Exteriors | Matt W. Moore

PinExt Exteriors | Matt W. Moore

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Loving the geometric, letterform, all-around amazing street art explorations of Matt W. Moore!

Julie Rose

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Color | Future Lights

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Tumblr | Anny Wang


Bright futuristic lights.

Julie Rose

Pattern Report | Mira Mikati

PinExt Pattern Report | Mira Mikati

darcel 4 Pattern Report | Mira Mikati

darcel 5 Pattern Report | Mira Mikati

Mira Mikati

This fall, Mira Mikati has teamed up with illustrator Craig Redman for her first eponymous collection. The designer, most known for designing with the Ç x Façonnable line, obviously wanted to enter the world of Darcel Disappoints to show a bit of a “high school day dream” sort of fun. The collab between Mikati and Darcel definitely did not disappoint…the silhouettes were as sophisticated as the graphics were silly.

See more of Redman’s work below.

darcel 1 Pattern Report | Mira Mikati

– bekah hilleson

How To | Find Your Niche!

PinExt How To | Find Your Niche!

howto niche 590x448 How To | Find Your Niche!

When you’re first starting out in print design, there are many challenges to creating prints that are both visionary and sellable. You are an artist with something to say, and you also want to make money doing what you love. It’s important to explore your own style for a period of time to allow your natural voice to emerge. Drawing and painting by hand is key. Creating repeats is another important step as you’ll start to learn the technical skills of print design. For a detailed look at the technical side of print repeats, check out Repeat After Me and our Video Tutorials.

When you have a sizable collection of patterns to look at (at least 50-100 prints depending on how developed they are), it’s a great idea to start to think about where they might fit into the marketplace. There is the huge apparel/accessories world (and within that many subsets). Then, there are the worlds of interiors, paper goods, beauty, and quilting. Our e-book Pattern Design & Beyond gets into more details on the marketplace.

Take a good look at your work. Is it whimsical and illustrational with conversational elements? Perhaps childrenswear and paper goods might be a good fit for you. Does it have a sophisticated look with flowing repeats? Then high end womenswear could be your niche. But what if you enjoy jumping around with styles and exploring new ones continually? This can work to your advantage as you have more of a choice about which market you might want to target.

When designing for interiors, longevity is key. Most home owners, business owners, and interior designers want to create a look that is unique yet timeless and classic for their interior. However, that’s not to say that the occasional loud pop of color and crazy pattern doesn’t make it into a modern interior. However, trends change much more slowly here and you could focus on quality rather than quantity. Unless creating a custom look, interior designers typically select from pre-existing fabric and wallpaper collections. For examples of how other designers do it, take a look at some of our favorite interior textile studios, such as Rebecca Atwood and Calico Wallpaper. You may decide to take the interiors route if you’re interested in printing or dyeing your your own fabric. Quality of print/execution is very important as objects like throw pillows and rugs will be in heavy use, often for years.

The apparel world is much faster. With seasonal deliveries including Spring, High Summer, Resort, pre-Fall, Fall, and Holiday, the fashion market has many opportunities to buy designs. Trends also change fairly quickly although we have found that certain trends stick around longer than anticipated. For example, tribal prints have been in vogue for quite some time and still continue to sell, as long as they are updated or modified each buying season. To work in the fashion industry it is important to stay on top of trends. There are trend services like WGSN or Fashion Snoops that offer comprehensive coverage while our targeted trend guides focus specifically on print and color.

Custom work is needed in both interiors and fashion so here’s where your unique style can really shine. It’s especially important to have a great portfolio that shows off your work and can attract clients. Sites like Squarespace, Wix and WordPress have tons of templates you can use to create a beautiful portfolio site. Community sites like Behance and Coroflot provide templates and plenty of built-in tools to help clients find you.

We’d love to hear from you. Which market(s) are you leaning towards and why?

Profile | Ruby Pilven

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profile ruby pilven 1 Profile | Ruby Pilven

Ruby Pilven

Australian ceramicist, Ruby Pilven, mixes her love for printmaking into her hand-built, colored clay jewelry and dishes. Using the Japanese technique called, Nerikomi, which layers clay, Pilven creates colorful whimsical pieces, such as rings and necklaces, decorated with 12 carat gold patterns. Her neo-chintz creations aim to inject a touch of joy into daily life.

profile ruby pilven 2 Profile | Ruby Pilven

Ruby Pilven

As the daughter of two ceramic artists, it’s no surprise that Pilven followed suit. She often arrives at her end result via chance, making her designs truly unique.

