Designer gets wall to wall success as the best of British

Designer gets wall to wall success as the best of British

23th April 2014


A DESIGNER has covered herself in glory after being selected to work with the UK’s leading wallpaper brand.

Cleveland College of Art and Design graduate Helen Stevens has been picked as one of just 13 designers from across the country to contribute to the 2014 New Wave collection for wallpaper giants Graham & Brown.

Helen, 33, of Middlesbrough, who is also a part-time lecturer at the Hartlepool-based design college, currently runs her own hugely successful design company Surfacephilia, creating wallpaper patterns, fabrics, cushions, bone china and bespoke surface patterns for sale online and throughout Japan, Australia and Europe.

“It was incredibly flattering to be asked to be part of the new British talent design team for Graham & Brown,” said Helen.

“It’s a great opportunity for me as a designer to bring high end designs to a mass market which can be sold at a lower margin in global outlets.”

Helen was initially approached to be part of the New Wave collection by design journalist Barbara Chandler, a passionate supporter of British talent, who has worked with Graham & Brown to select designers from a variety of fields including textiles, illustration, street art and fashion, to create exclusive collections offering high-end design at high-street prices.

“I met Barbara at a trade show and have kept in touch with her over the years,” said Helen.

“She asked me if I would be interested in being part of the New Wave Collection and it has been a great experience.

“There is a wonderful team at Graham & Brown; they are very down to earth and really interested in the artistic process and promoting new talent.”

Alongside Helen CCAD graduates, Kate Usher, 28, of Middlesbrough, and Rachel Hagger, 25, of Darlington, have also been chosen as part of the 13 strong design team - representing the best of British.

They graduated from Cleveland College of Art and Design’s award winning BA (Hons) textiles and surface design programme, based at Hartlepool campus.

“I was so pleased to see that Rachel and Kate were chosen to be part of the project as they were both former degree students of mine at CCAD,” said Helen.
“I think it shows the strength of the courses at the college, the undoubted talent within the North East and the invaluable knowledge that the tutors pass down to the students.

“All of the lecturers are extremely talented; they have worked within the industry and are still connected and up to date with the latest developments and students are also given a lot of live assignments to do which ensures that they are working to a professional industry level even before they graduate.”

Designs from the Graham & Brown New Wave collection will be available to purchase online and from all Graham & Brown stockists from April 2014.

Helen Stevens Surfacephilia designs can be found at
For more information on opportunities at CCAD contact (01642) 288888 or log on to

News in April