So not so very long ago I stumbled upon something called Surface Pattern Design. Say what? I, like perhaps you right now, had absolutely no idea what this was nor did I ever think about it before. My first exposure to this topic was oddly enough through Facebook Ad for a course on the subject. Immediately after seeing this term, I was totally intrigued. I wasn’t sure what the heck this was exactly but something drew me to this ad like a moth to a flame. In this article, I am going to discuss what Surface Pattern Design is and invite you to come along with my journey into learning this skill and art.
Well as you might have guessed by the title Surface Pattern Design is just what it sounds like – it is creating repeated patterns that go on the surface of products for decorative and sometimes functional purposes. It can use various elements – like artwork, illustrations, hand lettering, textures, and color – to create a repeated pattern to be placed on the surface of a product to make it more beautiful, interesting, or functional.
Surface Pattern Are Everywhere!
Once I realized what Surface Pattern Design was – I looked around me and realized that it was everywhere – I mean literally everywhere! There were patterns on my cell phone case, on my sheets, on my pretty, new flowered-patterned navy dress with the puffy sleeves, on the colorful polka-dot and striped thank you cards I purchased at Target, on the green decorative pillows on my couch, and the shiny metallic flamingo wallpaper in my grandmother’s bathroom that I remember from the 80’s.
How had I not noticed this before? Why had I not thought of this before? For some reason these patterns that fill our world and who created them never crossed my mind. Each of these patterns was a Surface Pattern Design and was created by a Surface Pattern Designer. Mind blown.
Patterns Fill Our World
Now that you know what Surface Pattern Design is you are going to look at the world in a different light and notice all of these different patterns around you. Just take a look around you and you’ll see what I mean. Once you notice all the patterns around you – you can’t unsee them. Also, once I became aware of this it dawned on me how much patterns are a part of our world and how they are literally everywhere.
Since this great epiphany, I have become low-key obsessed with Surface Pattern Design and learning everything about it that I can. Also, it has become apparent to me how patterns fill our world and shape our lives. Just take the Metallic Flamingo Wallpaper that I still remember as a kid in the 80’s. It obviously left a lasting impression all these years later. Think back to different patterns are you or that you remember from some point in your life. How did they impact you?
As I begin my journey into learning this art and skill, I would love it if you would join me in this adventure. For the past several months I have been learning everything I can about Surface Pattern Design and am both exhilarated and a little overwhelmed, too! As an example, below are some of the recent Surface Pattern Designs that I have created recently.
Here are a few more facts about Surface Pattern Design.
Other Terms for Surface Pattern Design
Surface Pattern Design can also be called different things. For example, Surface Pattern Designers that design exclusively for fabric can also be called a Textile Designer. If a designer creates patterns specifically for fabric these terms can be used interchangeably. Surface Patterns themselves can also be called Repeated Patterns as well.
What Kind of Products Can I Find Surface Pattern Designs On?
As mentioned above Pattern Design can be on a multitude of various products like fabric, clothing, stationery, textiles, wall paper, wrapping paper, and products. You name it! Its function is to decorate a product and make it more unique and beautiful.
Surface Pattern Techniques
There are many techniques for creating Surface Pattern Designs. Some can be done by hand where the artist creates artwork by hand. Mainly the Surface Pattern Design that I am referring to is artwork – such as drawings, paintings, and watercolor – that is turned into digital artwork and then turned into a repeating pattern. This digital artwork can then be applied to countless products as a decorative repeated pattern.
What Programs Can Be Used to Create a Repeated Pattern?
There are many programs that can be used to digitally create a repeated pattern. The industry standard is Adobe Illustrator and also Photoshop. Since I am serious about learning this skill, I have started with Illustrator. However, I have also heard of many people creating Surface Patterns using Affinity software and drawing apps like Procreate.
How Can I Get Started Learning?
The way that I started learning Surface Pattern Design is through Skillshare. There are so many wonderful courses taught by many great instructors on that platform. I highly recommend it. The great thing about Skillshare is that it is very affordable and also since it has many classes on this subject you can get a variety of different instructors and instructions styles. Also, Skillshare is fairly affordable and just an all-around awesome platform for anyone wishing to learn various creative skills.
There are also various independent Designers that have their own signature course on Surface Pattern Design as well. Some also offer a free 5-day course/challenge that you could do as an introductory course. This can help you gain a little momentum and learn in a short amount of time how to do a basic repeat and also see if you like the instructor’s teaching style. I’ve done several of these and have gained a lot from each of them. At some point, my goal is to take one of the paid private courses that give a lot of in-depth instruction into Surface Pattern Design. Usually, these courses are only offered one time per year or periodically throughout the year.
As my journey in Surface Pattern Design unfolds I will be adding more content on this topic. For now, I hope this post shed a little light on Surface Pattern Design. Tell about some of the impactful patterns in your world!
As always – live creatively. Live intentionally.