Design Works International is truly an international design studio with extremely talented artists contributing work from literally all over the world. We believe this mix of culture, talent and creativity is one of the reasons that make us the go-to Lifestyle Studio.
Hard to believe that this month our NYC based design studio, Design Works International will be 27 years old! I can still remember our first day in business and our original 1000 sq ft studio on west 35th street between 7th and 8th ave.
We started as a textile-art studio creating hand painted original pieces of artwork for mainly the fashion industry. Our clients were based in NYC and many were a few blocks away from our small studio space. At that time we employed 4 full time designers and had about 10 clients.
FAST FOWARD to 2015 where we are now located on 36th street between 5th and 6th ave in our 10,000 sq ft studio employing many more designers and working with hundreds of clients.
Besides feeling thankful and blessed for having “survived” in NYC for the past 27 years I truly feel proud of what my husband Neil and I have accomplished over the years. It’s not easy working in the “Big Apple” when your a “mom and pop” business as the city is not kind with incentives for small business…finding affordable rent, benefits for employees and the everyday rising cost factor of having the privilege of living and working in NYC…but we did it and today we celebrate our Design Works International anniversary!
Neil Co-Founder Design Works International and First2Print
Over the past 27 years we have had the privilege of working on so many creative and exciting projects! From working with famous established designers, up and coming designers as well as successful corporations like HGTV, GAF, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Calvin Klein, JoAnn Stores, Dollar Tree, Jeremy Scott, Peter Marino, Marc Jacobs, Kids 11, Crate and Barrel, Beanstalk, Macy’s and Kimberely Clark…just naming a few!
How did we establish ourselves over the years in our business you may ask, LOTS OF HARD WORK and constantly moving forward with fresh and new ideas! About 14 years ago my husband Neil felt that digital printing would be the future of printing in this country as well as around the world and started our company First2Print which is housed in the same studio space as Design Works International. He hired a fantastic creative women, both technically as well as aesthetically, Dani, our Director of Operations and the two of them have built a fantastic digital studio with the collaboration of DigiFab located in Vernan California, the west coast office of First2Print! Clients have included many of the same from Design Works International with additions like, Graceland, Sony Pictures, Book of Morman, Elf the Musical, Marc Jacobs, Coach, Yigal Azrouel and Jeremy Scott, just to name a few!
Dani, Director of Operations at First2Print
About 7 years ago I started a division of Design Works International called “Creative Corporate” where I consult with companies on trend, color, print, pattern and product development. Many of our Design Works International clients naturally needed this consulting part of our business and became clients because of the one on one attention needed in business today talking about brand and lifestyle.
Nancy Co-Founder and Creative Director Design Works International.
Social media has played a huge part in our business and we are proud to say that we cover this on our own…yes I know that we “might” have more followers if we hired someone to do this for us, but we choose to be authentic and post articles, pictures and life stories on our own, after all we have survived in the “Big Apple” for 27 years, we surly can do our own social media!!!!
Our dedicated team of illustrators, surface designers, product and digital textile artists really help us complete the team at Design Works International and First2Print. We are truly international with so many on our team from many countries!
We are blessed with a talented team of designers, some still with us from the very beginning 27 years ago…and over the years we have become quite the work family…my brother Russ, our sales manager and “super duper salesman” has been with us for 19 years and Frank for about 15 years….Frank not only handles sales, he helps with art direction, design strategy and maintains his client base! Zach is our newest addition to the super sales team…giving us our millennial edge!
Zach our “Millennial Man”
Meet Claire and Selina, our design director and art director of our “Chelsea Print Collections” both from different parts of England and both incredibly talented! Selina spends her free time creating @thejellyempire and claire ventures throughout the boroughs @cnewton3 taking very cool street scenes!!
Meet Elena our studio manager who is quite the talent scheduling our service work studio, designing and keeping the work flow…flowing!! Corinne, our art director of the “HOME” Collection is constantly in creative mode with lots of upbeat energy and uber talent!
First2print celebrates Michelle, Romalia, Alex, Melissa and Lisa…a dynamic team of hard working and talented designers. And a special “shout out” to Eleah who is leaving our team to focus on a writing/pr career…we wish her all the best❤️
Kudos to all of you at DWI and F2P…we have a lot to celebrate…so let’s get started!
Sending lots of love and respect to the best creative team in NYC!
Nancy and Neil
Hard to believe that I am in Las Vegas covering the National Hardware Show… who knew, right?
Well… actually, wrong because half the show consists of lawn and garden products and new innovations for the outdoors!
Since I curate the HGTV HOME OUTDOOR LIVING COLLECTIONS on HSN it’s important to attend these shows to see what is new both in product style and trend.
For me, I am always a fan of “Rustic Glam” maybe because I love Chip and JoAnna Gains, from Fixer Upper on HGTV!
But I also love bold color and contemporary styling for some backyard boldness…
I guess my point is… When you hear National Hardware Show…think again because half the shows focus is on lawn and garden and it ain’t just hardware!
Now you know!
See you next year in Vegas!
By Nancy Fire
Textiles and Texture…a mix of “Rustic Glam” was prevalent throughout many of the showrooms this market at High Point.
Textured wood, fur accent pillows, sculptural lamp bases, mixed substrates like metal and wood, painted textured tables, fabric and metal lighting, teak and concrete stools, pecky cypress wood, feminine prints paired with texture, lighting with natural elements as well as feathered and fringed pillows.
The diversity of texture both on hard surfaces like wood and metal, as well as soft surfaces like textiles and rugs was creative and updated offering designers many choices in style and substrate.
So nice to find playful products on my travels these days…really love the spontaneouty of these ceramic bowls for their color and imperfect pattern design. I am not a fan of matching patterns but I do love collections of similar objects….hence loving this ceramic collection!
Photo posted by nancy_fire
It looks like bold accent colors in the home are making a radical comeback this season. We are seeing a multitude of saturated brights filtering throughout home products both overseas as well as in the states.
Designers are updating rooms with fun accent brights even in the kitchen with some of the latest appliances now featured in bright color options or new surface finishes.
Photo credit @nancy_fire
Currently there is an exhibition running in Paris called Systems: A Retrospective of 1960s Braun Design which highlights Braun’s design work. The company’s packaging design is the main focus of the exhibit.
It’s not difficult to see the influence that Braun has on today’s design sensibility. Dieter Rams, the designer responsible for many of the Braun designs, is cited as a major influence by Jony Ivy, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design. When you look at the products themselves you can see why they are so beautiful even today. Apple may have perfected the art of simplicity as it relates to product design, but surely Braun & Dieter Rams are the grandfather of that trend.
The designs themselves do not look like anything out of the ordinary today, but back in the 60s they seemed almost freakish compared to the products that were already on shelves.
The exhibition is being presented by das program and will appear at Moda International through February 27th. Visit their website for more information and great imagery.
Also known as cursive, longhand, script, joined-up writing, joint writing, or running writing has become a dying, if not already lost, handwriting is something that a few of us remember learning vividly. Initially created because of it’s practical advantages of writing speed and infrequent pen lifting to accommodate the limitations of the quill, it has been relegated to it’s use as a method of decorating. Over 40 states currently do not require public schools to teach cursive reading or writing. How many of you remember these sheets from school?
Fusion of Fashion & Home – Script & Typography. The art of handwriting may not be taught in schools, but the world still embraces it’s use on everything from furniture, to packaging and even skin!
Our designers use script and typography beautifully. Though we live in a world filled with technology, it all begins with the pencil. Note the sketches on paper and the matching final digital printouts. Some of this work is still available from our collection, contact us if you are interested.