Snoopy Hot Air Balloon story for Baby boys.
I'd say my favourite print from the 2020 collection is the Boys Neon Shark Print. The sharks are hand drawn and I love the colourway, neon yellow and green on the dark navy. This was the first print I finished for the 2020 collection. Some designs like this one come together really easily while others require a lot more time to get right, which can be frustrating, but you always feel a sense of satisfaction after seeing the finished product.
We have an amazing team at Sunuva, it is more of a family. Everyone is ambitious and passionate, it doesn't necessarily feel like work. We all work really closely together even between the different departments; web, wholesale and design. I love that I have a close relationship with the factories and that we can come up with solutions to problems together.
I always loved drawing when I was younger. I was uncertain what to do at University but whilst doing an art foundation course, I got offered a place to study Textile Design and Design Management at the University of Manchester where I specialised in print design. To any newcomers interested in the design industry, I'd recommend learning Adobe Illustrator, the program makes it easy to recolour and put your designs into a repeat pattern ready for printing.