Tartan is an art form that can be found in historical specimens
throughout Europe dating back over 2000 years. Only in the Scottish
Highlands did it survive to develop into the highly decorative
multi-coloured patterns that we think of today as one of the traditional
symbols of Scotland.
The Peter MacDonald Design Studio
Without a deep understanding of the traditional use of colour in tartan,
designing can often be very difficult and the results unpredictable. There
are general ground rules governing what colours blend with others and in
what proportions. Meaningful and enduring tartan design therefore requires
an understanding not only of the traditional techniques of colour
combination but also of their proportions and juxtaposition, an
appreciation of tartan history and the weaving process.
During the past 30 years the studio has produced many tartan designs
for use by a variety of clients ranging from individuals and clan societies
to organisations and multi-national companies. Some examples of the many
designs include; Aberdeen Asset Management, British Airways, Edinburgh
Military Tattoo, Scottish Tourist Board, St. Columba, and personal tartans for; Ayre, Belfrage, Herriot, McClafferty, Nichol and Thomas of Craigie.
St. Columba Tartan
British Airways Tail Design
is involved in the design process?
The design process itself in usually fairly straight
forward. Designs are tailored to an individual client's demands and can
reflect family or corporate themes, connections or affiliations. For
example, specific colour combinations and/or shades might be built into a
design to integrate it with existing logos or a Grant of Arms. Once specific
requirements have been identified then a series of graphic designs is
produced for consideration by the client. Though negotiation one or more of
these is selected for development and further refinements and narrowing of
the selection usually results in a trial design. Very occasionally it is
necessary to return to the drawing board. Once the trail design has been
agreed and the colour shades confirmed, then a four-yard trial length is
woven up. This will enable the client to confirm the acceptability of the
pattern, its size and colours. Even at this advanced stage of design it is
still possible to make alterations to the pattern. Finally, once the client
is satisfied with their design then the pattern is sent to the Scottish
Tartans Authority for Recording in their International Tartan Archive
and their Certificate of Recording is obtained.
What is involved in the design process?
The basic fee is £450, which includes woven samples and submission and recording of the design to the National Register of Tartans. Additional design work is charged at an hourly rate of £50. Other fees may be applicable depending on the proposed use of the design, assignment of design and/or reproduction rights, and the protection of designs by Design Registration.
Assignment of design rights for personal use
2. Assignment of design and intellectual
Registration, commonly called Patenting
Rights, including steps 1 and 2 above
Interested? For further
information contact me via email