Bridget Thompson Studio x Western Sensibility: Illustrating the Power of Digital Printing for Luxury Interiors
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Designer Bridget Thompson is shown with samples of her designs.

Bridget Thompson Studio x Western Sensibility: Illustrating the Power of Digital Printing for Luxury Interiors

Los Angeles, Calif.- based artist and freelance textile designer Bridget Thompson gathers her design influences from, well, everywhere. Growing up she traveled extensively and was deeply influenced by the art and design she saw in other countries as well as her native U.S. She attended the Savannah College of Art & Design to study textile design, specializing in digital design and digital printing.

After graduating, Bridget worked at Wallshoppe from 2020-2022 and collaborated with global brands including Barbie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Clare V, and Lingua Franca, creating collections for wallcovering, fabric, art, and products. She launched her own studio in late 2022. Now she has released a colorful new collection of patterns for wallcoverings and printed fabrics in collaboration with Western Sensibility.

We talked with Bridget about the new collaboration’s elements, what inspired her designs for this collection, and the role of digital printing in enabling customized print-on-demand production.

 A Roland DG printer prints patterns from Bridget Thompson Studios' collection with Western Sensibility

How did your collaboration with Western Sensibility come about?

Bridget Thompson: I first discovered Western Sensibility through an artist whose work they printed for the Spring Break Art Show in Los Angeles in 2021. It was a beautiful velvet piece by artist Tyler Krasowski and of course, I inquired about the printer. After printing scarves for my business with Western Sensibility, I developed a friendship with (Western Sensibility co-founder) Kathryn Sanders, a kindred spirit who also studied anthropology as an undergrad and lived in LA, and she offered me an artist collaboration.

Tell us about your inspiration for the patterns you’ve designed for Western Sensibility.

At the time that I began creating this collection, my nephew was born! His name is Luca. Though my ancestry is not Italian, I developed a major affinity for the nostalgic feeling I attach to Italian craft. At the same time, a “crafty grandma” aesthetic was trending in social media and design spaces, so I was inspired to create my own spin on it. I also created a dove painting with a floral border in white, gold, red, green, and peach hues for my nephew that lives above his crib. 

I researched and borrowed from traditional textile motifs, including the classics: stripes, roses, botanical vines, and simple shapes, and put my own eccentric flair on them with my unique color palette. The general theme in this collection is the archetype of an Italian grandmother, both because she represents tradition and eclecticism (think plastic kitschy tablecloth mixed with elegant floral upholstery), and because she represents family, generations and the notion of time, family gatherings, meals, and the home. 

How did you decide which items to include in your collection?

The patterns for fabric yardage are really a no-brainer because they give interior designers many options to choose from and provide them with the ability to customize the fabric qualities to their needs. I also offer colorway customization in case they have a color they need to match to. 

The tablecloths came about because Western Sensibility is launching them as a new product simultaneously with my collection release. Pillows are an evergreen product for Western Sensibility collabs. Moreover, the quality of the fabrics that Western Sensibility uses really lends itself to these types of products specifically. 

Why do you think that digitally printed production is such a good fit for your collection with WS?

I love creating patterns for digital print production, because in the digital space there is so much room for design revision. I have been using Photoshop for over a decade, so it’s a tried-and-true tool for me. 

Digital printing as a production method is a great fit for my collection. Not only is it my preferred mode of production, but I also used some digital tools, including AI, to help me create this collection. A little over a year ago, I connected with a startup called Dreamscape AI that was developing a model for artists and designers to create artwork in their own unique “style.” They created a model for me from an amalgamation of hundreds of pictures of my work. So cool! The abstract floral represents one of the model’s outputs – although I did edit the design quite a bit. We are all familiar by now with the limits of AI!

How has your work with digital printing influenced your designs?

Digital printing is a design practice I’ve been using since I was in grad school at Savannah College of Art & Design. While there, I learned all about fabric printing technology and UV printing.

Digital printing is a game changer for me as a digital designer. I love digital design because I can work on it from just about anywhere with a laptop and Wi-Fi, plus I can send files to clients all over the globe. This gives me a lot of range. I am also able to archive my digital artwork and reuse motifs and graphics over time for different projects.

"Digital printing is, in and of itself, a sustainable practice because products can be printed on demand – so there’s no need for excess inventory."
 Hand pointing to design on print out of Bridget Thompson Studios' designs coming off the Roland DG printer.

You have worked with digital printing for many years. How important is the quality of the actual printing equipment to producing your designs?

Reviewing the samples and ensuring the quality of the printed output is a make-it-or-break-it moment for me in the design process. Western Sensibility has knocked this out of the park with incredible attention to detail, pixelation, color matching, and the overall resolution of the design. They take great care to use the most up-to-date digital printing technology. 

How accurate are the colors you’ve printed so far using Western Sensibility’s Roland DG printers?

Honestly, the colors are incredibly accurate. I haven’t seen anything quite as beautiful or exciting as the output coming off their Roland DG printers!

How important is the idea of using sustainable fabrics and processes?

Using sustainable, performance fabrics is really important to me. Digital printing is, in and of itself, a sustainable practice because products can be printed on demand – so there’s no need for excess inventory.

In addition, Western Sensibility uses the highest quality fabrics I have seen in my career as a designer in terms of digital printing. I love that they are performance fabrics, which means they are extremely durable for everyday wear and tear and will last a lifetime.

Which substrates and fabrics will your collection be printed on?

My collection is available to print on all of the performance textiles at Western Sensibility: Honeycomb Textile, Two-Tone Square Weave Textile, Textured Flat Textile, Crosshatch Slub textile, and Velvet textile, as well as all of the textile-based wallcovering substrates: Raw Slub Wallcovering, Crosshatch Wallcovering, and Crepe Wallcovering. 

As far as printing with various materials using the Roland DG printer - the options are endless! I know Western Sensibility has gathered some amazing substrates that will allow for even more custom wallcovering printing possibilities. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

How is the collection being sold?

The collection will initially be sold through Western Sensibility, with the hope of bringing it to my website as well. The collection is pitched and marketed toward interior designers, but also offers direct-to-consumer products like tablecloths and pillows that anyone can purchase.

Is there anything else about this collection you’d like to tell us?

My aim for this collection is to bring so much joy, color, and warmth into people’s lives! As an artist and designer, I truly believe it is “the little things” that make us happy. 

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Roland DGA

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