Northumberland-based ACID member Diane Marsland designs and hand paints exquisite interiors including wallpaper, fabric for soft furnishing, and murals. Diane’s skill has been celebrated by being chosen as the 2018 winner for the Designer Maker category in the Northern Design Awards.
Bringing a lifetime of art and design practice to her skill, having been a professional artist since the age of 16, Diane furthered her education in Surface Pattern Design, understudying the Master Craftsman in design studios. She lives and breathes her craft which is evident from the way she encompasses influences from her varied life of urban and country living, where her designs include themes such as nature, fauna, and flowers. Her eclectic style also includes influences from East Asia, from where she has travelled and lived, enabling her to soak in the rich history and design to her portfolio, creating a stunning and beautiful amalgamation, the DNA of which is flamboyant, unique, and luxurious.
Even more outstanding is that her intricate hand painting enables her to create bespoke interiors for her clients, meaning every commission is completely unique. Handpicking colours and details, means that a design from Diane is elegant and stylish.
Diane uses the ACID IP Databank for many designs which allows her to strengthen her evidence should she be copied. She displays her ‘Member of ACID’ logo proudly on her homepage, which acts as a strong deterrence. Diane further establishes her knowledge of the importance of IP by adding a copyright statement where she states ‘Any infringement of these rights will be pursued vigorously.’
1 – When and where did you first start creating your products and designs?
I had been creating designs for many years for lots of different textile companies in the UK and overseas. All the time thinking that one day I would like to have my own collections and also work on hand painted silks and murals for the more bespoke side of the industry. I started with the bespoke side first in 2018 and my printed collections are still in the development stage.
2 – Did you have any knowledge of intellectual property when you started your business?
Yes, because of my early career. In those days before social media, any design collections were a closely guarded secret and no one saw the designs until they were actually in the market place. Copying came after this and in some ways was a little easier to monitor.
3 – Which ACID membership services have you used and how have you benefited from being a member?
I constantly use the IP Databank. This is great when I am working on ideas and it is comforting to know that this service is available. I have also accessed legal advice when I had an issue with a manufacturing company. This is an invaluable service when you are a small company.
4 – Have you brought anything new to the market place that you would like to share?
I am still working on the developments for my new wallpapers and fabrics. I’m excited about these as they are a collection from old documents with a lovely story to tell. I am also constantly working on concepts for my hand painted collections.
5 – What is the best aspect of ACID membership for your business?
The database is probably the one I value the most, also the knowledge that the support is there if you need to access it. It is so difficult these days protecting your IP so the membership and displaying the ACID logo is very important to me.
6 – What advice would you offer to a new designer?
As most designers use lots of historical references, I would probably advise them to make the interpretation unique to them. It must be difficult proving ownership of the design if it’s too close to the original reference as someone else may use the same reference innocently.
7 – ACID values the support of its members to enable it to campaign for design law reform. Do you have any messages for Government or policy makers on IP issues. Do you think the copying of designs is deliberate and blatant?
I think some overseas manufacturers think it is OK to blatantly copy any design or idea they see. I think other copies are by accident and lack of awareness. My advice would be, not only should effective IP laws be in place but there should be a focus on educating manufacturers about the importance of IP issues.
Diane Marsland Art and Design