16 October 2012

Ted Baker - A Baker's Dozen, The Best Of British Pastimes

Freddy Boo illustration, Ted Baker's A Bakers Dozen, Traffic Jam, The Best Of British Pastimes print
Traffic Jam print . title: Tea & Jam

I was thrilled to be asked by the Association of Illustrators to work on an exciting collaboration with Ted Baker, to be part of A Bakers's Dozen. The AOI members were asked to design a limited edition A2 litho-print to launch Ted Baker's Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. The exclusive prints, a 1000 of each illustrators image will be given out to customers as a 'gift with purchase' in Ted Baker stores worldwide.

The projects theme was celebrating The Best of British Pastimes. Each illustrator was randomly assigned a theme, mine was Traffic Jams. That was a bit of luck, because I'd been sketching cars and vans recently, the sketches turned out to be a good reference source for me. 

Freddy Boo illustration, Ted Baker's A Bakers Dozen, Traffic Jam, Sketches
Vehical drawings from sketch book


Not wishing to interpret Traffic Jams showing angry frustrated drivers and passengers, as we've all experienced sitting in commuter or holiday traffic. I chose the more reserved, polite side of the British to create a cheerful witty image. The main focus of the print is on the couple in the open top car, framed by an arched road with a queue of vehicles. Look closely at the people in the vehicles, one boy is picking his nose, a driver engrossed on his smart phone and the old sailor is accompanied by his parrot in the back seat. These small details to the people and vehicles progressed bit by bit within the three weeks given to produce the artwork. Colour combinations drove me around the bend (no pun intended!), especially when I'm using my selective palette. The vehicle shapes and colours were often tweaked until I was happy with the results. Ted Baker asked if possible to include their icons in the prints. The 'bowler hat' worn by the bird strutting crossing the road. The 'lobster' on the white delivery van. The 'tea cup', this icon inspired the idea of the couple drinking a flask of hot beverage in a traffic jam, hence the title of the print 'Tea and Jam'.

Freddy Boo illustration, Ted Baker's A Bakers Dozen, Traffic Jam, final rough
Rough sketch for Traffic Jam

We were asked to sign and number our 1000 prints at The Absolute Group, the printers in east London. Here at last I got to see the other images, wonderful work by all the illustrators and richly reproduced by the printers on a slightly textured off white paper. On our signing day I was pleased to meet fellow illustrators Michael Woods and Robert Shadbolt. Both completed signing their prints well ahead of me, I was stuck in traffic!

Freddy Boo illustration, Ted Baker's A Bakers Dozen, The Best Of British Pastimes 1000 print signed
Print 1000 signed and numbered

It was great to be part of this project, I really enjoyed producing the image and working with Fiona Smith from the AOI. Fiona liaised between Ted Baker and the illustrators, thanks to Fiona and the other AOI staff for organising the project. A big thanks to Ted Baker for originating the project and commissioning AOI members to create these exclusive prints for their customers.

To see the all the exclusive prints and short film about A Baker's Dozen project go to:

Ted Baker Promotions - www.tedbakerpromotions.co.uk
The Association of Illustrators - www.theaoi.com

Signed print No.1 hung in the reception of Ted Bakers HQ

Fellow illustrators and I were invited for lunch at Ted's global head quarters in London to meet the Creative Team who worked on the Baker's Dozen project. Heng Khoo Managing Director from the AOI popped along too. We were taken on a tour of the 'Ugly Brown Building' and shown the various departments which work behind the Ted Baker brand. It was great meeting Craig, Hannah, Megan, Zoe and Jodie. We had a lovely lunch the lemon cheese cake was very nice!