Arts graduate teams up with top design team

Arts graduate teams up with top design team

30th April 2014


AN arts graduate has hooked a place with the largest manufacturer of wallpaper in the UK with her fishy inspired interior designs.

Former Cleveland College of Art & Design student and part-time lecturer Kate Usher has been chosen as one of just 13 up-and-coming young designers, from around the country, to work with leading wallpaper company Graham and Brown on their Best of British New Wave collection.

Kate, 28, of Newcastle, launched her own boutique wallpaper brand, after graduating from CCAD’s award winning BA (Hons) textiles and surface design programme, based at Hartlepool campus, in 2009, thanks to a start-up scheme created by celebrity designer Wayne Hemingway and Gateshead Council.

She has since gone on to create her own successful interior design company Kate Usher Studio, specialising in high-end children’s wallpaper for design-conscious adults.

“Graham & Brown are a really influential company within the wallpaper market,” said Kate.

“There are so many good designers in the UK that I am really thrilled to have been chosen as one of the 13 to create a design for the New Wave collection.

“This has given me a real boost. I’m four years into running my own design house and its been a lot of hard work juggling a business and a young family. This is an opportunity to get my foot in the door of the mass market and see how my designs sell to a wider audience at a lower cost.”

Kate was 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 a year after graduating at a design show,” said Kate.

“She liked my work and must have remembered me when she was starting the New Wave project.

“She contacted me at about 10pm one night and asked if I would like to come and show my work to Graham & Brown and luckily I was selected as one of the design team.”

Kate is one of three CCAD graduates, to have been hand picked for the project representing the best of British talent.

Helen Stevens, 33, of Middlesbrough and Rachel Hagger, 25, of Darlington, have also had designs chosen for the 2014 collection.

Kate’s fish design paper will be on sale at all Graham & Brown retail outlets and online from April 2004.

For more information on opportunities at CCAD contact (01642) 288888 or log on to

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