It is highly likely if you are an NZ homewares nut that you will have at least one Citta Design item in your nest. From teatowels to bed linen, ceramics to bags the brand has become iconic for its twice yearly collections inspired by countries and cities of the world.
I have always felt there was an element of mystery surrounding the design and production of larger brands collections. Who designs them ? How do they get their ideas? Who does what? How on earth do they get from the creatives brain into production, catalogues and sold into stores to arrive in our own homes? Well lucky for me I got to pick the brains and snoop around the Citta Design teams HQ and got a handle on this process once and for all.
It begins with the design team. In this case led by Senior Designer Imogen Tunnicliffe with her two talented Product and Textiles Designers, Carina Brandsma and Amy Tonkin. They settle on a city or country that holds some fascination or has popped to the top in conversation more than once. For instance the collection about to launch is London – inspired at the time by the Olympics and maybe some of that Royal fascination! The team brainstorm, research and work on mood boards to begin developing their direction. Often a lucky designer gets to make a hasty visit to the destination to fuel this process! A colour palette is developed as is an angle/statement to assist them in keeping focus. This might be the development of a muse or a fictional character that they design to. (Some great examples of this coming up in the London Town campaign!)
A lengthy process of design/draw/discuss/sample and back again then begins. This is when new products are born as well as existing designs improved to be ready for the fresh patterns and colours of the range. Over this period the design team also meet with the buying team who work in purchasing the extras that will make up the well rounded collection.
With samples done, the range ticked off and production underway this is where we see a the Graphic Design team of Emma Buckton and Jess Yang take the reins. Imogen and team now move back to the beginning of their design process for the next collection, while Emma begins the task of translating their initial vision into the organisation of a campaign photoshoot. With both teams sharing the large open plan studio, this is made easier as all of them are party to the development and “vibe” of the range right from birth. There is a catalogue and a full sales collateral to produce for Marketing and Sales Manager Katrina Glenday to take on and begin sales with her team to both wholesale customers and Citta’s own online and concept stores.
Yes – it takes a family to create lovely items for us to fawn over! But what a great one they are. I had a little sneak peek at the London Town Collection which will be released mid February (YAY!!! watch this space…) and the girls were working on the next one inspired by Greece and a life under the sun.
Thanks SO much for letting me hang out for a while guys! Remember my offer in exchange for a little desk in the corner!
What I learnt from Citta Design:
Building the “right” team that gels, communicates and shares an aesthetic will be the difference between a brand and an AWESOME brand.