Pugs on Kids T-shirts

OK, I accept one post in three months doesn’t make me the most prolific blogger in history but hey, I’ve been busy…

Initial_sketches It’s all change at Paw Prints HQ! Since my last post we’ve introduced a new design. Not the cow as promised, but a pug named Willy. We thought the cow could wait and as we’ve been inundated with requests for a dog design, we thought it was about time we took note. Why a pug? It’s obvious… everybody loves pugs! With their squished wrinkled faces, wandering bulbous eyes and their bewildered expressions, what’s not to like? With so much character they lend themselves perfectly to the Paw Prints style. You can see how the design developed from the initial sketch to the final piece via a couple of dead ends along the way. Like the rest of the gang, he’s available in our range of adults and kids t-shirts, hoodies and bags and we’re offering a 10% discount on our website to customers who enter the voucher code ‘ethelskinner’. No prizes for guessing the connection!


In other developments, we’re very pleased to announce that as of today, all our t-shirts will be made from 100% organic cotton and coloured with organic dyes. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and now our business has grown, we’re able to address such important environmental issues. Therefore we’ve decided to lead by example and take action now. What’s more, we’re absorbing the additional cost so not only are our t-shirts better quality than ever, they won’t cost a penny more!

In other news, we’ve set up a Facebook page which has attracted over 300 followers in just two months. It’s an insightful, fun way to keep in touch with other animal lovers and gives customers and friends the opportunity to tell us exactly what they want from Paw Prints. For example, we recently ran a competition to decide which animal we should design next. With hundreds of votes cast, the owl won by a clear majority and will therefore be our next subject. In addition we hold lots of competitions (only yesterday, somebody won a t-shirt and satchel for correctly guessing the name of our new pug design), offer exclusive news and discounts and generally just enjoy chatting with like-minded people.

Despite opening an account, I’m yet to fully embrace the world of Twitter (one step at a time). However I’m very pleased with our new YouTube channel. I recently uploaded our first video featuring my mum’s Labradoodles Archie and Floyd. Mum taught them to high five, which is quite impressive but the funniest bit of the video is when they turn tail and charge directly at the cameraman i.e. me, and proceed to trample all over me. The result is visual whirlwind of body parts both human and canine accompanied by a sound track of hysterical laughter. Quite amusing. I did miss a trick however, next time I’m going to film them modelling our kids t-shirts.

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Summer. Time for a new design.

With the sunshine flooding into our studio undermining the recent cold snap, I am all too aware that the summer will be upon us in two shakes of a lamb’s tail and demand for kids t-shirts will go through the roof. It’s been a while since we launched our last design, Garfunkel the orangutan, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the wispy red haired singer of the same name, and I’m keen to begin work on a new design.

Of course when deciding what to design, we always take into account the weird and wonderful suggestions we receive from the public (there’ll always be someone who wants a pangolin or a pygmy shrew). However with such varied requests, it’s difficult to choose a species to get our creative claws into; especially one that’s going to contend for the title of most popular design, an accolade the guinea pig has comfortably held for years.

I’m very keen for my next design to capture the imagination of children as they embark on a new adventure into British summertime, and a couple of recent developments may provide me with just the inspiration I’m looking for. We’ve been very excited by the potential of several joint ventures we’ve been discussing with farms and animal sanctuaries across the country. We’re hoping they’ll bring our products to the attention of a wider audience of animal lovers. The collaboration most likely to be concluded in the next couple of weeks is with Cotswold Farm Park. They seem incredibly enthusiastic about our kids t-shirts and accessories and we’re sure our products will make a great addition to their shop. What’s more, with the huge variety of different breeds they keep, I’m presented with a great opportunity to find my next muse. Or should that be moos (sorry), because right now, I’m definitely leaning towards a highland cow design. With their orange dreadlocks, their large polished jet eyes and their nose bling, they lend themselves perfectly to the Paw Prints style. However, would a highland cow get the seal of approval from those that matter?

Well in my experience, the more colourful and eccentric a design, the more kids embrace it and it’s always been our objective to make clothes that children actually enjoy wearing. It often amazes me how few designers actually take this into consideration when making children’s clothing. A cursory glance at the bland offerings on the high street only goes to prove the point.

So I have my subject, what next? Well firstly lots of research: trawling through countless images in books and online for inspiration, getting down to the farm with my camera. I then make rough preliminary sketches as I grapple to capture the true nature of the beast in pictorial form. I develop said sketches on my computer using special wizardry and bring the illustration to life by selecting the perfect colour combination. Before you know it, there’s a brand new design to add to our rapidly expanding line of kids t-shirts. It may not be able to knock the guinea pig off its throne but with a bit of luck, it might give it a run for its carrots!

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