Learning Pattern Design

Pattern design has a rich history. Inspiration can be pulled from everywhere, including nature, math, fashion, interior decor and art history are just a few ideas. Doing a deep dive into patterns in art history will lead to designs from the Middle East to Asia. To understand more formal pattern design such as symmetry, the book Pattern Design, by Lewis F. Day is informative. For more modern approaches to patterns, there are many books and online courses that are helpful. Make it in Design and Bonnie Christine on Skillshare are two very good sources for learning. Also, the website Pattern Observer is dedicated to helping creatives learn more about surface pattern design. They have master courses, business classes and a community of people helping each other. If you are interested in learning pattern trends, the websites PatternBank and TrendHunter are great sites for current and upcoming trends and inspiration.

I use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create patterns. With Illustrator you can create a repeating pattern using the transform tool. Creating a pattern this way allows having elements on the sides of the rectangle or outside perimeter of the design, you just have to make sure that they line up exactly on the opposite side and corners. If you are using a plug-in, such as Artlandia's Symmetry Works, you need to understand the terminology such as mirroring, half drop, etc., however, it is a great tool for quickly creating seamless patterns. Unfortunately, the current version does not work with Mac M1. An alternative plug-in for both Illustrator and Photoshop is Aquario. They have a wonderful interface for Photoshop, that eliminates the need to use the offset filter. It can do live previews so you can see your design as you work on it. Their Illustrator tools look amazing. I have my heart set on buying the subscription this coming year, but it is not cheap. It looks worth it if you are wanting to go into this market professionally as it does save production time.

Sometimes you don't need to do an allover repeat pattern. You can design around the object in mind that you are applying the pattern. An example is my jewelry design patterns, such as my paisley ring designs which I created specifically for the 13mm x 160 mm space. When you design for jewelry, you have to think about the size and design, keeping parameters in mind, such as legibility, one color design and print quality when etching.

In conclusion, pattern design is one of those design areas, that you can keep learning and growing. You can use state-of-the-art tools, and possibly there is now an ai to do it for you, or you can go back to basics and learn to do surface patterns the way people in India did for generations, which is by hand with a wood stamp. This website has some great information on the craftsmansip of Indian block printing. So as you can see, the choices and inspirations are endless when learning about patterns.

» Share:


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To help us prevent spam, please prove you're human by typing the words you see here.