Year 10 Textiles

Surface Pattern Design

Josef Franks’ fun, uplifting designs, became a defining element of Swedish culture

What is Surface Pattern Design?

Surface design is everywhere. It is something that is all around you. A designer created the patterns in pretty much everything you own, wear, and use. From your bed sheets and your towels, to the clothes you are wearing. Before there was a product, there was a pattern design for it.

There are so many kinds of techniques to create surface pattern designs. Relief printing, where blocks are carved to create unique prints and patterns, and screen printing are just two examples. The patterns that are created can be digitally manipulated to create a repeat, which is always such a popular type of print.

What does a surface pattern designer do?

These artists create patterns and repeats, that give life, energy, character, and movement to surfaces. They are applied to pretty much everything you see in your daily life, which is why it is such an important genre of art. The majority of surface pattern designers have a specialist area or style, which allows them to make their mark on the world.  Many are also textile and product designers, which gives them the insight to see how their patterns will look from conception to adorning the final piece.

Understanding trends, colour forecasting, and fashion trends are all key to becoming a successful surface pattern designer. When you are able to combine this knowledge with your own spin and unique style, then beautiful things can happen.

Ellie Cartlidge, creates beautiful prints, that have vibrant colours and alluring designs. Featuring both digitally manipulated and stunning hand-drawn creations, her designs are often highly detailed and appeal to the contemporary market.


Follow the link below to view different ways to create patterns.

Create a mood board of bright organic forms to inspire your own surface pattern design in the style of one of the designers above.

Alternatively click the link below, which will take you a page that has a variety of online pattern generators.