Pattern Design: Creating Seamless Repeats in Illustrator | Abby Hersey | Skillshare

Pattern Design: Creating Seamless Repeats in Illustrator

Abby Hersey, I draw things. I make things. I love coffee.

Pattern Design: Creating Seamless Repeats in Illustrator

Abby Hersey, I draw things. I make things. I love coffee.

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5 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Illustrator Intro

      1:37
    • 2. Types of Repeats

      3:41
    • 3. Creating a Square Repeat

      9:38
    • 4. Creating a Half Drop Repeat

      6:35
    • 5. Conclusion

      1:11
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About This Class

Seamless repeating patterns are a wonderful way to use your artwork to create fabric, apparel, home goods, wall covering, stationery, and more! Join surface pattern designer & illustrator Abby Hersey as she shares her process for creating seamless repeating patterns in Illustrator. Using existing artwork, you’ll arrange motifs into two types of seamless repeats.

Lessons will cover:

  • Types of repeats and directionality
  • Arranging motifs into a square repeat
  • How to create a half-drop repeat
  • Testing your repeats to ensure they are seamless

Basic Adobe Illustrator experience is required. Motifs are provided for the project, but you’re encouraged to use your own vector artwork to create your repeats.

Meet Your Teacher

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Abby Hersey

I draw things. I make things. I love coffee.

Teacher

 

Abby Hersey is a designer by day and a mess-maker by night. Whether drawing, painting, sewing, or wood burning, she draws inspiration from the beauty in ordinary things. When Abby's not in her studio creating something or out collecting souvenir bourbon bottles, she's likely hanging off the side of a mountain or falling out of a whitewater raft with her adventurous family.

