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What does a Wallpaper Designer do?

By K. Kinsella
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A wallpaper designer creates designs used in the production of wallpaper. Typically, a wallpaper designer has a background in art, graphic design, or textiles, and has a broad knowledge of the latest trends in home decor. Manufacturing firms that produce wallpaper normally employ designers to create new products, but some wallpaper designers operate as freelancers and work on a contract basis for major firms.

Employers typically require a wallpaper designer to have an art related college degree or a degree in industrial design. Manufacturers that produce fabric backed wallpaper normally recruit designers who have a background in the textiles industry or have a textile related college degree. Job applicants are typically expected to produce a portfolio of design work during the interview process. Many companies employ art students to work as interns, and often these internships evolve into full time jobs when the students graduate college. Companies recruit designers whose work matches the overall style of the wallpaper lines that the company produces.

A wallpaper designer normally begins work on a new line of wallpaper between six months and a year before it becomes available for sale. Designers have to be able to predict the kinds of styles that will be in demand in the near future. Wallpaper designers attend conventions to learn about industry trends and new design techniques. Most wallpaper designers also keep up to date with the fashion industry to find out which colors are coming into style and which are going out of style, as trends in the fashion industry often have an impact on people’s tastes in terms of interior design.

Designers conduct research to learn about designs of wallpaper that were popular in prior centuries as well as learning about lines of wallpaper that were popular in recent decades. Many designers attempt to create new wallpapers that are modern interpretations of classic designs. Traditional wallpapers often contained fabric, and adding fabric to a modern wallpaper design often causes the production costs to rise. Designers must determine how much it will cost to make a classic style design and work with production managers to see if it makes better financial sense to make a paper or fabric based design.

During the design process the wallpaper designer makes preliminary designs using computer programs, and will then have paper or fabric based samples produced. Some colors do not look as bold on certain kinds of materials, so designers adjust the color scheme to make the final product reflect the color scheme on the design. Successful designers are often recruited by larger manufacturing firms if their product lines prove to be popular.

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