PROJECT: Beach towel program design for major mass market retailer.

OVERVIEW: Trend research, trend guide, theme development, product design and production files for overseas factory prototypes and manufacturing.


  • Trend research for seasonal art and retailer design styles.
  • Create color palettes and concept sketches for design approval.
  • Finalize concept sketches into illustrations and design artwork Adobe Creative Suite software for manufacturer to the retailer guidelines and specifications.
  • Provide production ready files to manufacturer with detailed design substrates and specifications for the factory.
  • Review factory photos and samples and approve for mass production.

The mood boards are based on multiple sources and research. These sources include peers, buyers, and product managers in the same and related design industries and product manufacturers. I rely heavily on many years of past experience as a preferred vendor for a manufacturer with Wal-Mart, and working with other mass market retailers and manufacturers developing product. Additional sources include trend forecasting services, trade shows, shopping the current market and color research with Pantone, Color Marketing Group, Trend Curve, Heimtextil and other similar resources.  I do extensive online research of product, fashion, surface design, retail and general trend. Social Network trend research of manufacturers, designers and high end brands at the forefront of trend creation. I also watch the European market and artists I network with there.  I follow several blogs and industry resources.  Experience has shown that the design trends that appeal most usually trickle down from high end fashion and designers to mainstream retailers over time.  I compile everything to glean the most prominent trends that will have mass market appeal, trying to pick the most applicable to the product I am designing for. My goal is to create mainstream relevant designs that fit within the trends, season and product for the client.

Design Themes

Beach Buzz
Text centric beach designs with sayings and colorful tie dye and graphic accents.  This style encompasses the current and continuing trend of words as art and making a statement with a more hand-rendered lettering style, freshening it up and carrying it forward into the next year.  The text centric design theme is prominent in fashion, paper, products and home décor.  The tie dye element moves in from fashion, textiles and the DIY movement, currently trending in beach product, surf and fashion design specifically.

Geometric patterns, stripes and bright colors with a twist hearkening back to the 80’s & 90’s now showing up on fashion runways and in swimwear. Low poly geometric styles from graphic design and 3D video and gaming. Missoni (shown here), Fendi, Armani and Valentino are just a few of the high end designer brands this trend has been featured in.

Tropical Mod
Tropical florals and leaves, birds and mod graphic influence take tropical to its next iteration. Moving forward from more traditional floral and leaf prints to stylized bold color graphic elements with pattern and design elements in the mix. Tropical is currently strong in beach and swim and carries forward with the addition of the mod graphic element.

Pattern Play
Colorful paisley and ethnic mandala prints and complementary pattern borders reminiscent of Vera Bradley, Lili Pulitzer and Pottery Barn Home fashion amalgamated and restyled for the beach. Summer and spring color palettes, with slightly less intricate designs than the aspirational predecessors, are made more casual for the beach.