After being profiled by Uppercase Magazine last month for their Surface Pattern Design issue, it’s been great to connect with people from all over the world who have a love of repeat patterns!
You might be wondering, what is surface pattern design, anyway? As my creative work has expanded beyond my own product collection for Cotton & Flax, I’ve been working more as a freelance surface pattern designer. I use the term surface design from time to time, forgetting that it’s “insider” terminology.
Surface Pattern Defined
Surface pattern design is artwork that I create specifically to be applied as surface decoration. This could include patterns, illustrations, hand-lettering, and artwork in all sorts of styles, as long as they’re made to enhance the appearance or functionality of a product. For me, this usually means a two-color minimalist pattern design, but the style options for pattern design are endless.
I usually design patterns for use on fabrics — this is why I call myself a textile designer and a surface pattern designer interchangeably. My patterned home decor products, as well as the fabric yardage collections I create for Robert Kaufman Fabrics are all examples of my surface pattern design work. Surface pattern designers also create artwork for use on stationery, apparel, book covers, and gift items. In fact, I’d argue that murals are also a form of surface pattern design!
My creative career covers a lot of ground: business owner, artist, teacher, textile designer, and surface pattern designer. Having my creative work highlighted by Uppercase Magazine made me realize that I haven’t talked much about my transition to focusing on surface pattern design for select collaborations. I’m hoping to share more of my experience as a freelance designer here, especially with more partnerships in the works for 2020!
In the meantime: see more of my pattern making process, and explore my roundup of contemporary fabric designers!