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Transcripts

1. Illustrator Intro: I'm Abby Hirsi, a surface pattern designer and illustrator based out of Columbus, Ohio. My love affair with pattern began at an early age. I doodled patterns on everything paper, shoes, walls, even my jeans. It was the eighties, and everything was covered with bold, crazy designs. It never really occurred to me that it was someone's job to create those patterns until it was much older. I went to school for graphic design and worked in the printed graphics industry for a number of years. In my spare time, I learned how to take my artwork and build a repeating pattern. I began printing and selling my designs on spoon flour and now license my artwork to fabric companies for distribution in shops all over the world. Repeat patterns are extremely versatile, enabling your artwork to be used on fabric, clothing, accessories, wall covering, gift wrap and stationery. HomeGoods and more in this class will cover the different types of repeats and how directionality factors into your pattern. I'll show you my process for arranging motifs into a square repeat and how to create 1/2 drop. Repeat will test our repeats to ensure their seamless and talk about what to do with our finished pattern. This class is designed for Adobe illustrator and vector artwork For a different technical approach. Using Raster artwork, please check out my class on creating repeats in photo shop. 2. Types of Repeats: Let's talk about the basic types of repeat thes examples that I'm going to show you are extremely simplified. I am only using one heart and having it repeats across my art board. These are the basic foundations for any repeat, no matter how complicated. But for ease of explanation, I've simplified. Hm. You'll see in this first type the square, repeat that my design repeats and is aligned, left to right and top to bottom, basically a square grid of repeating artwork. The second type is called 1/2 drop. Repeat. My design still aligns from top to bottom, but from left to right there some variation. And this is because every other row has been dropped by half the size of my artwork. The third type is a brick repeat. This is essentially the same principles, 1/2 drop, but it works in the other direction, so my motifs are aligned from left to right, but top to bottom weaken. See that every other row has been moved over by about half the size of my artwork, and it forms kind of a brick pattern. There are other, more complex foundations you could use for your repeats in these examples. I've just used solid colors to show the shape, but you could fill these shapes with motifs or patterns, and use this as the structure for your repeats. This example is hexagons. You can also use diamonds. Stripes are pretty obvious. One clam shells are scales. Sometimes they're called and oh, jeez, The other thing you'll need to consider when you're laying out your pattern is the directionality. And what this means is the direction in which your pattern is best viewed and best used. This example is what is considered a one way pattern, and that is because all of my motives are facing the same direction, and it looks best from this direction. If I flipped it around, it would look upside down whether or not that was my intention, it definitely is made to be used one way. This is an example of a two way pattern, and that's because half of my motifs are facing one way and half are facing another. You could look at this from top or bottom and still enjoy the pattern the way it was meant to be. There are two kinds off non directional patterns. The first and one of the most popular being a tossed pattern. There's also a four way pattern in which the motifs are facing in all four directions. There's not a right or wrong way to set up your pattern. It's all about what you're trying to accomplish. In general, a one way pattern looks a little less sophisticated and has more limited use than a four way or a tossed pattern. But some items air just best viewed one way, and so that's a decision you'll need to make as you work on your layup. 3. Creating a Square Repeat: we're going's begin by making a square. Repeats. I have, ah, variety of motifs that I'm gonna be using for my pattern, and I encourage you to use your own artwork to create your repeats. But if you would like to use the same motifs that I'll be using, the's are provided in the class materials. I'll go ahead and start a new documents, and size isn't really important right now. We're working with vector artwork so it can easily be blown up or scale down in the future without losing any quality. Eso I just need a Big six size to work with. I'm going to make my art board seven inches by seven inches as a starting point, and I'll go ahead and copy my motifs over to my new art board. Set them off to the side and I'll begin arranging them. I like to work from the center out. We're not going to be too concerned about filling or edges right now. That's part of how we'll make this seamless. So I'll begin by filling in in the middle. - So I have the center of my square all filled in with my motifs, and I'm ready to start working around the edges to create a seamless repeat pattern. Gonna need more motifs. So I'm just copying and pasting again. I could copy and paste from when I already did, but I like the way those are arranged and you don't want to accidentally jacket up. So I will start placing along one side. I don't want to go too overboard because I'm really happy with this bouquet, and they just want to add a little something extra into it. All right, So I have some elements along my top and a little bit on this side, and I'm going to start copying them. Anything that runs along the top of my pattern needs to be at the bottom of my pattern. And anything that is on one side needs to be on the other side. The easiest way to do this is to select everything that comes in contact with the very top of my art board. Gonna copy that using command scene and paste in exactly the same place Command shift, V. Then I'm going to use command G to group those items together, end up here in my ex, and why I can tell it to move where I need it to be. So my art board is seven inches. I needed to move seven inches towards the bottom. So I will do plus seven, and it drops right there along the bottom. In perfect repeat form. I need to do the same thing for these two leaves on the side, along with these flowers. I need a new group. This so I think Grab just what I need. Select everything. Come and see me to copy command shift V to paste in place, command G to group them and then appear my X axis. That's a mouthful. I will subtract seven inches. Now I can see that it's run into these leaves a little bit. And so I'm gonna