"Designing Patterns: For Decoration, Fashion and Graphics" is a lively, fun and detailed book by one of Scandinavia's leading designers. Lotta Kuhlhorn's vibrant surface patterns and her design methods make this a page turner. She shares multiple forms of inspiration which drive her designs, from nature, to film, to objects in stores and homes, and more, and she tells wonderful stories about her process for designing everything from trays to wallpaper. The book includes numerous full page color plates.
Kuhlhorn looks for patterns everywhere as they correspond to her surroundings, whether urban or in nature. For example, I love how she creates stripes from meaningful concepts in everyday life. Kuhlhorn discusses how each stripe on a design can be a symbolic representation, perhaps from a trip, an urban area, a human relationship, etc. The possibilities are endless. I'm excited to try the idea myself, along with several of her other tips, which she describes in detail.
The book is arranged in sections on Kuhlhorn's inspiration, her work methods, patterns, and do-it-yourself projects, and also includes a Pattern Starter Kit CD.
Images are from http://usshop.gestalten.com/designing-patterns.html
During this time period computers were not used in the design process. It was all drawing, blowing up the image to life size and laying motifs out. Birtwell’s process specifically was to draw a face, then the garment below, only then would she begin to design the fabric. “Most textile designers don’t think about where the print will end up, how it will work in three dimensions, but Celia always does,” says Linda Watson.
After 10 years in the fast paced fashion world Birtwell’s partnership with Ossie Clark ended in divorce. With 2 sons to raise Birtwell was looking for a change and found the slow process of designing interior textiles fit her perfectly. Celia Birtwell is still going strong, check out her website to see what she is up to now. http://www.celiabirtwell.com/
Last week Pantone announced their color of the year for 2015. About Marsala, their chosen color, they say:
For sketching I mostly just use loose pieces of computer paper and a pencil on a clipboard. I have a tendency to make the sketches really tiny then fill up all the remaining blank spaces on the page (front and back) with various sketches for other things. The fox and spy dog sketches I’m including were done within a few days of each other so they were on the same piece and side of paper.
When I’m making characters or icons with a theme, I usually have a really strong idea of the design I want to do and sketch all the pieces out at once. When I’m doing botanicals or a geometric based idea, I try to be more free with the shapes and placement while sketching and I will fill up more of the page. There are times when I only have the beginnings of the idea which I take into Illustrator and experiment with. Or I make a design and once it’s in Illustrator I realize I don’t like it as much as I thought I did and then mess around with it there.
I also keep a small notebook in my bag in case I need to write a note or draw a quick shape to remind myself of an idea later, but I don’t do any real sketching in it.
I don’t use any of my actual sketches in my artwork, they’re really just there as a map of what I want to do and to make sure I know exactly how I plan to draw a certain object. After I sketch on paper, I re-draw everything in Illustrator using a Wacom tablet. It’s actually a lot quicker for me to just re-draw something than to scan and trace. I’ve also created a custom set of brushes based on my hand done drawings that help expedite this process.
Once I have my shapes I smooth out the edges, adjust anchor points, and pick a color palette. Sometimes the color palette is a bigger inspiration for the direction of what I’m doing and I will pick that out before I even start sketching. After the drawing is done and the colors are set in Illustrator, I move everything over to Photoshop and start painting to add texture and shading (also done with custom brushes) . I sometimes change the colors once I’m in Photoshop but I try to get that part out of the way in Illustrator. The painting step isn’t always necessary since my drawings could be considered finished in Illustrator, but I like the dimension a painted texture can add.
I do occasionally paint with watercolors or use Faber Castel markers but I almost never use any of these scans in my finished work. At least not at the moment anyway. They’re usually just for fun or sketching purposes.
Are you bringing your "problem children" to the meeting tonight? Learning from each other is one of the best features and benefits of belonging to the Guild!
THIS JUST ADDED: Do you have an Illustrator or Photoshop problem that you need help with? Bring your file on a laptop or thumb drive, and we'll have an impromptu peer-to-peer problem solving session!
Our next meeting features guest speaker Brennan Mulligan of Skyou. Brennan is the first of many awesome speakers we are bringing to the guild from Surtex. He instantly stood out in the crowd because he was wearing an amazing tee-shirt. Turns out that tee was a product from SILO, the e-commerce platform powered by Skyou's on-demand technology. The evening's presentation will feature products designed by our very own Jenny Thayer. Stay tuned for more!