A Baker's Dozen

Today, the fashion house Ted Baker is launching a promotion that celebrates Britishness via the talent of 13 illustrators.

Teaming up with the Association of Illustrators, the retailer has worked with a range of creatives who use different styles, and each illustrator has produced a poster about one aspect of British culture.

Anyone who spends over £150 on Ted Baker goods will be eligible to receive a limited edition A Bakers Dozen print by one of the artists.

Camping, fish & chips and a nice cup of tea

Illustrator Matt Richards looked at the British passion for caravans and camping with his work. For him, inspiration came from films like Carry On Camping, and Emma Kennedy's book The Tent, The Bucket & Me. He found an old 1970s colour chart by Lotus and developed his palette from there, looking at archive footage at British Path for further ideas.

"I usually start off with pencil sketches and moodboards for idea generating," he explains. "Moodboards help me communicate a concept with the client, set a tone for the piece, and give me subject and colour palette ideas," Richards says.

"I'll scan my sketches, or draw directly into Illustrator using a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet, then I'll jump between Illustrator and Photoshop, adding colour, scanned textures and detail until I have a final, sometimes huge, PSD file."

WIP: rough planning for Matt Richards' poster

WIP: rough planning for Matt Richards' poster

It's not just camping. Sara Fanelli has created a poster on fish and chips, Alice Potter worked on village fetes and a work by Katrina Manolessou features gardening. There's even a poster on queuing by Michael Woods. They're all favourite pastimes of Ted Baker, apparently.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian-born Brussels-based illustrator Lina Kusaite focused on that British essential: the cup of tea.

"When I was asked to express this topic, I had to smile," she explains. "The first things that came up was family evenings at home in Lithuania, the magical images and stories from Alice in Wonderland that I grew up with as a child," Kusaite says.

"I did extensive research online on different paintings and visual expressions on this topic, looking at different teacup and pot designs. I had a lot of fun looking at British hat fashion - from very traditional to the most avant-garde. Somehow a hat is part of the tea time ritual for me."

Kusaite's stunning poster came together firstly from freely drawn sketches as she searched for the right expression. Scanning several versions of the same drawing, she continues exploring digitally with Photoshop, finding the right colour and tone.

First come, first served

A limited edition run of each of the posters has been printed, and each one has been numbered and monographed by the illustrator who created it. The Baker's Dozen promotion begins today and will carry on as long as supplies last - looking at the quality of the work, we doubt they'll be around long. Other artists include Paul Bommer, Andy Smith, Laura Barrett, Allan Deas, Robert Shadbolt, Jane Smith, Freddy Boo and Gemma Latimer.

For Richards, it's hats off to the AOI and Ted Baker. "It's so well aligned," he says. "The quirky fashion brand with its unique sense of Britishness, and the AOI who champion all that is great about British illustration. 2012 has been a big Brit-fest and long may we remind everyone of that!"

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