Design a Simple Decorative Band

Chris Heath, Writer | Designer | Illustrator

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5 Videos (18m)
    • Introduction

      2:18
    • Exploring the Grid

      4:43
    • Affinity Designer's Symbols

      3:54
    • Vectorize

      5:18
    • Get Started with Your Project

      2:15

About This Class

In this class, we will cover how to use a geometric grid made up of nested squares to lay out a continuous pattern called a band. Bands can be used for bordering, framing, or to divide spaces. Bands are not all-over patterns, they tend to extend as a line across a plane or surface.

Bands can be purely geometric, interlaced, foliated, or include any combination of design elements of any style. They can run up, down, left or right or diagonally.

In this class, I'll show you how to design a range of simple bands that range from geometric to foliated.

To follow this class, download and print the grid that we will be using from the 'Your Project' page. These PDF files are an an integral part of this class and are designed to help you turn your decorative ideas into reality.

"Use the grid to add rhythm, formality and a sense of harmony to your decorative ideas."

The video lessons in this class illustrate the usefulness of the grid for laying out a variety of patterns. Seven patterns are covered to inspire you to try out your own unique ideas. As a learning exercise, feel free to:

  • copy what I have done
  • create a variation of one or more of these patterns, or
  • come up with your own pattern.

For Affinity Designer users, you can download the Affinity Design files. For users of other vector drawing tools, download the PDF files and import them into your vector drawing app of choice.

To complete this project, it is assumed that you have used a vector drawing tool such as Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer. However, you may side-step the vector drawing tools and complete your project with whatever technique you wish, whether that be pen and ink, water colour or stenciling.

If you are an Affinity Designer user, check out the bonus introduction to 'Symbols'; a really useful and productive feature for surface pattern designers.

Welcome to the class. I hope you enjoy it. Remember to share your hand drawn ideas and finished artwork in the project gallery.

Note: To stay informed of my up and coming classes, click the Follow button on this page. Also check out my profile and my first class 'Design an Arts & Crafts Decorative Pattern'.

41 of 41 students recommendSee All

Love the grid! Thanks so much for that download. Going to really enjoy creating patterns with that template to start with.
Melissa Taylor

Designer, Illustrator & Beekeeper

Nice short class on how to create a decorative band using a pattern grid. Easy to follow along, with simple tools like just a pencil, and whilst Chris uses Affinity Designer for his vector product - I'm confident this can be done with the same easy in any vectoring program (Inkscape, AI)
Sylvia S

Girl Geek, Coder, Doodler

Great class. In just a few minutes I feel confident I can do my own border. Thanks for sharing your resources with us too. :-)

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Chris Heath

Writer | Designer | Illustrator


Chris Heath is a writer, designer and illustrator based in 'Art Deco' Napier, New Zealand.

With a thesis about the role of geometry in architecture under his belt, Chris pursued a career as a decorative artist for many years. In addition to faux paint finishes, his work involved designing stencil patterns for furniture, walls and floors, and reinstating historic stencil patterns in some of Auckland's historic buildings.

He's never been great with mental arithmetic, n...

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