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| Pattern Design for Visuals
Patterns are super versatile and can be used for all kinds of products. So I’m very excited about my last full on digital project; Creating all over patterns for the visuals of an American band. I can’t show you anything yet, but here’s a short movie to get an idea of how my patterns are being used.
| TEEN COLLECTION
To showcase some of the patterns from my new collection I created this summer collection for teen boys & girls. I love it when a plan comes together. Colourful, edgy and fashion forward!
| Types of Repeats
Actually, they’re only two sorts of repeats, the block repeat and the half-drop repeat. With all the other “repeats” the amount and placing of the elements within the repeated square (or rectangle) change but not the actual repeat. Because they’re all very interesting and might give you some inspiration I will explain the most common variations.
The object is aligned horizontally and vertically using the same amount of spacing (or overlapping) in every direction.
The object and/or different elements are placed in vertical rows which are repeated and aligned in equal distance from each other (which is more than the distance between the single objects otherwise you’ll have a block repeat). The same can be done in a horizontal direction.
As the name already says, the object is mirrored which will create the repeat. This can be done in either horizontal or vertical direction or in both directions for a very cool and distinctive look.
Half- Drop Repeat
The objects are aligned in a row using the same amount of spacing between every object. Moving every second row half the space equal to one object which will create the half-drop. Usually, we call a repeat a half-drop when it’s done vertically and a brick repeat when done horizontally.
A half-drop repeat in a horizontal direction. When the rows have the same spacing as the objects themselves, this will look like bricks from a building. A dot repeat has the same principle as a Brick repeat but changes in two things; 1 The spacing between the objects is always the same in every direction. 2 Usually, it has more spacing than a brick repeat.
With a toss/random repeat, there are different elements randomly placed within a square (or rectangle) which is then repeated using a block or half-drop repeat. See my tutorial “How to make a seamless repeat in Photoshop” for more information.
Tips and Tricks
| SHIBORI TECHNIQUES
Shibori is a Japanese resist dyeing technique that involves folding, stitching, wrapping, plucking and/or binding fabric and then dyeing it, often in indigo. Because Shibori creates artistic and unique patterns it is a growing trend in the fashion industry. With a variety of techniques which all have their own characteristics, techniques are often combined to create beautiful masterpieces.
1. Kanoko shibori
Also known in the West as tie-dye. It involves picking up certain parts of the fabric and binding it to achieve the desired pattern. Traditional shibori requires the use of thread for binding. The look of the pattern depends on how the fabric is bound, where the fabric is bound, how many times and how tight. If you fold the fabric before you bound it, the pattern will be in a certain repeat depending on which fold is used.
2. Miura shibori
Miura Shibori is also known as looped binding. It involves plucking sections of the fabric with a hooked needle. The sections are not knotted but looped around twice with a piece of thread, meaning tension is the only thing that holds every section in place. Resulting in a soft watermark-like design.
3. Kumo Shibori
With the Kumo technique fabric is pulled and gathered into hornlike sections. These sections are bound from the bottom of the unit to the top, then down to the bottom again before moving on to the next section. The result is a pattern of radiating lines within a circular figure, like a spiderweb. Kumo Shibori can be tied by hand (te gumo) but can also be done with the help of a machine (kikai gumo), making the repeat more regularly and the technique less time-consuming.
4. Nui Shibori
Is a shibori technique which involves stitching, either by hand or by sewing machine. The look of the pattern is determined by the type of stitch, the path of stitching and if the fabric on the stitched path is pulled together and, if so, how tight. This technique offers more control and has a lot of varieties but it is time-consuming.
5. Arashi Technique
Also known as pole-wrapping shibori. The fabric is wrapped on a diagonal around a pole and very tightly bound by wrapping thread up and down the pole. After, the fabric is scrunched on the pole and then dyed. The result is a pleated cloth with a diagonal design. The patterns in Arashi shibori are always diagonal which suggest the driving rain of a heavy storm.
