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Designing a Repeat Pattern from Invented Forms

 

A tracing of our 'tile unit' designed on a template.

A tracing of our 'tile unit' designed on a template.

This lesson teaches you how to design a repeat pattern using a single 'tile unit' whose motif was inspired by shapes and colors drawn from your imagination.

To begin this lesson you will need a tracing of the 'tile unit' that you developed in our previous lesson: Designing the 'Tile Unit'.

 

How to Build a Repeat Pattern: Slideshow

 

Draw a template of four squares for your repeat pattern.
Draw a template of four squares for your repeat pattern.

There are many different ways to design a repeat pattern. This method is very simple and employs the principle of reflection which can be used with any image. Our slideshow illustrates how to design a 'mirror repeat' pattern using our 'tile unit' at the top of the page.

Variations in the Layout

 

Four possible layouts of the design

Four possible layouts of the design

In any four unit 'mirror repeat' you will get four possible layouts of your design, each resulting from a different orientation of the tile.

 

Creating a Larger Pattern

 

A Larger Layout (16 units)

A Larger Layout (16 units)

If you take any one of the four possible layouts and repeat it to create a larger pattern you will see that the result contains all four layouts in one design.

Variations in Color and Pattern

 

Designing your repeat pattern on a template with 'key points' offers you many more options when it comes to arranging a pattern as the key points in the design will link together whatever way you rotate the tile unit.

You should explore different combinations of color and pattern to see how they impact on your design.

 

Pattern and Color Variation 1

Pattern and Color Variation 1

In 'Pattern and Color Variation 1' the design was created in a various tones of green with all four tile units arranged to face in the same direction.

 

Pattern and Color Variation 2

Pattern and Color Variation 2

In 'Pattern and Color Variation 2' the design was created using warm colors with both tiles on the right rotated 180 degrees.

 

Pattern and Color Variation 3

Pattern and Color Variation 3

In 'Pattern and Color Variation 3' the design was created in contrasting blues and reds with each tile rotated by 90 degrees to create a rotational symmetry.

Never automatically settle for the first colors you choose. You should try different color combinations to see how they impact on your design.

Lesson One: Repeat Patterns from Natural Forms

This lesson teaches you how to design a repeat pattern using any drawing from nature to create a 'tile' unit. This unit is then 'mirrored' like a kaleidoscope to produce a repeat pattern. The inspiration for this design is based on our Drawing of a Butterfly.

 

Lesson Two: Repeat Patterns from Invented Forms

This lesson teaches you how to design a repeat pattern using a template to organise the shapes and colors of a 'tile' unit. The design is composed of invented shapes drawn from your imagination.

 

Layout and Development Templates

You can click here for a blank A4 template of a four unit layout plan that you may print and use to build your repeat pattern. The scale of the units in this template correspond to the size of the individual 'tile units' on the blank A4 template of our development sheet so that you may use them together.

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