– Jessie Whipple Vickery

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Ruby Pilven

links from around:

Which would you wear?
The End is the beginning
For your cutie

Interiors | Timorous Beasties

PinExt Interiors | Timorous Beasties

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Always in awe over anything from Timorous Beasties! The design team of Alistair Mcauley and Paul Simmons, met studying textile design at Glasgow School of Art and the rest is history. Their diverse studio creates prints ranging from extravagant florals to splashed on graffiti – nothing seems off limits for this duo and their boldness pays off!

Julie Rose

timourousbeasties1 590x888 Interiors | Timorous Beasties

timorousbeasties2 590x891 Interiors | Timorous Beasties

Color | Soft Breeze

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Topshop | Tumblr | Jean-Baptiste Sinniger | Jan Erik Waider


Soft breezy colors.

Julie Rose

Pattern Report | Edeline Lee

PinExt Pattern Report | Edeline Lee


Inspiration for designer Edeline Lee’s fall 2015 apparel show seemed to come right off of the art gallery walls surrounding her collection. Her main inspiration came from Keith Coventry‘s Ontological Painting, shown below, but there are also hints of Man Ray, an equally as surreal and abstract artist, and illustrator Isobel Williams. The art in and around her show seemed to enhance the apparel, which on it’s own was bold.


Dear Readers!

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community post pp1 590x450 Dear Readers!

Well, it’s been a long time coming. You’ve been requesting more tutorials about all kinds of design topics and now we’ve got some rolling in!  One reader was not sure how to turn a hand painted watercolor floral into a pattern, a few were interested in how to cut backgrounds out of complex photos and work with photographic prints, and we had a number of requests for tutorials on the pattern tool in Illustrator, and tons of other ideas keep floating by.

We’ve been itching to re-connect with you, our community but felt so overwhelmed in the midst of all the projects we had going on here at Pattern People–custom print designs for clients, creating patterns for our ready made collection, researching and developing our trend guides, not to mention juggling our spirited children and getting them all to sleep through the night!

Finally, we had a break in our schedules and a bout of decent sleep behavior from our kids. We’ve been thinking about our readers and remembering what inspired us to write our first e-book Pattern Design & Beyond in the first place.

It was 2007. We had just started Pattern People and our website was up. At the time, most print studios did not have a web presence so our site gained followers pretty quickly. People were really supportive and also asked lots of questions–how did we get started, how could they get into the business, and how could they turn their artwork into patterns. We didn’t have much time to respond as we were on a design rampage to create the biggest and best collection we could possibly muster. You see, we were going to have a booth at a trade show very soon and we were determined to look as prolific, creative, and professional as we possibly could. (Our determination eventually paid off, but definitely not at that first trade show!) While there, we were visited by a lot of young designers asking us the same questions we were getting in emails and phone calls. In the long hours between clients and designers stopping by the booth, we had time to draw, gossip, eat cookies, and brainstorm. And that’s when it dawned on one of us. (It’s hard to remember who said it first.) Other designers want to know how to do this. Let’s help them!

It’s been really fun to talk with all of you and share with you what we’ve learned. I’m glad we finally got to update the original e-book  with new information about the industry, as well as social media tips by guest contributor Schatzi Brown! Repeat After Me has also received an update with a new Illustrator pattern tool tutorial among other material. And I’ve gotten re-energized from creating these new video tutorials. Learning video editing with iMovie has been surprisingly smooth. The program is pretty intuitive and fun to work with, and whenever I couldn’t figure something out, there were plenty of tutorials online.  In the end, I felt like I was able to do everything I wanted to with the tutorials I’ve created so far and I’m feeling a real sense of accomplishment! We’ve gotten such great comments from you guys about all our new offerings and also tons of requests for more topics. After the first two releases, we received so many requests for one topic in particular (a more in-depth look at precise repeats in photoshop) that I was inspired to create a third video over the weekend. Check it out here!  I love how limitless pattern design really is and can’t wait to connect with you guys in a more personal and educational way soon! Stay tuned.

In the mean time, tell us what you want to learn about. Thank you for all your support and can’t wait to hear from you!

– Claudia

Profile | Abacaxi

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Abacaxi SP15

We’re always excited to see the print-tastic designs from Sheena Sood’s label, abacaxi. A former Pattern People contributor, Sheena channels the tropics in her apparel and accessories which take inspiration from lush flora, sun, and surf to create an urban-island aesthetic. Abacaxi borrows its name from the large, sweet Brazilian pineapple which aptly represents the radiant hues and tropical vibes of these hand-crafted pieces.

– Jessie Whipple Vickery

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Abacaxi SP15

profile abacaxi SP15 1 Profile | Abacaxi

Abacaxi SP15