What Is a Surface Pattern Designer?

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Ok, so you know I’m a Surface Pattern Designer, but what exactly does that mean? What is it that I actually do?

I create patterns & prints for all kinds of things such as fabric either on the roll or by the metre, stationery like notebooks, pencil cases & back packs, clothing like shirts, dresses, t-shirts, even greetings cards & giftwrap. These product mock-ups are from my Interstellar Collection. We've got a cushion, an umbrella, bedding & a mug. Creating product mock-ups helps to show how your pattens & designs can be used which is very useful for companies interested in working with you.




So how do I do that? Well, it depends on what I’m designing for, if it’s for a company or a commission piece I’m given a brief to work from which gives me the colours, theme & overall feel they’re looking for.

If it’s for a personal project then it could just be an idea I’ve had or an occasion I want to create something for, so I always start with a moodboard on Pinterest collecting pictures of flowers or colours, or other things relevant to the collection I’m creating, I try to avoid looking at other surface pattern designs when creating a mood board because I don’t want to be influenced by them when creating my own collection, I find cakes to be a great source of inspiration on Pinterest oddly enough.

I decide which colours I want to use & make a note of their colour codes. This was the moodboard I created for The Creator’s Collection last year. It has they key words I was thinking of for this particular collection, I wanted to use my brand colours as this is my signature collection which I'll be using for a variety of different printed & digital products for my own label range.


Once I’ve pulled a moodboard together I start sketching out motifs suitable for what I’m creating. Once they’re sketched out in pencil I ink them up using various sizes of fineliner pens & the occasional Sharpie pen.

Then I scan them in & clean them up in Photoshop. These floral sketches were from my Floral Doodle Doo Collection. 

When I’ve cleaned up my sketches in Photoshop I can start to colour the motifs then put the patterns together moving all of the pieces & motifs around until I’m happy with how they look. 


When I’m happy with everything - the colours, placement etc I’ll save the design & create mock-ups of whatever products I was designing for & Ta Dah! Done! One set of Surface Patterns.

I really find it so enjoyable, I absolutely love sitting down in my studio, blasting out some tunes & creating new collections.

I really hope you've found this interesting & that it explains a bit more about what I actually do here in my studio.


Happy Creating!




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