Horse On The Loose: A Designer-Sister Duo Passionate About Equestrian

What do you get when you cross an illustrator and a graphic designer that both share a passion for all things horses? Horse on the loose, of course!

Horse on the loose is a collaboration between a sister duo who were looking for a way to share their love for everything equestrian with the world. Sister Andra happens to be a member of the Designing North team as well; we are very proud!

From shopping, to work and travel they envisioned a product that could be seen by others and instantly recognized by the larger equestrian community. Naturally they landed on the trusty tote; a bag for all purposes. But not just any tote. These bags are custom printed in Los Angeles, CA with unique illustrations representing dressage, jumping, and southwestern equestrian culture.

 Of course, there’s always more to the story than meets the eye. To go beyond the vibrant colors and flawless horse silhouettes, we asked Andra for her inspiration behind Horse on the loose, and the details that led to its launch.

Horse on the loose Story

“My sister Roxana and I started Horse on the loose at the end of last year. I live in Los Angeles, California and she lives in Transylvania, which is in the northern part of Romania. The two of us share a passion for horses and all riding disciplines. I’ve been taking dressage and jumping lessons for more than 9 years; incorporating this style into our designs was a natural progression for me.”

Horse on the loose tote bag

“I currently ride at an eventing barn called Goldspirit Farm in Los Angeles, CA. My sister has also been riding for two years now in Cluj-Napoca, Northwestern Romania. Although we are over 6,300 miles apart, we often spend holidays together and love to go horseback riding wherever our travels take us.”

“Besides having a passion for horses, we are both artists by trade. I am a graphic designer and and my sister is a painter and illustrator. Since my earliest memories, we have been drawing horses for fun, and to this day it’s still our favorite subject. With such a great distance between us, it’s comforting to know that my sister and I share the same passions and enjoy talking about art and horses whenever possible. But Horse on the loose is so much more. From two different continents, we are building a brand based on a shared interest and are able to display our talents in the process; I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Inspiration for the Designs

The inspiration for the designs originated more from a graphic design approach, rather than illustrative. The horses are very clean, edgy and stylish; we want people to recognize the designs without leaving too much room for interpretation. However, the designs cater to riders in the various disciplines, leaving room for a little personalization. These riders are a more sophisticated audience, seeking something unique that speaks to them.

“I’ve been to quite a few tack stores throughout the years and never found a tote bag that “spoke” to me. Most were either too generic looking and childish, or super high end and overpriced. I guess I simply wanted to produce a product that is affordable yet still looks great for everyday use. Secretly, I am my ideal customer — I’m an artist after all. “

Horse on the loose tote bag design

With the recent ban on single-use plastic bags, totes are more than a trend at the moment and you can take them everywhere, including the barn! But these bags give riders the opportunity to show off their hobby to the outside world as well.

How did you end up with these unique designs? And where can enthusiasts find them?

Funny enough, I was working on a wall graphic for an equestrian event management company in San Diego. I presented them with various looks, amongst them was something similar to the style we ended up using on the bags. They didn’t choose that look (my favorite of course), so I decided to use it for myself.

Horse on the loose tote bags for equestrian

Besides selling the bags through our online store, we are sending a few to some equestrian shows across the country as competition prizes.

In the future I hope to expand the line to feature more horse-riding disciplines such as racing and polo. Maybe we can put the designs on other merchandise; only time will tell! Until then, I hope you enjoy the bag designs and please share them with other horse-loving friends.

Are you an illustrator, graphic designer, or enthusiast for all things equestrian? If so, Horse on the loose would love your support!



Beyond Candy and Flowers: 6 Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Designer in Your Life

It’s that time of the year again. Love is in the air…or not. (Valentines Day is really a manufactured holiday anyway, am I right?)  But since we’re all suckers for love, real or unreal, and this day of hearts and flowers is growing near, you may find yourself drawing a blank on what to get your special someone. Or worse. You have an actual situation on your hands – you are in love with a designer (digital, interior, product, graphic, environmental, set, clothing, self-described, or otherwise). We’re a quirky, picky bunch. Nothing ordinary or cliché will do; and the ultimate gift – the Apple Watch – won’t be out for at least another month. So I’ve gathered some ideas that have been swirling around the studio:

Creative Cloud Connected Smart Notebook from Moleskine

Show the designer in your life you care by making their workday a bit easier with this cool new journal/sketchbook smart notebook. Using a special Creative Cloud app from the Apple Store*, your love can transfer their sketches and ideas from this notebook straight into Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop for refinement. How does this benefit you? All the time they will save can now be spent with you. Wink wink.

*Sorry Android users, you’ll have to move on down the road. Seriously, how many designers use Android phones anyway?

The Colour of Song Litho Print

Where there is a love for design, a love for music usually isn’t far behind. This litho print combines these two featuring the titles of 576 tracks that include a color in its title like Yellow Submarine, Purple Rain, Back to Black, Brown Sugar, Pennyroyal Tea and (for all children of the 80’s) Pretty in Pink. It’s also the ultimate color guide that will look “spectacular spectacular” on any office wall.

PANTONE UNIVERSE Coffee and Tea Accessories

Speaking of color, PANTONE color guides are as essential to your designer lover as is oxygen. (Ok, so are you.) But hot caffeinated beverages easily take the second slot in their list of life’s necessities. From sets of six cups to coffee pots and teapots to sugar bowls and travel cups – the folks at PANTONE allow you to give the gift of color. Nice.

Eames Arrow Serigraph

With all the love in the air (or potential love), Cupid has a lot to do on Valentines Day. Give the little guy a hand by giving your designer love this serigraph that celebrates the legendary design of Charles and Ray Eames. Not only will you get cool points for knowing who they are (if you don’t – just pretend), seeing this on their wall will be a daily reminder of Cupid’s arrow pointed right at them.

BookBook for MacBook

Show your designer you care about their precious MacBook Air or MacBook Pro as much as they do. You know how important that shiny silver piece of machinery is to them, and you know they like to be stylish and unique. This handmade leather case offers both. Hardback covers, reinforced corners and a cushioned spine give solid impact protection, while it’s vintage book design keeps their Mac out of sight – and out of the hands of thieves – wherever they may take it. Voracious reader thieves? It’s possible.

Geek Love Poem T-shirt

And finally, if a digital or web designer has stolen your heart, this t-shirt may be just what you are looking for. Combining their love of code with poetry is a sure fire way to woo them this Valentines Day. If the second half of this geek prose is confusing to you, don’t worry about it – you’re not supposed to get it.

So love your designer – as difficult as it may be sometimes. We apologize in advance (and always love, love, love you back).

Happy shopping.

Chris Mohler is a Creative Director at Designing North Studios. Away from the studio, she celebrates life’s milestones by illegally drinking champagne on the beach, power shopping, and being a hooper extraordinaire, football lover, wine snob and fearless culinary experimenter. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.

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