6. Itajime Shibori
Also known as folding shibori. The fabric is folded and then, traditionally, pressed between two blocks which are held into place using a string. Nowadays the folded fabric is held into place using shapes cut from plexiglass or using C-clamps. Although there are traditional folding techniques, this technique is perfect for playing around.
Tips & tricks
| HOW TO GET A SEAMLESS REPEAT IN PHOTOSHOP
One thing is crucial when you’re design an allover pattern; Having a seamless repeat! And, it’s actually easier than you think. To help you out I created this movie which explains how I do it. Enjoy!
| SS’18 DECEPTIONAL NATURE
Nature is beautiful and one of our biggest source of inspiration. This theme is an ode to all that and more: Animals, flowers, plants, people and beautiful sceneries. These patterns are designed by creativity and craftsmanship and show the beauty of all living things. Manipulated photo’s and photo-collages are gonna be a big hit in placed and allover patterns. The fresh and modest look of the patterns is enhanced by the colour palette, which uses a lot of ton sur ton.
| SS’18 CRAFTED INDIVIDUALS
High contrast shapes, which are inspired by nature and photography, are manipulated into strong clean and geometric patterns. The empty space surrounding the shapes is just as important as the shape itself, creating a playful sharp look in sportive casual colours; making this theme very approachable to a wide audience.
| SS’18 SOFT IMAGINATION
Playful light-hearted patterns with a spontaneous and sincere look that will bring a smile on your face. The patterns have a romantic easygoing summer vibe with an light retro touch.
| SS’18 GLITCHY REALITY
Virtual reality is now bigger than ever, but at the same time we long more and more to the old days where life was easy and with less technology. This theme is on the verge of that, reality with a digital “enhanced” twist. Bright colours against black and white give the theme a high contrast digital look. The natural and crafted elements are manipulated into digital art; using pixelation, glitches or any other digital manipulation.
TIPS & TRICKS
| ETHNIC PRINTS
We often use the term “Ethnic Print”, but what kind of pattern do we mean by this? The word Ethnic means “relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition” and could mean any ethnic group and/or print. To give some respect to these groups and their beautiful patterns I wrote this article; “Ethnic Patterns, where do they originate from and what do they look like?”
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language, who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica from the 14th to 16th centuries. Although the patterns we call Aztec nowadays are often more likely to be Navajo, there is a certain style which is typically Aztec (and/or Mayan or Inca). Most Aztec patterns are created using geometric figures, most of them representing animals, in a horizontal or vertical repeat, using a range of (bright) natural colours.
The Navajo are Native American people of the Southwestern United States. The Navajo pattern originates from the handwoven blankets used for cloaks, dresses and saddle blankets. Typical Navajo textiles have big and strong geometric patterns in modest natural colours. Although Navajo and Kilim are both flat tapestry-woven textile, Navajo doesn’t use the slit weave technique common in Kilim. The Chinle pattern is a well-known type of Navajo pattern known for its wide bands of alternating shapes and stripes.
Tapa is a cloth made from bark which is then painted stencilled, stamped, smoked, and dyed to apply patterns. These patterns are usually created by a grid of squares, each of which contains geometric patterns with repeated motifs such as fish and plants. Tapa is well-known for its red, black, and tan colours and originates from the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily Tonga, Samoa and Fiji.
Ikat fabric is created using an Indonesian decorative technique in which warp or weft threads, or both, are tie-dyed before weaving. Ikat fabrics are instantly recognisable by their up-and-down, almost bleeding-dye quality. Although this process has been practised all over the world, it is most prevalent in Indonesia, India and Japan.
5. African Wax
With the Dutch adopting the Indonesian wax-resist dyeing (batik) and bringing it to West Africa in the 19th century, this print technique is also known as Dutch Wax print. It’s well-known for its bold, super-bright colours and oversized geometric and abstract flower patterns and now a well-known West African fabric.
Kilims are flat tapestry-woven carpets or rugs produced from the Balkans to Pakistan. Because it’s a slit-woven textile it’s known for its very sharp-etched designs which emphasise the geometric patterns. Tribal women create Kilims with certain motifs and colours to express important themes in their lives. Kilim patterns are known for their natural colours and geometric patterns in different sizes.
