Fun Makes Good


8 December 2017

For the past few months we've been busy working away on an exciting project with Scottish design house Fun Makes Good. We tasked designer Eleanor Young with creating a range of DCA merchandise and we think she's more than delivered. We caught up with Eleanor to find out more about the process behind creating this exciting new collection.

Hi Eleanor. Can you tell us a bit more about your background and Fun Makes Good?

Hello! I’m Eleanor, the designer behind Fun Makes Good (FMG) a Perthshire based design studio specialising in textile design. I established FMG in 2009 after graduating from the Glasgow School of Art Textiles department in 2007.
Our studio work ranges from producing our signature, geometric inspired homewares, to bespoke upholstery and large scale textile pieces for commercial interiors all in our distinctive, colourful, graphic style.
We’ve also had the pleasure of working with a range of clients from retailers to cultural trusts to produce a body of commissions ranging from limited edition products to large scale pieces of public art.
In all our projects we love to work with pattern, colour and texture to create distinctive designs which help to enliven a space or bring joy to the user……. which leads nicely onto my latest project!

Yes, you've been busy designing some special DCA products. Can you tell us about this range and the inspiration behind it?

I’m really excited about this project - it’s been a joy to work on from start to finish and I’m so excited to see the finished products launch.

"I’m really excited about this project - it’s been a joy to work on from start to finish"

I’ve been working collaboratively on this project with Lewis Smith, DCA’s Sales & Retail Manager, since late Summer. It was the perfect brief for me really - respond to the DCA building, interpret the architectural shapes and features to create a design style which can be translated across a unique range of products. Lewis was very keen to see specific aspects of the building interpreted such as key colours, textures and finishes which was an exciting challenge - I had to find a way to create a common thread and design feel across the whole range which includes different material finishes and surfaces.

I’ve always enjoyed using architecture as a starting point for a design so I felt very comfortable with this brief. It was great to have the time to explore DCA properly, taking photos of little details which folk may normally pass by like the undulating brick wall at the back of the outdoor terrace area and the grid like nature of the exterior of the building.

What's been the most exciting part of the design process?

Within the DCA building there are lots of points where pattern, colour and shape overlap and layer so it was nice to experiment with this element of pattern making, playing with shapes and creating layers of texture. It’s not something I’ve done before but it lent itself very well to this project as we knew a lot of the finished products would involve print - so I could be more free with overlapping shapes and pattern - something I can’t do with my signature patchwork textiles.

Do you have a favourite product in the new DCA range?

" was fun to play around with the DCA initials - are they shapes, letters or parts of the building or just pattern."

I really like them all! But if I had to pick one then i’d go for the Tote bag. In many ways this is the simplest of all the designs within the range but it’s probably this reason that makes it stand out for me. Firstly I’ve not designed a printed tote before (this is extra nice because the design is on both sides of the bag) but the challenge for me was to create an exciting design only using two colours, which if you know my work, is really limited (I like to use a lot of colour) but it’s good to challenge yourself and I’m really pleased with the clarity of the screen print and the pattern fill adds real depth to the overall design. It’s also my first use of type within a design and it was fun to play around with the DCA initials - are they shapes, letters or parts of the building or just pattern. I want people who may not know the building to also like the design and layout of the bag. Hopefully I’ve achieved that!

What's next for Fun Makes Good?

I’m very lucky to enjoy a lot of diversity within my studio practice meaning I can have multiple projects on the go at once and all of them can be for completely different things - which is great! At the moment i’m discussing designs for some potential projects involving large scale interior drapes which at this stage involves a lot of planning, sketching and calculations - it certainly tests my maths! I’ve also got some smaller scale textile commissions to complete before Christmas which is nice because I very much enjoy the hands on nature of creating upholstery and patchwork. I’m going to be making some limited edition cushions for DCA too!

Thanks Eleanor! We're so pleased with our new range of products and we can't wait to share them. You'll be able to get your hands on them from Fri 8 December in DCA Shop and at our Exhibition Preview before they go on sale online next week.

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