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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.
Okay. I'm going to get a little technical, but I think it'll better help you understand what patterns are, and how they work. The term pattern and tessellation are synonymous with one another. But, tessellations are more properly understood as tile shapes that interlock to cover a space. In other words, it's a tessellation of tile shapes that make up what we refer to as a pattern. Bathroom tiles, cobblestones, brick walls, and many mosaics are tessellations.
And, that inspired the artist M.C.Escher to create his wonderful tessellation artwork based on many of these defined patterns. If you did a simple Google search, you would discover hundreds of college math programs using the art of tessellation to demonstrate geometry and other mathematical principles. The artistic aesthetics of patterns can be graphic and colorful, organic and literal, inspired by nature, or even funky.
It's a very adaptive art form that can accommodate a range of styles that will work for a wide range of usages. Remember, tessellations are tile shapes. And, in Adobe illustrator, the tiles are always rectangular, whether you're creating a tiles shaped manually or using Adobe's pattern tool. Adobe's pattern tool will give you the option of creating a pattern with any vector art. In the pattern tool, there are five tile types and maybe a better term is arrangements that you can choose to create a repeat pattern with.
They are grid. This tiles your art like a chess board and you control the spacing using the tile tool. Brick by row. This tiles your art like a brick wall horizontally and you control using the tile tool. Brick by column. It's the same kind of brick wall tiling of your art vertically and you control it with the Tile tool. Hex by column. This tiling orients your artwork vertically based on a hexagon arrangement and you control the spacing with the Tile tool.
Hex by row. The same kind of hexagon tiling by column, but done horizontally, and again, you control it via the tile tool. We'll go over the tile types in more depth later in the course. So, all you need to keep in mind now is that you're creating artwork that will be repeated to cover a surface using one of the tile types I just mentioned. In other words, you're a surface designer and your creative challenge is to create a unique tessellation that seamlessly fills a space with an artistic pattern.
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