Spotlight on Brintons Design Archive
26th February 2013
With over 20,000 designs produced every year, the Brintons design library holds digitally created patterns ready to be manufactured into carpet. In fact, Brintons own the world’s largest design archive and historical pattern library in the industry, restored and preserved by dedicated archivists. Consisting of over 100,000 custom designs, Brintons archives date back to 1790 and include original artwork from the company of William Morris (Morris & Co), hand painted designs from Voysey and Lewis F Day and work from Matisse, Robin Day, Pugin and Owen Jones.
The archive is used by Brintons’ skilled team of designers, based all around the world as a daily resource, both for research and as inspiration for Brintons’ design collections. Best of all its available online for clients and Brintons own designers through Brintons unique Design Service Online (DSO).
Yvonne Smith is our very own dedicated Archivist. Yvonne hatells me how only recently she discovered an extensive collection of 800 Japanese stencils dating to 1890 that they never knew they had, which turned out to be one of the largest collections outside the V&A. “However”, she says, “a lot of work has never been archived as it was designed with the thought that it would never be used again and discarded.”
This Design Archive room represents about one third of their total archive collections we have 3 rooms full of archive file. Whilst they’ve managed to digitise about half of their archives, this is very much an ongoing project and one which occupies Yvonne’s mind as she juggles the archive management with the day-to-day demands for design inspiration coming from their global design team.