Purposeful Design & Storytelling

The design sensibility at Freedom Tree is a concept. A manifesto for happiness and courage to be yourself. The brand’s opus is synonymous with fresh colors and bold prints. These traverse from the designer’s drafting sheets onto fabric, furniture, apparel, ceramic dinnerware and into cupboards full of curiosities. Nothing is created without a deep exploration of meaning and compelling storytelling. Conceived and created by hand, made by hand, the collaborative co-creation with master craftsmen consistently stands out in Freedom Tree’s work - everything the product of many hearts and hands. True to its belief that “Good design every day” and joyous living come from the “Happiest Home Store.”

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Creators with Artistic Souls

Our first artworks are a labor of love. The expression of the young graphic and surface designers in the Trend and Color design practice of Freedom Tree. The print language is led by our core design principles. It is a marriage between strong lines and abstract ideas. Tropical traditions told in a storied narrative. An interpretation of our cultural zeitgeist. Childlike naiveté in approach and form is encouraged. In that lies a purity of first thought and integrity of original design. [Anything that begins to get overthought and overworked is automatically setting itself up for rejection.]

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The textile designer is not the only print maker. When the season is upon us, anyone who wants can take a shot at creating new lines. Furniture designers, graphic designers, social media divas, and interior designers! A new and uncomfortable idea can give fresh frisson. The designers are encouraged to draw by hand, with paper or on digital tablets. In fact despite ready availability of digital printing technology, we often choose final production by hand screen prints. It is more real, it has more depth, they say. A group of designers puts together a collection of sketches and drawings. The walls of the studio, even windowpanes, doorframes are papered with printouts of sketches and ranges for review. Our textile designers then adapt and finalize our prints, ironing out the technicalities of fabric and production. All that is asked is that in the end the drawing be of such timelessness and thought, that it can be as relevant in years to come.

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New colors are introduced every season. Stable shades continue from the past favorites, expressing the season or a cultural moment. Overlaps with layers of color in print or product brushstrokes give the unique unexpectedness. Foreground figures are made to stand out or blend in in a planned manner. More than the colored spaces it is the neutral tone or black and white negative spaces that are crucial to a design’s success.

We have evolved art directions for printed textiles with naif coloring with kids crayons, and paper cut and folding forms. This makes it easier to to understand mass, volume, and scale (Senhur and Taram), Ferns and seeds (Elae, Koza, Majuli), or a community of people just drawing and coloring the sum of parts. (Keora and Crayon) Yet other designs have been made by free-flowing brush strokes reflecting an innate Freedom of movement.


Color is Therapy

Emotive ranges are created in color that must match past ranges and bridge gaps in the newer ones, and ultimately sit comfortably in home of the person using it. The studio follows a scientific approach with the International NCS color system, fused with an artistic impulse that sees pattern translating onto various materials and forms. The prints themselves have an energy that is freestyle in their color balance. Be it a sort of controlled geometric or imaginative narration.


Mechanics of Making

Printmaking on paper and textile has remained central to FT. Our original designs are thumbnails, handmade, using a mix of sketching, cutting, and rendering. In the final creation, we straddle a mix of modern and traditional that is a unique legacy of small batch production in India.

In textiles, our technical experts translate the design to computerized digital forms, creating layers of artwork, and other translations integral to modern screen making. Then is the handover to deft hands and expert eyes, master craftsmen and women who have learned their trade through apprenticeship, ever changing, yet rooted in tradition. The printing is on flat bed tables. Laying out lengths of fabric, mixing inks to get the right colors, adding paste to the screens, checking fabric count and lengths is all managed by these integral experts or “Masters”

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Freedom Tree finds that a separation from current faddy design ideologies also gives space for independent thinking. An imperative to put the person we’re designing for at the center of the process. Quintessentially there is a persistence of pattern n joyous color with universal appeal. If equips our most ardent fans who want eloquence in their spaces, with the ingredients of form and color to use with home as a canvas.

There are those who instinctively know where to use a spot of high color or the swatch of a bold print. Other’s need a bit of help and inspiration, but ultimately it’s for the user to decide, not a diktat of a magazine or Pintrest post to be blindly followed.

Stay tuned for further updates to our brand legacy and print design stories.