Suzani is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. The suzani patterns often characterise the life of the women creating it and include motifs such as sun and moon disks, flowers, leaves, vines, fruits and occasional fish and birds. They’re often made with rich and natural colours.
| FW’17/18 THE GOLDEN AGE
A trend full off rich and dark patterns that remind you of the golden age. The patterns have a luxurious handcrafted and artistic look with a sense of humour. Photoprints and moody golden yellows against darker tones are key here. And remember; Don’t take it too seriously!
| FW’17/18 EDGY CLASSICS
What to say about this stylish trend? It’s the classics with a twist! Get your classic flower, animal, houndstooth, check, stripe, dot and zigzag pattern and put some personality into it. Edgy, stylish, high-contrast two-tone patterns that are perfect for every collection and will speak to a wide audience.
| FW’17/18 Modern Artistic
You have to be a daredevil to follow this fierce catwalk trend. A trend inspired by modern painters such as Pollock, Mondriaan and Matisse. But also modern techniques such as full-colour computer graphics and realistic photo prints. The designers showcase this inspiration full on; No hiding in details or vague translations.
TIPS & TRICKS
| PRINT TECHNIQUES
Designing a pattern is one thing, but designing it in such a way it’s appropriate for the right printing technique is another. To help you understand which printing technique is the right one, I wrote this report. Enjoy!
Types of print
With this type of printing, the fabric is first dyed and then printed with a chemical that removes the colour and reveals the design. Sometimes, there is another colour printed in the place where the dye was removed.
With resist printing, a resist paste is printed on the fabric and then dyed. The dye colours only those parts which are not covered by the paste. After dyeing, the resist paste is removed leaving a (white) print on a dyed background. A batik is a well-known form of resist printing where wax is used as a resist paste.
With this method, the dye is used in a paste form and directly imprinted on the fabric. Usually, the printed fabric is white, but it can also be done on a coloured fabric calling it overprinting.
-Block printing & Roller printing
With block printing, the design or a part of it is carved out of a wooden or metal block. The print paste is applied to the block and pressed onto the fabric. This process can be repeated with different designs and colours to create the final pattern. Every process in block printing is done by hand and is very laborious. Making it an unsuitable technique for very precise designs or large quantities. This technique is mostly used for allover patterns in Asian countries. Engraved Roller printing is the machine counterpart of block printing. The fabric is put in a machine where it rolls through different engraved (copper) rolls. Every roll is responsible for one colour and it’s possible to print up to a dozen colours simultaneously. Roller printing has a high speed and, once invested in the engraved copper rolls, low costs. This printing technique is particularly perfect for long term productions. Roller printing is only used for allover patterns. Be aware that the repeat can not be larger than the diameter of the rolls! Roller printing is also applied to warp yarns before they are woven into fabric. This is called Warp Printing. When the roller printer prints both sides of a fabric its called duplex printing. This can be done in two operations or in a duplex printing machine in a single operation.
With screen printing the design or a part of it is prepared on a (silk)screen window, leaving the part of the design open and the other part blocked. The ink paste is pushed by hand through the unblocked areas of the (silk)screen directly onto the fabric. Every colour in the design needs a separate screen and usually there’s a maximum of 6 or 12 colours. Because the printing is done by hand the screens have to be a workable size (max a2). With rotary screen printing, the separate screens are all attached to a round table which makes it easier and quicker to apply all the colours. Although most screens nowadays are prepared by machines the actual printing is at best only semi-automatic, making it very laborious. The benefit of screen printing is the depth in which the ink can be applied, making is suitable to print on darker undergrounds. All with all making it the perfect technique to create low costs placed prints.
