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The Design Process

Ever wonder what goes into the creation of one of catstudio's original designs? Today we are going to take a peek into the world of the catstudio design department, and learn just what it takes to bring one of our amazing geography designs to life.

Hand-Drawn Artwork

catstudio works alongside 6 uber talented artists, each with their own unique style, but all having one thing in common – drawing (by hand, with pencil, on paper!) the “catstudio” way.

More Than Just a Google Search

We spend countless hours researching every design we create – online, books, and most importantly – through conversations with our toughest critics – the locals! Before a design is started, a questionnaire is sent out to friends and stores in the area for some insider feedback. Once we’ve collected this information, our artist sets to work to create some preliminary sketches.

It's All in the Name

Most of our artists start with the “masthead” of the design. The masthead is truly the centerpiece of every design – it’s the thing that ‘pops’ off the pillow and really gives the design its flavor.

Do You See the Apple?

The general layout of the design is built around this masthead as well as the geographical “shape” of the place (in this case the island of Maui), doing our very best to keep things geographically where they ought to be. Sometimes we even build the design around a surprise element - like an apple for NYC, a coffee cup for Seattle, or a peach for Atlanta. There is usually a lot of back and forth during this part of the design process – drawing, showing drafts to friends and customers, more drawing, researching, more show and tell, and redrawing – until we get it just right. This process can take as long as 4-6 months.

Color, Color, Color!

The artist will then “ink” the final version of the artwork, and pass it over to our design team where it is scanned, carefully cleaned up, and brought to life with as many as 30 colors. There are often even more tweaks that the design team handles in the computer – like last minute additions, improvements to items for “embroiderability,” and the ever-important spell check. This process can take 1-2 months.

Bringing the Magic to YOU

Once we’re happy with the final colored artwork, we begin the sampling process. We always start with our signature HAND embroidered pillows, where we are able to utilize those 25-30 colors with rich, beautiful threads. Once the pillow sample is received and approved, the design is completely reworked for our other products – from glasses and thermal bottles, to dish towels and woven pouches. Each product is sampled, reviewed, and often resampled to ensure that the highest quality product is achieved.

Finally – production and getting this new design out into the world! Depending on the item, production can take up to 6 months… so when you add it all up – from the first bit of pencil on paper to the actual product on the shelf of a store, the process can take a year, or even longer! Why, you might ask? Because catstudio is dedicated to the finest of details. We pride ourselves in creating artwork that hits all the marks, having emotional connections for as many people as possible. And we also refuse to settle for less than top quality on each and every product we make. What can we say? We’re perfectionists!

Should We Add...?

We are constantly updating and refreshing each and every design in our collection based on customer feedback, changes to a design’s geography, and more. We call this the "living, breathing geography collection."

Where To Next?

There is so much of this great world left to explore though our art – so stay tuned for more new surprises and enjoy the adventure!