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Focus on: Sensory Prints

Our A4 Sensory Prints have officially launched. So, I thought what better time than now to get to know these lovely prints a little bit better...

When I was pregnant and planning our first baby's nursery, I looked online for all sorts of artwork. What I was greeted with were lots of beautiful, pastel prints, which whilst they were lovely, didn't quite fit the theme I had in mind. I knew from the reading that I'd done in lots of baby books, that high contrast imagery was best for babies.

Whilst I didn't want a full black and white theme, I wanted something strong and striking. The very first thing we picked for Joey's bedroom, was his multicoloured star print curtains. They have since been repurposed and are now a lovely beanbag (thanks Granny Kay!).

I wanted some art that would fit in a colourful room, but not take away from some of the feature items in his room. I wanted something that would age with him over time and not become outdated quickly. What I settled on wasn't quite right, so I wish I'd created these art prints long ago!

When a baby is born, their retina isn't quite fully developed. That means that a baby's eyes can only detect contrast between light and dark - as their eyes develop, babies will begin to be able to focus, detect other colours and ultimate recognise those around them. Newborns find it easier to see things in black and white to start with, as it offers the most contrast. Their initial blurry vision, is soon strengthened and becomes more in line with what we expect from vision as an adult.

As a baby grows and develops, their eyes will become more practised at moving at the same time - that's why you often see them go a little cross-eyed! It's all part of perfectly healthy development. By the age of 4 months, your baby should start to see more consistent movement with their eyes, and their interest in their surroundings will grow and grow.

When I was researched what pattens to include, I stumbled across a plethora of studies that all suggest lots of different things. But the key points that stood out to me were:

From birth: a baby will love looking a lines

At 2 months old: they will prefer rounder shapes

By 4 months old: babies may be able to identify patterns, including 'odd ones out'.

The designs I created began with the feather print. Of all the sensory toys that come in our baby sensory boxes, the feather is the one that I honed in on for a possible artwork subject. I played around for hours, drawing feathers and trying lots of different techniques to do so. Once I'd settled on the first print, I decided I wanted a set of three, so looking at the research, I felt wiggly lines would work brilliantly. The black and white gradients again leaning in to a baby's developmental stages when it comes to eyesight.

The final print I added to the collection was the star print - I played around with this one so much, it initially had a white background and a little yellow star... But it didn't seem right somehow. Once I switched it to a black background, the stars really popped and the contrast seemed perfect. I love that the stars are an homage to Joey's original nursery decor!

Our A4 prints are printed professionally, on 200GSM paper, which means that they aren't just a mediocre print on floppy paper, they really are superior quality to many other prints I've purchased myself over the years. The paper has a silk finish too, so there should be no excess shininess when popped into frames.

Other ideas: These prints don't have to be framed, why not put them on the wall of your little one's playroom? Or use them for tummy time! You could put the print inside a plastic sleeve, and encourage your baby to reach for the different items on the paper.

Lauren, Joey & Zack x

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