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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.
- Establishing the bounding box for your tile
- Drawing your design
- Creating a pattern swatch
- Refining art with the Pattern tool
- Saving your design
- Creating a pattern brush
- Using your pattern in designs
Skill Level Intermediate
The better you get at pattern design, the more you'll look for the opportunity to use them within your projects. When you use a repeat pattern in a design, it can be overt or subtle in its final form. Sometimes the pattern gets all the visual glory, like this pattern design I created called Hexheads. I created this pattern for use on gift wrap. Other times, patterns can be used as a secondary visual element to give a subtle texture to a spartan surface.
Let me show you one example of a pattern being used in a subtle way on a two-page magazine spread. In this course you've already seen me use pattern design in various ways for other examples I've shown you in previous movies, but specifically for graphic design. I want to show you a way to use a pattern to improve a layout of a magazine. And this all starts with a free-floating pattern and I've showed you how to go about creating a free-floating pattern using graphic motifs such as the one showing here on screen which are just kind of a wood theme pattern.
And I've gone ahead copied these into the Swatch palette and have created a pattern so we're going to go into the Pattern tool really quickly and I'll show you how that was repeated. So this shows the bounding box and how I adjusted it in order to create this really nice kind of elegant repeat pattern using this motif. And I've named this one, woodmansy pattern and I am going to show you how that pattern fill works by selecting a shape and we'll go ahead and fill this with the pattern.
And I'm specifically creating this pattern to use as a background treatment in a two-page magazine spread to take a surface that is kind of barren, being just a stark white, and how it can improve that. And you're going to see that in a few seconds, but right now this is what the pattern fill looks like. And I want to size it a little differently, so we're going to go to the Size tool and size it down to about 55% is okay, and when I use, right now I'm just kind of getting an idea of how I'm going to handle this final treatment for the pattern fill.
In this case it's way too prominent. This is going to have to act as a secondary element in my overall design and really fall back. And in this case I think like a 10% or maybe a little more so we can see it. I think that looks good. Very subtle, not really dark, but almost like a watermark, if you will. So that's how I created the base pattern, and I took that pattern and brought it in to Adobe InDesign.
So we're going to switch over to that, right now, and you can see the two-page magazine spread that I laid out for Pacific Northwest magazine. And this article is called Happy Trails, and it's all about the hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest. And, obviously, the Pacific Northwest is known for its forests, and it's very green, hence the theme we're using and this layout of being green. And if I zoom in on this specific layout, you can see how I've used another ornament of mine within the design here, and I've also used my pattern to fill the background of this layout.
Now, the usage of this pattern is very faint. We're talking, I believe, we set it up to be 7% tint of the green, so even after a dot gain on a press run it's going to be very faint. It's not going to be an obvious pattern and that's what I want. I don't want it to overpower the design. I want to lend itself to the overall concept of what the article is about, which is all about hiking in the woods, and being part of nature, and it lends itself to that concept being branches, and leaves, and that's how I can use my patterns within the context of a design project like this, for a publication.
And, I encourage you to look around and find ways you can use it in your own design projects. Now I'll admit, I'm no InDesign expert, and if you want more information about imbedding artwork like this into your InDesign documents, like I've done here, you'll want to check out a course on lynda.com called InDesign Essential Training by David Blatner. He'll explain these types of things within that course. So I hope this gives you an insight on how you can use your patterns within the context of your design projects.