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See How Annabel Inganni Makes Color and Pattern Magic

BY alisha prakash 12/05/2013

“I feel a bit like a mad scientist—I never know exactly how something will turn out,” says Annabel Inganni, who dreams up totally fly color combos and geometric motifs for her home line Wolfum. The pillows, coasters, glassware, and trays are always a little surprising, spicing up any space as a result. Check out the process involved in turning up her consistently unpredictable results. 


Pre-Design Prep


“There is nothing more inspiring then a beautiful book. I collect any and all on fashion, photography, architecture, graphic design, and, of course, pattern and textile history. It’s always important to reference the origins of printing and textiles while simultaneously looking forward at technology and new techniques.”



“I love looking through magazines. I find the simple pleasure of ripping pages out and making collages satisfying. I can find inspiration for color, a new product or graphic, or just an overall concept. I put it into a book so I can revisit it at any time. I create a story in each few pages and suddenly a concept is defined, a mood articulated.”



“Lists, lists, lists—I love them. I like the physical action of writing them and then crossing things off. I thrive on organization—and am pretty hyperactive—thus I multitask all the time. I have a bunch of notebooks where I keep my concepts and ideas, in some sort of nonsense order.”


Color and Pattern Concepting


“I always start with Pantone chips—picking way too many and then narrowing down to a group…and then within that, even smaller groups that I know will be unexpected yet look wonderful together. The colors always look so different on fabric than on the wood once they are processed, so it is imperative to test each color individually so that I can create the right combinations. It becomes a little game of mix-and-match.”



“I don’t have a true work space, so I often take my laptop to the library or just to the couch, to draw. Working on the computer allows me to easily change up colors or scale. I do all my sketching in Illustrator. I am a control freak and like the organization and discipline of working on the computer. I start with a concept, whether I am playing with a shape or brush stroke. Once I find an element I like, I play with scale and manipulate it a million different ways until I see what it is meant to be.  Sometimes this is a quick process and other times it takes weeks to perfect the print.”



“These are my fabric color test swatches. I have a hard time deciding what colorway or scale to use in the collection, so it helps to print them out. This way I can arrange and re-arrange to find a perfect balance.”


Finished Products!


“My napkins reflect the breadth of my graphic work. I love seeing them all stacked together. It reminds me to revisit my past designs and look for fresh elements in my older work.”



“Since I design each graphic specifically for the item, it’s always a bit of a surprise how the print will come out. With the coasters, each one within the set has an element of the larger image, so when they are put together, they end up being somewhat of an art puzzle for your tabletop. Since I pre-test all my colors on scraps of wood, I design into the colorways I think are most striking and then run several samples. As soon as I see The One, I know it and can build from there.”


Louise Placemat Quartet
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