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Patterns have been a part of cultures around the globe for centuries. From fashion and branding to interior design and signage, patterns blanket and beautify our world. Designers are often asked to create new patterns from scratch, and although digital tools make the process easier than ever, it can still be a perplexing task.
In this installment of Drawing Vector Graphics, Von Glitschka demystifies the pattern design process, explaining tessellations (mathematical tiles that lie at the heart of patterns) and visiting the various methods of creating new patterns. He shows how to build repeating patterns with Illustrator's pattern tools and pattern brushes, and incorporate patterns into your design. The course also features patterns from some of the industry's most inspiring designers.
When a package shows up at my studio, and it contains a finished printed product, like these tumblers with my pattern designs on them, it's like opening up presents on Christmas day. It's a lot of fun. These products all started off as simple pencil sketches, which I use to build out my final vector design. This is a repeat pattern I created called Pentacular, and it was used as a wraparound for this tumbler product. With a design like this that's so geometric, I only need to draw out my very loose thumbnail sketch, since I can build geometric shapes easily within Illustrator.
Here's the secondary color scheme using the same Pentacular pattern. With vector artwork established, it makes doing creative variations easy. And this second repeat pattern. This one is called Cyborg, is another one used on the same tumbler product. Now half of the fun of creating patterns, is giving them unique names. This is one I felt that looked very robotic to me, so hence the name Cyborg. I want to show you a couple other products, though, using, surface patterns, and the first one is this bag that I created for Adobe for a design conference.
This bag uses a pattern of mine called the Hot Rod, and the whole bag was printed completely round using the same repeat pattern. Whether it's a hard surface like the tumblers I showed you, or a soft surface like this bag, patterns are a great way to cover an area and add visual intrigue to a product. Another pattern I created is one called Bugaboo. I uploaded that design to a service called zazzle.com, and it was able to get me this case printed for my iPhone.
Whether you build a pattern from scratch, you'll be able to use your pattern in almost any type of context, with a greater ease. Whether it's a client hiring you to create a pattern, or you creating your own for fun, both will be facilitated by your vector building skills. So remember, practice doesn't make perfect, process does.
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