• Claire Bradshaw

A Focus on Pattern at The Print Society


Pattern. Colour. Shape. These three simple elements are the underlying focus of each unique product designed by Sydney-based homewares brand, The Print Society.

Quirky vases, colourful cushions, bold framed prints and wall hangings – The Print Society’s entire collection is ‘designed to bring joy’. And bring joy it does, to homes and office spaces all around the country.

The Print Society was founded by corporate-turned-creative Karen Johnston, who took the leap from ‘regular’ job to creative enterprise back in 2012.

The business is run to the tune of an inspiring motto: ‘Do what feels right. Take a chance. And have fun along the way.’ It’s safe to say the chance Karen took all those years ago has certainly paid off, with a sense of fun permeating every pattern and product she designs.

The Print Society’s products include printed textiles (think cushions, table linen, bedding and wall art), as well as ceramics designed to mirror those textiles’ shapes and patterns. Products are designed to last, in terms of both quality and style.

They’re versatile, multi-purpose and easy to move around or style in brand-new ways.All of The Print Society’s textiles are hand-printed by Karen. She uses a combination of screen and block printing with non-toxic, Australian-made inks produced in Sydney.

Ceramics are created using a slab rolling process, then hand-painted/printed, glazed and fired. Framed paper prints utilise recycled paper made from cotton sari offcuts, which are showcased in custom-made acrylic frames.

Despite the diverse nature of The Print Society’s products, it’s no surprise that the focus on pattern, colour and shape is a common thread running through each creative process.

Born of Karen’s background in textile and fashion design, this focus ties each collection together in a style that’s lively, fun, accessible and unique.

As well as a strong creative vision, The Print Society has a well-defined set of values when it comes to manufacturing and materials.

There’s a particular focus on keeping things local and supporting Aussie businesses and communities: ‘We seek to source our materials from fellow Australian businesses, and all of our products are made in our Sydney studio or by local manufacturers.’

A sense of environmental responsibility also pervades the business’s ethos and practice.

Karen and the team aim to reduce their environmental impact as much as they can, tailoring their materials, operations, manufacturing and buying processes to be as kind to the environment as possible. ‘Mother Nature provides us with endless possibilities and beauty,’ their website explains.

The Print Society believes in reciprocity and therefore has a strong focus on environmental sustainability. ’If all that wasn’t enough, The Print Society team also regularly supports Australian charities through special project-based campaigns.

The most recent campaign, held in October last year, involved a limited-edition run of 100 ‘Bags for Boobs’: versatile, hand-printed bags featuring a subtle and super-cute pattern in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

All profits went to the McGrath Foundation in support of breast cancer nurses – a cause close to Karen’s heart.

‘When I was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago (which came as a complete shock – I'd just turned 37), the nurses that looked after me were the absolute bomb,’ Karen shared on The Print Society’s Instagram page.

‘I had to relearn how to look after myself and how to face all of the changes that became my “new normal”.

I seriously don't know what I would have done without them. ’It’s this spirit of giving something back that sets The Print Society apart from many other design and lifestyle brands.

Whether it’s bringing a piece of joy to someone’s space or supporting local businesses and causes, Karen delivers the perfect combination of passion, art and heart.

Keep an eye out for The Print Society’s bold and bright products at the Olive Tree Market this year, which kicks off again at Civic Park from Saturday, 2nd February (followed by market days on Saturday 2nd March and Saturday 6th April).

You can also explore The Print Society’s range online at www.theprintsociety.com.au

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