Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Texture and pattern, part of Design Foundation 3D: Shape and Form.
- Surface texture is a simple measurement of the smoothness of a surface. But we're usually talking about the opposite of smoothness, the relief you can see or feel. Now, if this texture occurs at a regular and repeating manner, then you have a pattern. Before we get rolling, let's highlight an example without a pattern. Since this image of random static does not repeat in an organized manner, it does not qualify as a pattern. Here's another example of a floral pattern, which does qualify since it repeats, simple.
This funky dotted line image is also a pattern, but might not appear that way. We can tell because the edge of one side matches the opposite edge, so we get repetition that way with the whole image. When you have edge to edge repeating, it's often referred to as seamless or tileable image. These are used in 3-D for rendering material textures. Speakers are my favorite place to look for patterns. In this Sonos Play:1 wireless speaker we have a very organized pattern of holes.
Notice how the pattern stops a little short from the edge of the metal grill, which is a nice touch. The metal grill also stands out from the white housing, both functionally and aesthetically. It all makes sense so there's a clear purpose for what we're seeing, overall, this is a restrained and straightforward execution. In home decor, I'm a big fan of these funky tiles inspired by cobblestones. This pattern is called R-O-X, spelled R-O-X, and is made by Rex Ray Studio. You might also notice there is a subtle series of dimples on a few tiles but not all, nice touch.
I love the way they threw out the usual square and rectangular shapes, and let the organic towel pattern play around with the grout pattern. Speaking of funky retro stuff, let's check out these cast wall panels, Made by modularArts, this pattern looks like speaker holes that have been supersized, used as a screen or divider. It's pretty cool to see it defining room areas without using a solid wall, instead, space is defined and even animated by the contrasting series of voids inside the wall.
Coltan stainless steel has been used for a variety of very utilitarian things. Mostly, you would see it on the backs of trucks or in industrial areas. I mention this because it's been recently repurposed as a wall covering in residential interiors, why not? Polished stainless lasts a long time and is beautiful. All the textured bumps reflect light from every angle. It's also a nice surprise to find a material so creatively repurposed. Texture and pattern can be used as a primary focus of your design or in the background, for what some people call filler.
Either way you go, you should consider the specific reasons and purpose for doing it. Otherwise, your background accident can be become a foreground distraction.
First, see how the same idea can be applied in a smaller 2D scale—like graphics and print, fine art, and advertising. Dave then blows it up in 3D, and showcases examples from product design, furniture, architecture, and urban planning.
Projects and concepts are presented in an engaging and sometimes irreverent manner with images, videos, and personal and professional stories from Dave. Check out this fast-paced tour as it covers topics ranging from grids and axes to designing with humor.
- Design exploration with sketching
- 3D exploration with organic forms
- Grids and axes
- Defining space
- Color and contrast
- Texture and patterns
- Minimalism. Less is more.
- Retro. It's back!