Published: Saturday, April 01, 2017    

Greetings card designer Donna-marie Scrase is a rising star in the UK for her quirky retro creations – she talked to Emma Procter about her inspirations and a possible move into the UAE

As the founder of Studio Scrase, talk a bit about your background and how you got started

I studied Promotion and Illustration at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey, before becoming a magazine Art Director for fashion and interior magazines at Time Inc in London. After years of commissioning illustrators, I missed sketching and painting and began experimenting with my own drawings. With a love for stationery design, I decided to create some greetings card designs. I was then invited to exhibit at Spotted, New Design Talent at the Top Drawer trade show in London. After that, I received one of my first trade orders from Liberty (a swanky department store in West London).

What does the studio create? Describe the design style/influences

We create unique and stylish greetings cards, art prints and stationery. We also produce illustrations and graphic design for businesses and new projects. Influences and inspiration come from everyday simple pleasures such as gardening, cooking, and nature. The Bauhaus art movement and graphic design of the twenties through to the forties largely inspire my work.

Who stocks your products? Do you do work for individuals?

Our products are stocked in many desirable retailers, art galleries, and design boutiques around the UK including Liberty, The Royal Horticultural Society, Kew Gardens, and The Fashion & Textile Museum. We also work to commission and create bespoke wedding stationery and illustrations for editorial, packaging, menu design, branding, and much more.

OL hears you are looking to move into the UAE market – would you tailor your designs for this region?

Absolutely, there are so many sources of inspiration, from architecture and interior design to fabric decoration, colour, travel – and of course the heat!

Tell us a bit about your other artistic influences and people you admire

There are so many! I have various sources of inspiration, from song lyrics to everyday simple pleasures. I love the Finnish design company Marimekko for their bold unique prints and colour palettes. I also find inspiration in vintage poster art, graphic design and illustration of the twenties and thirties, often found on vintage Vogue magazine covers, and not forgetting classic black-and-white period photography from artists such as Edward Steichen, John Rawlings and Dorothea Lange, to name a few.

What are your top tips for buying a unique gift?

Always buy gifts with the receivers taste in mind and not your own! It’s amazing how often people choose gifts for others that they’d prefer for themselves. In other words, avoid buying what you would personally like to receive – try to tap into what the other person would like.

What’s new for 2017?

We are delighted to soon be launching a personalised service for bespoke cards to send to loved ones.

Can people contact you from overseas for batches of cards, etc?

Yes, we welcome orders from overseas, particularly trade orders. For postage details please enquire through
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