Jamie Hannah Shackleton graduated from Leeds Arts University in 2017. After graduating in BA (Hons) Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design (now BA (Hons) Textile Design) Jamie spent two and a half years working at Interface within an industry-leading design and development team. Jamie now supports the production of world-class trend forecasting publications in her position as Visual Trend Researcher at Trend Bible.
Here Jamie tells us about how she discovered Trend Forecasting during her degree and her experience of getting into the industry.
Can you tell us a little about your role at Trend Bible, what does a typical week look like for you?
As Visual Trend Researcher I work primarily on our trend books, which are a limited edition design and inspiration tool sold to buyers from international department stores, product manufacturers, interior designers and architects around the world. Our books help these clients to develop inspirational and commercially successful product ranges. The publications I work on cover various sectors including Home & Interiors, Baby & Kids Lifestyle and Gift & Greetings, so no two days are the same.
I am lucky to have such a versatile role. My Monday morning can begin with me scouring the internet to discover exciting new designers and inspirational visuals, mid week, I could be writing trend drivers and mood copy, then by Friday, I could be creatively directing seasonal styling shoots for key colours and materials.
Image: © Trend Bible
How did the course help to prepare you for your career?
It was whilst studying at Leeds Arts University that I first came to hear about the Trend Forecasting industry. The University library has an extensive collection of trend forecasting magazines such as MIX Magazine by Colour Hive, and the university tutors also supply you with login details to WGSN’s trend forecasting subscription service. The trend reports were like a great book that I couldn’t put down.
The tutors also gave me the confidence to form my own trends. From day one, they encouraged me to be explorative with my use of colour and taught me how to build commercially appropriate eight colour palettes. Overall the course gave me the core skills and confidence required to succeed in my current position.
Is this something that you have always wanted to do?
When I graduated in 2017 I already had a strong grounding in trend forecasting, it featured heavily in my final major project. This extended into my first graduate role as Product Designer at Interface. My role involved cross triangulating our design concepts with research gathered by trend forecasting agencies. I would also attend international design events to identify and analyse the latest trends. One of my stand out favourites was Milan Design Week, it’s a trend forecasters paradise with an overwhelming number of exhibitions, installations, pop-ups and events. When the position of Visual Trend Researcher at Trend Bible was advertised, it seemed like the ideal fit for me.
Image: Jamie Hannah Shackleton
Image: © Trend Bible
Do you have any advice for current students or graduates wanting to work in your field?
Do, see and experience as much as you can. Soak up inspiration from the world around you and knowledge from those with experience. For current students, Leeds Arts University has a fantastic guest lecture program that gives you insights into a wide array of industries. Curiosity is a great skill, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Afterwards, connect with guest speakers on LinkedIn to expand your professional network. Outside of university keep up to date with creative blogs, news coverage and podcasts. The more you absorb, the easier it will be for you to spot emerging trends.
Most of all, be nice. The relationships formed with your tutors and peers can open doors to you long after graduation. When looking for freelancers to work on our trend publications, my first consideration is always those in my existing bank of connections.
Header Image: © Interface