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When yay retro! 'met' Pennychoo & her 50s Poodle Card Designs

The internet is a fabby place if you want to find great designers and quirky unique things to buy. Recently I came across Pennychoo run by graphic designer Sue. What I loved was the fantastic range of vintage designed cards available for every type of occasion - particularly the 1950s poodles which I have a soft spot  for as my Gran had a little black poodle called Fifi back in the 1960s :O)

Pennychoo is actually derived from the penny and ha'pennny chew sweets Sue used to buy as a child. The popular poodle card designs came from a motif of a running poodle on a 1950s red and black silk scarf Sue bought in a charity shop. The poodle is a classic 1950s motif and more poodles are about to feature in a new range in the near future. Sue says, she's taking her poodles to a place they've never been before!

Despite being known mostly for her 1950s stuff, Sue actually loves everything from the 1920s to the 1960s with Art Deco being a particular favourite (see the stunning New Home card below). The Jazz Cat range below was borne out of a visit to Sue's friends Paul & Fiona one time owners of Notorious Kitsch. She noticed a pair of long necked ceramic black cats as she was leaving their house one night, scribbled something down when she got home, and the beginnings of the range were born the next day. It's been a best seller pretty much since day one.

As has always been the way with Pennychoo, Sue likes to look at artists and designers of the past and identify the aspects of their work that really speak to her. She then uses those as a springboard to create contemporary designs which tip their hat to the timeless simplicity of the past, rather than slavishly imitating it.

Sue's inspiration can come from anywhere – fabrics, pieces of china, motifs on vintage clothes, handbags, her own photos taken at events… in the past couple of years she says that Pinterest has become her inspiration Mecca – it's opened her eyes to the work of people she'd otherwise never have heard of.  Recently she has been looking at British artists and illustrators of the 1930s, '40s and '50s – Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, as well as London Transport posters, old Penguin classics, gorgeous endpapers… also a lot of childrens' book illustrators of the 1960s, like Roger Duvoisin. She loves children's book illustration and did a short course in it at Chelsea College of Art. She says, "my inspiration is quite fluid – I can't imagine finding one style or era interesting forever; there's always something new to explore".

If you would like to explore Pennychoo, you can visit Sue's website here.

If you fancy checking out some 1940s, 50s or 60s vintage home wares, why not pop into yay retro! here?

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