The Story Behind Our Prints: Mother’s Day

All our prints here at Cath Kidston are designed to bring out your bright side. You know, the side that wants to skip to work and jazz up a dreary Monday morning commute. And behind each of those prints is a team of in-house artists who love nothing more than sparking memories – to take people away on a daydream and make every day extraordinary. They spend months (sometimes, an entire year) designing these prints, turning the first flash of an idea into a range of sunny staples (like bags, backpacks and – of course – mugs).

To celebrate our new prints launching in time for Mother’s Day – Freston Yellow, Lancing Roses and Mayfield Blossom – we caught up with the artists behind them. Meet Senior Print Designers Emma Szenasi-Holland and Sophie Gray-Cowley.


Cath Kidston artist reviewing Mother's Day prints on moodboard

We know you spend months dreaming up your prints (and we love you for it). What’s the very first thing you do when coming up with a new idea?​
Sophie: It really depends on the print. For example, if it’s a floral, we might visit vintage markets or rummage through our amazing archive of treasures that have been collected over the last 25 years. Our head office in London is really close to Portobello Road, which is always a great starting point. ​
Emma: It could be something totally random that sparks an idea, which is why research is key. If we’re creating an animal print, for example, we’ll go out into nature and take pictures to really get inspired.​

Where did the idea for Freston yellow come from? ​
Emma: For this print, I really wanted to evoke memories of those first moments of spring filled with sunshine. There’s an excitement in the air that Easter is coming and all the laughter, joy and fun that comes with it.​

What about Lancing Roses? ​
Sophie: It came from one of my childhood memories of baking with my mum in the kitchen and seeing well-worn, well-loved fabrics drying on the washing line. We chose a soft, bleached-out effect with a gentle feel to represent those happy times at home with your family.  ​

What was the inspiration behind Mayfield Blossom? ​
Emma: It’s all about seeing the first signs of blossom on the trees against a gorgeous blue sky. It’s capturing the feeling that winter is over and it’s only upwards from here! ​

What will these prints spark memories of? ​
Sophie: I think we’re always trying to evoke happy childhood memories with our prints. Like being out in nature when you were little and smelling freshly cut grass; where the birds are singing and there are bleached-out florals hanging on the washing line. We love trying to capture that happy, carefree and joyous feeling of being young and free, but secure at home. ​
Emma: There’s a real sense of warmth about our prints, too, and we want them to encourage whoever is wearing them to welcome new beginnings and embrace their positivity, especially as we move into spring. ​

Cath Kidston artist designing a floral Mother's Day print by hand

What’s the next step from dreaming up ideas to designing with your team?​
Sophie: The best part is creating the artwork, and then it’s a collaborative process to match print to product. It usually takes a year for the initial idea to then be seen in store. ​
Emma: As a team, we really love drawing, especially by hand, so we’re always fine tuning what we create to get it perfect. We’re definitely perfectionists at Cath Kidston.​

How did you choose the colour palette for these prints? ​
Emma: Colour is such an important part of the design process – and it’s often the best way to make a design feel new and interesting. We have an amazing in-house colourist, Ellie Pashley who works with our Design Director Christine Hafsten to build an initial palette. Once we’ve collectively chosen the final design, it’s then taken into CAD form and matched on the computer for printing.​

Why is the Lancing Rose such a special print for Mother’s Day? ​
Sophie: It’s the perfect gift for any mum. Maybe it’s on a mug, so she can think of you when relaxing with a cup of tea. Or maybe it’s a pair of lovely pyjamas so she’ll think of you just as she’s getting ready for bed. We’ve also used the print on an apron, which I love because my mum used to have one just like it. It feels like my original idea and memory has come full circle.​

Why would someone gift a Freston yellow print? ​
Emma: Freston Yellow is like gifting a little ray of sunshine – it’s the perfect choice to brighten up your mum’s day. I’m seeing it worn on a bag to bring a pop of colour to a new spring outfit, like washed jeans, trainers and a blouse. ​

Why is the Mayfield Blossom one of your favourite prints this season? ​
Emma: It’s a really giftable print, whether you’re shopping for your mum, friends or treating yourself. You’ll find it on lots of fashion pieces this season and we’ve even used it on our kids range so you can have a cute mini-me moment, too.

Do you think our prints could transport mums to another world – and what would that world look like? ​
Emma: Definitely. I imagine a carefree world where there are no worries, just a constant feeling of joy, calm and serenity. ​
Sophie: It would be a world that’s free from all the strains and stresses of real life. We’re all juggling so much. We love the idea that our designs can transport you away to somewhere where the sun is shining. ​

How should these prints make mums feel? ​
Sophie: Our prints are fun and bold. Even if it’s just the lining in your handbag – they can boost your mood and make you feel confident to achieve what you’re striving for that day.