Q&A with Suzanne Edwards, Newmor

Suzanne EdwardsLast week we sat down with Alys Bryan to discuss through the standards and regulations within the contract fabric industry, this week our focus moves to wallcoverings and who better to talk about this industry experts – Newmor.

Suzanne Edwards, Design Manger at Newmor has had plenty of experience when it comes to wallcoverings, in the interview below we discuss her inspiration and the impact of technology on this ever expanding market.

What attracted you to commercial wallcovering design? And Newmor?

I’ve worked in design for over 30 years – firstly at Laura Ashley where my love of textiles (both fabrics and wallpaper) began. Wallpaper was always my passion, designing commercial wallcovering was a natural progression from my work in residential. Whilst there are basic similarities in manufacturing, designing for the commercial sector has very different and challenging disciplines.

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Why Newmor?

I felt I could apply my design experience to a new ‘commercial world’. There is greater design freedom within the commercial sector which I found attractive. Also, Newmor is family owned which allows me to work directly with the key decision makers and make a direct contribution to the development of the company’s design direction. Plus, I enjoy the hands-on print and colour work, direct liaison with the print works and working with our global customer base.

Please talk us through the design process? Where does the inspiration of all these designs come from?

I have a wonderful team of extremely experienced designers and colourists, as well as young graduates who are just beginning their career in commercial textile design.

We find inspiration in lots of ways – partly driven by the requirements of the business, partly driven by what we feel is right for Newmor. We find that many design trends will cross sectors, so attend a wide range of both commercial and residential trade shows.  Our colour research spans many sources – flooring, fabrics, tiles, fashion, fine art, product design (furniture, appliances etc).

The use of texture is a unique aspect of Newmor product development – it’s a design feature that we have pioneered in wallcoverings. We can create artwork in our own studio as well as using UK and overseas designers to create unique pieces of artwork for us.

Artwork is developed in our own studio by our talented print designers. The process begins with hand-drawn artwork or in many cases is developed through our creative CAD system.

What impact has digital printing had on the industry?

Newmor have always invested in the latest technology. We first introduced digital print as a development tool in the studio around 10 years ago. 2015 sees new production machines which are geared to produce bespoke designs for our customers around the world – from concept design, to sampling and final production.

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There is no doubt that digital printing allows greater creative expression, with no restriction on repeat sizes, limitless colour choice and the ability to create detailed photographic print effects.  It also brings flexibility to production quantities, allowing Newmor to create bespoke solutions to individual requirements.

What I find particularly exciting is that digital has brought different skills into the studio, broadening the scope of our design capabilities through a cross pollination of graphic and textile design skills.

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What makes Newmor products stand out? And what makes them a practical choice for hotels?

I believe what makes Newmor stand out stems from the original creative process which sits at the heart of the company. Good design delivered through reliable high-quality manufacturing leads to products which are desired throughout the world. Our unique production capability for embossing surface texture has also become a signature look.

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It comes down to our design flexibility. Every day we work with design companies, architects and interior designers across the world – whether it’s a bespoke design, re-colouring to specific market requirements or developing our next stocked collection.

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Ultimately, we produce high quality durable products. Newmor wallcoverings are ideally suited for the hospitality sector, creating desirable interiors that withstand high traffic, repeat cleaning and continue to look beautiful.

Who is currently your favourite designer / artist?

I have a wide range of favourites! From Renaissance art to the textile design of the Bloomsbury set. For me it’s also about the social history of design – especially the history of wallpaper.

Favourite project you have worked on?

Too many to list! And favourites for different reasons …

Eden originated from hand drawn artwork from ‘life’ by one of our designers, coloured and manufactured in our facility in mid-Wales. This led to more creative end uses such as bespoke panels digitally printed and used to promote our studio’s capabilities internationally.

John Morris collections – complete process from design to manufacturing to photography to pattern book-making to launch.

Bespoke digital projects for well-known High Street retailers and top hotels all around the world – Hilton, Marriot, 4 Seasons etc.

After all the years, seeing material rolling off the print machines in the factory, ready for shipping around the world is wonderful.  And the sense of satisfaction in receiving feedback from our sales people on jobs well done.

 

Contact Newmor

 

Next week we shall be looking more into the office sector with Boss Design, designer Mark Barrell where we talk through the changes in the office sector and the crossover with hospitality. 

 

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About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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