Kate Farley

Taking the pages out of the book

The book provides a space of anticipation and expectation; revelation and concealment of content. The book artist, author, illustrator or designer creates the book and leads the reader on a journey across pages. Structural content supports text and image, material carries the message and the reader experiences the book. The ingredients of the book unite to create the reading experience, meeting or challenging the readers’ preconceptions. Books are hand-held objects, sheets of paper, bound or folded; books are vessels, carriers of messages and holders of memories, fact or fiction. 

The beginning, middle and the end is a familiar narrative. Once freed from the bound pages of a book will the message be legible? This research outlines alternative pages in order to tell a story. In pattern, on doors and roof tops the tools of the book remain viable as sequential devices, learning from the previous pages but guided by the new narrative. The experience of time held in the hands transfers to large-scale environments, with expectations to be read. The process of answering the book brief provides this designer with support to extend the potential for visual communication and sequential design, providing a new chapter.


​Kate Farley has carved out a career designing bespoke pattern communicating heritage, brand identity and location for clients including Barbican Centre, David Mellor Design & Transport for London. Combining a practice of drawing, printmaking and book art Kate has established a creative handwriting of graphic pattern with narrative. She has launched three design collections under her own label and collaborates with manufacturers

including Formica to bring her patterns to market. Last year Kate worked with publisher Design for Today to create printed sculptural books celebrating the artist Edward Bawden’s love of gardening. Recently a large-scale surface design by Kate celebrating Birmingham’s architecture was installed at Birmingham Airport.

Kate combines her design practice with roles in academia, recently returning to Norfolk to take up the Course Leader post for BA Fashion and BA Textile Design at Norwich University of the Arts. She is active in research and practice, with particular interest in pattern communicating narrative, recently presenting a paper at the FTC conference Futurescan4 on the subject. Kate holds a First class honours degree in Printed Textiles and a Masters in Book Art. Kate’s book works are in collections including Tate, British Library and Yale Center for British Art.