With transfer printing the design is first printed on special paper using conventional (inkjet) printers. The piece of paper is placed on the fabric and the design is transferred onto the fabric through heat and pressure. There are 2 types of transfer printing. Type one uses sublimation ink and/or paper and creates a detailed print with brilliant colours. The ink is vaporised into the fabric instead of upon and therefore only possible for light undergrounds. Although this technique is expensive and most suitable for polyester, it’s of high-quality with brilliant colours. Type two uses normal transfer paper where the ink lays upon the fabric, making it perfect for lighter prints on dark undergrounds. The result is stiffer and varies of quality depending of the type of paper and fabric. Type two is often used on placed prints.
With digital printing, the ink is directly printed onto the fabric using a large Ink-jet printer. Different types of inks are used depending on the type of fabric. This technique has a lot of benefits; The fabric stays soft, the repeat can be any size, the result is detailed, the colours are rich and the background colour can be printed at the same time as the print. Although this technique is more expensive it has low startup costs, making it perfect for low quantities.
| FW’17/18 Creative Camouflage
Camouflage is almost every season a big hit and this season is no exception. This season the camouflage patterns are more free-spirited; playing around with clean shapes and colours. Go ahead and show your style with your own unique and creative camouflage.
| FW’17/18 TARTAN PLAIDS
As a designer I love tartan plaids! They have endless possibilities. No matter the colour or the stripe variations they’re always strong, playful and stylish. Keep it cool and classic and toughen up your collection for this season with a tartan plaid; Everybody needs one!
| PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR 2017
A refreshing and revitalising shade, Greenery 15-0343 is symbolic of new beginnings. Greenery 15-0343 is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate. Read more here.
TIPS & TRICKS
| TYPES OF CHECKS
Check patterns are always a hit! No matter which season or type of brand there’s always a check for you. To help you understand the different types of checks I wrote this report which explains the most important ones. Want to see my check designs, click here.
This pattern is known for its overlapping motif of diamonds and lozenges, which gives it a three-dimensional sense.
Is a checkered pattern with even size checks. This pattern is often made from horizontal and vertical stripes that cross each other on the (white) background, creating a checkered design.
This pattern is known for its different stripe variations in colour, thicknesses and spacing which often differs in both directions. The crossing of these stripe variations creates the significant uneven and often colourful checks.
4. Tartan Plaid
This pattern is very popular and also known for its different stripe variations in colour, thickness and spacing. But different from the Madras, the colours are more modest and the repeat is often similar in both directions.
A pattern known for its regularly spaced thin stripes that cross each other from a larger distance, creating a wider check resemblance of a window. Usually, this pattern is in two colours; the colour of the stripes and the background colour.
6. Glen Plaid
This pattern is known for its repeat of similar size rows made out of tighter and wider stripes. Creating checks which are (often) of similar size but with a different density. Trough the use of only two colours this pattern has a strong graphic appeal.
A pattern known for its regularly spaced thin stripes which are similair in both directions. Creating even squares all over the pattern. Usually, the stripes are in 1 or 2 colours against a white background.
8. Pin check
A pattern known for its regularly spaced thin stripes which (often) have the same thickness as the space in between. The stripes are similar in both directions, creating tiny checks that appear as dots from a distance. This pattern generally consists of one colour against a white background.
| FW’17/18 ARTISTIC CUTOUTS
A playful theme with bold colours and crafty illustrations. The (hand) crafted shapes and illustrations have clean edges that are highlighted by colour contrasts. The colours are bright and warm with fierce colour combinations, combined with black and white.
| FW’17/18 LUCID DREAMS
A dreamy theme with a surreal touch. Natural patterns such as feathers, animal skins, three barch and flowers are manipulated into soft patterns with a dreamy, slightly surreal, look. The colours are dusty naturals against darker tones.
| FW’17/18 SPORTIVE GEOMATRIX
Plain geometric shapes are used in a playful and smart way to create clean patterns with a sporty touch. Sophisticated high contrast patterns that remind you of artists such as Escher and Mondriaan.
| FW’17/18 BOHEMIAN GI JANE
Natural and ethnic patterns have a pure, rough and handcrafted look within this bohemian theme. Camouflage patterns are key here, not only the traditional one but also variations made from flowers or animal skins. Earth tones are combined with black and white.