Surface Pattern Design: The Emerging Industry in the World of Design

Have you ever imagined a world or your surroundings in just solids? How plain and lifeless it would be! Patterns certainly play a crucial role. We see them exist in nature, from rainbows; water ripples to spider webs, honeycombs, and the markings on animal coats. When it comes to art, we have witnessed patterns that have been in use in ancient times. Remember the famous artist, William Morris, and his splendid prints for textiles and wallpaper? They create life to a piece of art, fabric, or to any of the materials that you use, which leads to the growth of the surface pattern design industry and the need for an artist or a designer who can create magical patterns to bring life to people’s souls.

What is Surface Pattern Design?

The term ‘Surface Pattern Design’ is fairly new, though this style of art exists for years, but not known or famous as Graphic Design or Photography. It is a skill or an artwork specifically created and applied as surface decorations to enhance the visual appearance or functionality of a product.

Where do we find Surface Pattern Design?

Look around. You will find it everywhere. From your bed covers and your towels, to the clothes you are wearing and sometimes on the walls to make it look fancy.

What does a Surface Pattern Designer do?

Textile designers, often called surface pattern designers, are designers who create artwork which is printed onto fabric for use in the apparel, fashion and home marketplace. In addition to creating original artwork, textile designers create patterns and repeats that give life, energy and movement to the surfaces. To be a successful Surface Pattern Developer, understanding trends, colour forecasting and having one’s own design personality is the entire key.

What are the career paths for a Surface Pattern Designer?

The answer to this lies in your goals and preferences as the options are myriad.

Freelance Designer: As the textile and surface pattern designer, one has the opportunity to work as a freelancer or a self-employed designer. Setting up your own business, finding clients, brands and serving to them directly.

Licensor: Licencing your pattern designs will mean selling your own designs to your suitable client yet retaining the copyright. This occupation merely works on a contract based that allows the client to use your designs with an agreed terms and conditions. Post the contract, your client cannot use it without your permission.

Designer/Maker: You might have a creative vision of wanting to bring your own designs to life in the form of a product. This will allow you to be the creator of the design as well as the product where your role will be from the initial concept building to the selling of that product in the market.

Full time Employee in a textile company or a brand: We have various fashion and lifestyle brands who hire in-house designers and manufacturers to create designs for them that will legally called under the specific brand/name of the company. This won’t be like 9 to 5 desk job, but a full time exposure with challenges and creativity.

Educator: If you become the master of this art, you also have the window open to teach and educate the prospective designers and students about surface pattern design, its roles and techniques in the industry.

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How to Gain Inspiration for Your Design Source in Surface Pattern Design?

Ever like you’re running out of creative inspiration for your surface pattern designs?

Too many deadlines, demanding clients, no cohesive vision, and even too many coffees can leave you feeling blocked and uninspired. It is hard to deliver creativity sometimes, but this stage is essential whether you are a beginner or an experienced surface pattern designer. Here are a few constructive ways we’ve put in a list together to get your creative juices flowing that will help you gain inspiration to create repeat patterns in the field of surface pattern design.

01. Take a walk through and observe:

Observation is a necessary skill and foundation to develop any style of art. It is the most powerful tool because it helps us determine what to do next. You can master this skill by taking a walk through the neighbourhood and looking at all the fine details around you. It doesn’t involve the computer. Instead involves exploration, venturing outdoors, and collecting things that inspire you. The world is full of patterns. Once you look around, you will find them everywhere. Look at birds, seasonal flowers or foliage, or sometimes your shadow too. Even a door mob can inspire you to make some quirky designs. As we all live in a social media age, finding inspiration has happened only through some Pinterest boards or through Instagram feeds. Instead, turn that all off and click some pictures when you visit any of the places or maybe your garden too. If quirky is your niche or you’re too lazy to step out, then here’s something funny. You can try making prints of kitchen wares and make it look cartoonish.

02. Sketching or Random doodling: 

Doodling improves one’s ability to find novel and creative solutions to any complex and crucial issues. It also allows one to get quick ideas down on paper. Don’t be afraid, you do not need to know what you have to sketch and doodle. Just take your pen or pencil and craft what’s coming up in your mind. Sometimes random things turn out to be creative and great. Give yourself a ‘me’ time even if it is for ten minutes. 

03. Mind Mapping:

This we have learned in school. Let’s go back to those old and traditional learning tricks. It is an easy and efficient way to facilitate ideas organically. Start with a general idea and develop branches, keywords or visuals from that starting point. Later connect it to the central idea. Mind Mapping is a blood flow required for any designer’s mind to kick start his/her though process.

04. Build your Inspiration Library:

You may be on your break and suddenly remembered or saw something. Take it as a habit to collect everything – be it photographs, products, interesting colour combination or any lettering that you find interesting. Make a visual bank and use that as a source of inspiration when you are unable to find anything new. You can also try out this option of up cycling your old work and revamping it with few modifications

05. Observe Trends:

Observing trends doesn’t mean that you have to copy the same. Rather, observe what’s in the market, people’s likes, dislikes and on the runway. If you notice that checks or plaids are in this season then you can try doing some amalgamation of bold motifs on those checks and plaids. This way you can follow the trend along with being authentic. 

06. Talk and converse:

You cannot stay aloof when you are practicing surface pattern design. Talk to your clients, fellow friends of what they need and expect from you. Stay connected with the designers, form a community, do a discussion and spill out your ideas. You never know sometimes a great conversation can put you in a creative thought process. 