make I'm gonna make some adjustments in order to move these things to the right. I need to select with the top and bottom because they need those to align perfectly. Do them over a little bit. And I think I want just a little something else in the bottom half of my pattern. So do that. And again, I'll copy what I added from this side and move it to the other side and also like to add a background color to my pattern. So I'm gonna draw square. There's the same size as my art board and send it to the back. Had that background color shirt lined properly, and then I'm going to copy and paste that seems square in the front and use it to make a clipping mask. So I'll select all of the items that I want in my pattern. Right click Make clipping mask. Now I'm ready to test my repeat. What I'm going to Dio is open my swatch palette and I'm going to select my clip group and just drag it to this watch palette, and it will create a new patterns. Watch from my pattern. Now I'm going to draw box that is larger than my pattern, so they couldn't be sure to check the repeating areas and then click my patterns. Watch to fill it. You'll see that there's gaps between the repeats, and I can fix that by double clicking on my pattern swatch and selecting size tile toe art . But make sure that box is checked. You can see the artwork all comes in touching each other done, and we're good The first thing you want to look for when you are testing your repeats is that you don't have any lines, white or otherwise, running through where your pattern is repeating from where we're sitting, we can see that there's maybe a dark blue line running through my flower. I'm going to zoom in and you'll see that that line disappears. Sometimes it comes back. Sometimes it goes away just kind of depends on where you're zoomed in. This is a limitation of illustrators ability to render patterns, and so you just want to make sure that the line isn't always there. If it's there no matter where you are, you have a problem with your pattern. But since I can get mine to go away, I'm safe. The next thing you want to look for is balance. You want to see if there's any area where you should add something or subtract something, or if overall the pattern flows the way you would like it to. I'm happy with this one. It has some well, it's white space, but in this case it's a dark blue. Some negative space will say, and I think that gives it pretty good movement It. My typical patterns are pretty densely packed, but I like the way this is. You could also be looking for Lipsky's and biopsies. I mean, sometimes you put together things and zoom out and realize that you've inadvertently created a stripe effect or a square grid looking effect that you weren't going for. But if your overall happy with your pattern you're square repeat is done. 4. Creating a Half Drop Repeat: we're going to create 1/2 drop. Repeat. I have the center of my art board filled with motifs the way I would like it, and I've gone ahead and added the background color. What I'm going to do to make the next steps easier is Show my rulers and add some guides. The first guide I'll add, will be at the top of my art board. I'll put one at the bottom of my art board, and I'll put one in the center. We'll make sure it's dead center by typing in 3.5, which is half of the seven inch art board gonna lock my guides in place, and I'm ready for the next step in the copy Everything on my art board and I'm hitting command option shift to just drag it over, and then we'll drag it up So the bottom of my design aligns with that centre guide, gonna duplicated again, click and hold down command option shift and drag it to duplicate, and this time I'm putting the top of my artwork aligned with that centre guide. So now I want to fill in this area here, - so anything I've placed in this top section needs to be copied to this edge of my art board in the bottom section, and anything in the bottom section over here needs to go to the top side. Over here. I'll select all of my motifs. Come and see to copy command shift V to paste in place and command G to group them. I'll go ahead and subtract the full width of my art board seven inches and then move it down by 3.5. Do the opposite with this side. I also think based on this, I see some emptiness through here. I want to add a few things top and bottom that I didn't have previously. We'll go ahead and get rid of anything that's not touching my art board, and this is my half drop. Repeat. I'll copy my square from behind, paced in front and making clipping mask just like we did for the square. Repeat. If you are using a printing service, for example, spoon flour. You can say that you have your repeat set up in half drop and they will print it appropriately. But in order to test it here, an illustrator we can't just drag this to the patterns watches menu because it wants to use a square. Repeat. So we're going to copy it over, move it up, and then copy it down to the bottom. What I'm gonna do now is draw box that is the size of my art, poured times two and make a clipping mask of this. This shape I can then drag down to my patterns, watches and test like we did for our square. Repeat, I'll draw box. That's much larger than my pattern. Fill it with my pattern and I'll double click on my patterns. Watch to size my tile to my art it done and check my pattern. I can see lots of lines here, but I'm hoping that when we zoom in, those will go away. Okay? Some, but not all of them did. You can see I have one top and bottom. No. Now it's gone. Yep. Those are just illustrator flicks. I'll check for up sees which I don't see, and I don't know that I necessarily want to add anything to the pattern as well. I'm pretty happy with the overall balance and the movement. And so my half dropped pattern is done 5. Conclusion: Now that you've created two types of seamless repeating patterns, it's time for you to share your project. I'd love to see your inspiration and your process your motifs before you arranged, um, your final pattern or patterns. Maybe you use some different color schemes would be great to see those on, Uh, also it. Be interested to hear what you're going to do with your patterns if you need some advice. There are lots of places where you can have your artwork printed on to something. I am a big fan of spoon flour. Spoon flour allows you to design fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. And, as I said before, they'll accept your repeat in a brick or half drop as well as a square. Repeat. Zazzle and Society six will also let you use your designs to make phone cases tote bag, shower curtains, the works. The possibilities with pattern are absolutely enlist, and I can't wait to see your patterns and hear what you're going to do with, um