When it came to designing their latest luxury vessel, Princess Yachts looked to BA (Hons) Printed Textile & Surface Pattern Design students for inspiration.
The iconic British boat manufacturer provided a live brief to over 20 students from across the programme, tasking them to come up with a revolutionary new look. With just six weeks to research, develop and present their designs to a board of international representatives from the client, the students worked under pressure to a strict deadline.
The project is already generating international interest, as covered by Forbes at the Miami Yacht Show.
Chosen from a selection of eye-catching submissions, the winning design belongs to Katie Sheppard, who cites her influences as the Milan Trade Centre building and sci-fi films such as The Fifth Element.
“Being able to work with Princess Yachts has been an amazing opportunity - it's given me an insight into the design world that I would like to go into. It is also a huge boost in confidence, being able to work for such a big international company, and for my designs to go around the world with them is incredible.”
When asked about her influences, Katie lists one artist in particular, “Edward Wadsworth’s 1918 painting ‘View of a Town’ led me to think about where Princess Yacht’s target markets are based around the globe, and I drew influence from the most iconic buildings in those cities.”
Her design is being kept a closely-guarded secret, but when unveiled it will be used not only on the boat itself but on marketing materials and merchandise, as well as at international events.
The design has been kept so secret in fact, that Katie’s own family had no idea she was working on such a huge project. “I initially kept all the details quiet, so for a while my family thought I was designing wrapping paper. When I finally told my mum the truth, that my design would be on a luxury yacht, she was shocked - it was overwhelming!”
Plymouth-based Princess Yachts epitomises the best of British manufacture, from its quality craftsmanship, design and engineering pedigree, to the refined elegant and luxury interior styling of its craft. Princess has a reputation for design, engineering and manufacturing excellence that has earned the company global appeal and established it as a truly international brand.
This follows another high-profile industry brief for the BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern students, who last year produced designs for Mercedes-Benz, the winning design was then put into production with the car positioned for all to see at the Breaking Through Degree Show.
"I think it’s so important to work on live briefs as a student, it gives you a real insight into what the industry is like. It has been a great privilege to work on a project for Princess Yachts and it’s helped me realise what I’m capable of."
– Kelly Marker, BA (Hons) Printed Textile and Surface Pattern Design
Cathy Freeman, BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern Programme Leader, commented on the impact of working with such high-profile clients, "Working with Princess Yachts has been a real pleasure and the whole process from being briefed to the final presentation has been efficient, smooth, professional and friendly.
"Our students are used to working on live creative briefs but to work with this internationally renowned luxury brand has been a real boost in confidence to our soon-to-be graduating students.
"All the students responded at a high level to this tough brief and our four finalists were recognised as creating brilliant and stunning concepts as well as being able to express their designs to an audience of internationally recognised creative leaders, showing a significant level of maturity and conviction."
Although the company are staying tight-lipped on the details of the new boat, they have confirmed that it will be smaller and lighter than usual yachts. It will also be brightly coloured, with a geometric design influenced by the ‘dazzle’ camouflage credited to British artist Norman Wilkinson used on naval vessels in the First and Second World Wars. Consisting of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other, dazzle prints were used with the intention to make it difficult for enemy gunners to determine the course and speed of the vessel.
Photos By Taylor Harford, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising & Editorial student. See more of his work on Instagram at @TaylorHarfordPhoto.