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Meet the Design Guild Mark judges: Professor Clare Johnston

Design Guild Mark - November 1, 2018 - 0 comments

Last year saw one of the biggest changes to the Design Guild Mark in its 10 year history – the launch of a new 2D category, recognising excellence in fabrics, textiles, surfaces, floor coverings and wall coverings in volume production.

One of the defining factors that gives the Design Guild Mark so much credibility as a design award is the independent panel of judges who decide whether a piece passes muster.

The judges are known and respected, and applicants appreciate that if they are awarded a Design Guild Mark, they have done so by impressing doyennes and influencers of the design world.

One of our experts who sits on the newly formed 2D judging panel is Professor Clare Johnston.

Clare is a textile designer and colour consultant for Fashion and Interiors. She is Professor Emeritus of Textiles, and Senior Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art.

She has also recently launched a new website selling textiles and colour exclusive kimonos –

We recently caught up with Clare to ask her some questions about design.

What first turned you on to a career in the design world?

The brilliant art department and inspiring teachers in my comprehensive school: Sir Leo Schultz, Hull in the 60s.

What does design excellence mean to you?

Design that is surprising, intriguing, inventive in some aspect, while fit for purpose.

What do you enjoy most about the Design Guild Mark judging process?

Viewing and discussing the merit of the designs with the other judges, meeting the designers.

What is the hardest part of the process?

Deciding which pieces most deserve the award and what message the winning work sends for future applicants.

What tip would you give a designer coming in to present at the judging day?

Don’t be nervous, we have all been in your position. Time is limited so tell us what is important in the design and what you are most proud of.

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