They say, “Practice makes a man perfect”. So, what you have to do is practice the above efforts, to make it a habit and a part of your routine. Our online course in surface pattern design at Atisha Design studio gives every individual its own wing to practice these creative ideas. This process is both fun and very beneficial to help you gain inspiration for your design source in surface pattern design. 

How to Get Started as a Surface Pattern Designer? Tips and Guidelines

Do you want to know how to get started as a surface pattern designer? Atisha Design Studio suggests few tips and guidelines that can help you craft a living.

Do you find yourself obsessing over prints and patterns? It could be anything from large, bold motifs to abstracts or ditzy floras’ too. If you are creative-driven, have an interest in emerging fashion, and love exploring new techniques, you might enjoy an exciting and rewarding career in surface pattern design. Here are a few tips and guidelines to get you started as a surface pattern designer.

1. Learn the art of Surface Pattern Design: A surface pattern designer is an artist or a doodler who creates two-dimensional designs that are suitable for a wide range of applications, for example, fabric, homeware, bed and kitchen linen, wallpapers, stationery, and gift cards, etc. You do not need to be a pro artist or someone good at making portraits. Basic sketching and creative imagination is just enough to harness your career in this field. Seek proper training and courses from the experts to understand the fundamental elements of design and the techniques to transform your doodles and sketches into motifs and repeat patterns.

2. Carving out your niche: Your characteristics and persona is what defines you. Similarly, it works for surface pattern design too. You want to be unique, authentic and let people know what your style is before you dive into your career. You can build a great sense in developing quirky prints or someone who finds a hidden talent in making abstract flowers or maybe just like the tropical vibe. Once you learn the art, you will find your way to master your style. Here’s a tip: To be known in the market, Find your own personal style and stick with it.

3. Design your cohesive collection: Once you master the art, the next step is to understand how to develop prints for various products and making a collection. This phase includes a heavy research, choosing the target audience, developing a well-structured mood board, evaluating trends, creating prints (main motif and pattern co-ordinates) and developing the range. You can also pick an industry or a product category of where you want to create prints for.

4. Build a compelling portfolio: Building a strong portfolio is a crucial step in getting your foot in the door in the surface pattern design industry. A designer’s portfolio is required to win job contracts, to demonstrate competency in the field, and to showcase the usage of artwork in different areas of design; Fashion, Interior, and Product.

5. Build your presence and generate revenue: Understand the general communication and marketing skills and learn to build your presence in the market. You can work as a freelance surface pattern designer and or can also find a suitable job in a well-reputed company or a brand. While you do that, make sure you also build your community around your design through blogs, tweets, social media, and reach out to various surface pattern designer’s community. It will help people know what you do and to connect you with further clients. 

6. Know that you can: Last but not the least. Do not forget to be confident in what you do. A confident person can achieve anything in this world. Believe in your artwork and trust your skills. Once you achieve that, you will create wonders.

If you’re ready to do this, you should go and check out our course 

 

Tips To Find Your Signature Style in Surface Pattern Design

In today’s age, there is always a constant pressure to mimic what’s done by others, especially in the field of design. We copy from Pinterest, Google, or maybe from our competitors. But as a creative person, that’s not right! Your clients might appreciate it, but this won’t give you a rewarding feeling. If you want to stand out in the print market, you ought to develop your identity and be consistent throughout. You may be thinking, what do we mean by signature style? Read further to understand its necessity as a surface pattern designer, along with few tips to find your signature style in surface pattern design.

What is a Signature Style?

A signature style is an element of your artwork that makes it instantly recognized as yours. It is the reason someone will want to buy your design. For ex. Chumbak, the brand reminds us of quirky designs using Indian motifs and people. To give another, we have Masaba Gupta. When we see prints that are bold and whacky at the same moment, we know it is House of Masaba for sure.

If you are looking to expand your art in new ways, through print licensing or gaining more collectors, you want your patterns to stand out as unequivocally yours. When you develop your signature style, you cut out all this ‘figuring out’ time and create more patterns for sale in a less time.

How do you develop a Signature Style?

Tip #1:

The quickest way is to experiment. Try exploring all sorts of media. This could be anything from simple fine line drawings, to hand painted and created artworks. Just remember, when working towards honing your signature style, exploring different mediums will help you find that common thread in your work to make you shine.

Tip #2:

Look at what you are good at or maybe enjoy creating. If you have a whiz at creating watercolour abstracts, calligraphy or specialize in digital integrated practices of motifs within textile, then this would make a great signature style of yours.

Tip #3:

Look what is selling fast or what most of the people demand. Research, do a short survey, and prepare few questionnaires. This will help you understand people’s preferences and their dislikes.

Tip #4:

Ensure there is enough variety. For example, if you decide on doing paisleys as your signature style, ensure that you can create thousands of different variations to your design.

Tip #5:

If you’re looking at artists or designers online, create a special Pinterest board of inspiration. Not to copy their work, but to look for specific traits that inspires you. Understand the elements. You can create your signature style through a color palette, subject matter or simply the medium you choose.

Tip #6:

Just be you. We can look at someone else’s design and be a bit envious, also try to replicate of what they’re doing. Remember, we are always the best when we are ourselves. Hence your signature style works the same.

If you want to learn the art and find your signature style, then you can sign up for our online course on surface pattern design today at Atisha Design Studio.