Can you actually believe it is Friday again? Not sure about you but I feel like the weeks are flying by right now, and I’m not complaining – this time next week we are allowed to have actual people in our actual garden, and that is definitely what is seeing me through!

And another Friday morning calls for another Creative Q&A from us – this week it is with Leeds based print and graphics designer Emma Burton!

JANEY: So Emma, have you always been a creative wiz??

EMMA: Yes! I’ve always been creative, from finger painting as a kid and always favouring Art class, to doing my degree in Printed Textiles at Leeds Arts Uni, which has led to my career as a designer working for Hallmark during the day and doing my own designs on the side for fun on the weekends. I’ve always loved the idea of setting up a little side business and it’s only since Covid that I’ve had more time to put into my own style and really explore what it is that I enjoy creatively. It’s taken me a while, but I feel like I’m finally starting to get there!

J: I’ll say! And I for one am SO glad you took that leap last year – your work is so colourful and full of joy!
Do you have a particular design process that you tend to follow?

E: Usually I will begin with colour, I’ve switched up my colour palette a few times on my feed, but I feel like I’ve found the kind of colours that I really enjoy working with. I love working with bright colours, so that when you look at my feed you get a sense of warmth and positivity. Colour is so important to a brand’s look and feel! 
Second but very importantly, is the editorial! The words I use are so key to the tone of voice of my work, so it’s usually the words that inspire a design. I tend to have a bank of phrases that I hear or see, on what I generally feel and others can relate to.

J: Your beautiful colour palettes are definitely something that really drew us to your work, so what do you reckon is your go-to combo at the moment?

E: Aw thank you, that’s lovely to hear! My current colour combo is my favourite and I’ve been working on it since I began my Instagram and I’m only just starting to feel like it’s working, I just love how happy the colours are! Lots of warm yellow for positivity and sunshine, earthy greens with spring on the horizon, plus my favourite colours together hot pink, royal blue and a burning orange.

J: Oh I LOVE that there is a reason for each colour you use! Where do you find inspiration for those palettes?

E: I know it sounds cliché, but I’m inspired by things around me! Recently with Covid and people being at home more, you can sense what the tone is at the moment, which influences the trends we see on Pinterest, WGSN and Instagram. For instance, at the moment: nostalgia; self love; caring and kindness; people being with their families more, or being with them less due to Covid. You can sense that people want to feel comforted by the nostalgia, and are wanting positivity for life to go back to normal, plus caring for their friends and family even at a distance.
So combining trends with my own style and colours is how I create my content.

J: That is such a good point, and not something I had necessarily thought about, but you’re right. Obviously bigger brands are cashing in on the ‘stay home’ message, with a huge rise in loungewear and ‘homey’ bits, but I hadn’t really thought about it in terms of trends and inspiration in the graphic design world!

If you had to describe your graphic style in 3 words, what would they be?

E: Bright, Fun and Minimalist

J: Perfect! And interesting actually – I am usually mostly attracted to maximalist designs, more is more and all that! But there is just something about the charm in yours that reels me in anyway!

I’ve seen that you have done some work with print/pattern design studio Lion & Leopard, please could you tell us more?

E: I began working with Lion & Leopard last year when they first began the studio, and I love it! They’re such a great print studio, so positive about your designs and really work hard to get your designs seen by buyers. Plus, it was a lovely change to be able to work on childrens print which I hadn’t done before, it’s such a fun market to design for.

J: Ooh yes I can imagine – no limits on the fun to be had there I’m sure!

What do you hope to be on the cards for the future of your practice?

E: I’m hoping that in the next month, I’ll be launching an Etsy shop! I was going to do it at the end of last year, but I still didn’t feel like my style was quite there, so held off. I’m feeling so much more positive and excited about my new work and hope to launch it in the coming month, so watch this space!

J: Eek, some exciting stuff on the horizon then! I think that was the right decision to give yourself some time to establish your brand, and you can now put everything in it with that confidence that your wonderful work deserves!

I cannot WAIT to see what Emma does next, and you can keep up to date too on Instagram @emmaburton_design

Emma’s work just makes me feel fuzzy – I think it is the clever combo of pleasing colour palettes and relatable wording that does it for me!

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing!

See ya next week for the first Q&A of April – hope you’ve got those chocolate eggs stockpiled ready for the long weekend!


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