Photoshop Patterns: The Lazy Designer's Guide to Pro Results | Summer | Skillshare

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Photoshop Patterns: The Lazy Designer's Guide to Pro Results

teacher avatar Summer, Textile Designer and Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (1h 48m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Definitions and File Setup

    • 4. Finding Inspiration

    • 5. Moodboards

    • 6. Color and Motifs

    • 7. Adobe Capture

    • 8. Pattern Preview

    • 9. Seamless Extension

    • 10. Hero Repeat

    • 11. Mock-ups

    • 12. Variations

    • 13. Presentation

    • 14. Thank You!

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About This Class

Learn how to create pattern repeats in Photoshop quicker than ever, and the full workflow for a pattern designer - from concept through presentation.

If you've tried patterns before and were intimidated by the math, got burnt out on creating every single element from scratch, or felt like every pattern was a struggle to figure out next steps, this class is for you.


Hi, I'm Summer,  a full-time textile designer at a major fashion brand. I know what it takes to get things done fast, at a professional level, without the headaches. With this class, you'll dump math altogether when creating your repeat - Photoshop will do this for you! You'll learn tricks of the trade to use collage when you don't have the time to create from scratch, and you'll have a system to follow start to finish to create collection after collection.

This course covers:

  • How to develop ideas from inspiration
  • Where to find assets you can use for collage
  • Two tools in Photoshop to make pattern-making an absolute joy, and how to use them.
  • A special extension to add textures to your toolbox
  • Presentation tools for pros!
  • A Workflow to get you through all ruts

You'll be creating a presentation of your own, which will include your moodboard, repeats, and mock-ups. And you'll have the ability to do this over and over, creating so many collections and prints!

Don't hold yourself back from creating! Let's dump the math, quicken our pace, and let go of having to create everything from scratch.

Some Photoshop knowledge is needed, but new and seasoned pattern designers are welcome! Get ready to level up, speed up, and get prolific!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image


Textile Designer and Artist


My name is Summer. I'm a textile designer and watercolor artist. I'm based in Los Angeles, CA!


I love to paint and draw. I adore watercolors, they are my first love - but I use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Procreate extensively for my textile work. They make fast work of almost anything, and are essential for any artist working commercially.

On the flip side of my creativity, I'm obsessed with efficiency. I want to know the fastest, best way to do things, I don't find a lot of joy in tedious tasks or taking the long way around a project. The upshot of this is I'm constantly learning!

Finding new techniques, developing easy methods for complicated work, creating faster workflows – these are my treasure hunts in life. They'v... See full profile

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2. Project: So what exactly are we going to be doing in this class? Let me break it down. We start with moodboards, then we're going to move to prints and then mockups. That's because we go from concept through creation and into presentation. And with this method, your creative flow is going to have a great process. We're going to be creating a moodboard. And from that moodboard, we are going to create a hero print. And we're also going to create some coordinating prints and some textures. The textures can be used on their own. Sometimes they're called nothing prints or no-print prints. And they can also be used inside your hero print to add depth. So those are a very important addition, even though they're kind of a subtle and not as recognised, print style. We're also going to be doing mockups. I have some assets that you're going to be able to use for free! And they are awesome. So you're going to be able to present your work professionally, cleanly and beautifully. You're going to be start to finish on this, concept through presentation. So one more quick note, use your skill share project. I encourage you to post as you go. Put in your works in progress as well as your final project. You'll have a much fuller project at the end. And it will be amazing to see all the different things that you've come up with and developed through this one class. And I can't wait to see everything you do. So please, post often! Come back for the next bit where we're going to talk about the lingo you need to know for pattern design. 5. Moodboards: Moodboards are one of the most fun things about being a textile designer. You get to scour the Internet and call it work. You're on Tumblr and Pinterest for hours. It's basically free time that you can build for. Since you've already spent all this time collecting images and going to all these cool places and taking pictures. I suggest now is the time to put it together. I need you to concentrate on three things, specifically, theme, motifs and color. That's it. Don't over-complicate this. Moodboards should be fun. All right. Higher decided to concentrate on nautical for my theme. And I've created an entire Pinterest board and the things I like. So I've collected all my inspiration and now's the time to put it into either something as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. These are the abs I recommend for really good mood boards. I prefer Photoshop and pure red. Pure ref is very popular for artists and it can be made into a very quick and fast moodboard. Just pull your images in, sort them out, and you can even export that as a PNG. It's a popular tool because it's easy to use and it works on a Mac or PC. I prefer to use a combination of tools. I like to use pure RREF when I'm collecting. And then I export the images individually and put them together in Photoshop. I like to take my time and do something a little nice in Photoshop if it needs to be displayed or if anyone else is going to see it, select a matching font maybe. And I always try if it's for myself to put color stories. So Color Themes, stories, pallets, whatever you want to call them. Your color selection should be five colors. This is my finished moodboard. And as you can see, I've got four different colors stories on here, which is fine because you can design into any or all of them. And then really pleased with this, I think I've got some really good ideas to make into cool motifs for my prints. When you're done with your mood board, you're going to need export it so you can load it up into your project and also so you can send it in an email if you need to. This is really easy. All you're gonna do is use Quick Export to PNG. Just go to File Export and Quick Export as PNG. You'll also see under their Export Preferences and you can change where and how your quick export function works. And now I have a PNG I can upload or email to anyone. See you see me build my mood board. This is how you do yours. Just grab your images, organize them. I mean, that's really it is not difficult. Make sure you concentrate on your theme, your motifs, and your color. You only need three to five motifs if you have more than more the merrier, but three to five is plenty. And now, just post it to your Skillshare project. Be sure to join me in the next video, I'm gonna show you how to create motifs and colors, stories from this brand new mood board you just made. 6. Color and Motifs: So we have our wonderful mood board. What do we do next? Post it to your Skillshare project. Alright, your moodboard is posted to your Skillshare project. You're very proud of yourself - or you should be! Next step is to look at that moodboard and start brainstorming concepts for our prints. Now that we've got our mood board, Let's look at these ideas that we can get from it right away. I really like these paisleys, and I liked the idea of combining them with some shells. I also included a jellyfish, but I am really thinking about maybe doing an octopus. I'm also kind of obsessed with diver helmet and the anchor with ropes. I've been wanting to do something along those lines for a while. So using all of these elements, I'm probably going to create several prints. Motifs can be created. They can be bought, or they can be found. I tend to use clip art and my own drawings mostly when I'm working for a company, sometimes I'll source motifs from their previous prints that I know are popular. In this way, I ensure that the designers are going to like it from the beginning because it's already using pieces that they're already familiar with. And I can already check before I even start the print if it's something that they want to align with, do you want this Paisley to be similar to this other paisley? Do you want this floral to use some of these roses and maybe a couple of these from another couple of prints. And I can design different kinds of prints using the same motifs. This is why it's really good to start creating a motif collection. The hunt for motifs is never done. I love to draw motifs and I also use photo bashing techniques. So I'm often scrolling through the pictures, roses and flowers or whatever other motifs that I need. And I use those almost directly. Maybe I'll put a little effect on them or whatever it is. It's useful to remember that no technique is off-limits if it gives you the result that you want. That includes using Clip Art and that also means don't be afraid of buying your elements. Most companies use stock websites including Adobe Stock and Shutterstock. They're incredibly useful when you're short on time or short on brainpower. Just remember to respect copyright and use them within the limits that they are licensed. I know not everyone has the resources I do, but now you do. Here's some places to get copyright free elements and photos. Pixabay, Unsplash, one of my very favorites and Pexels. I especially love to go into clip art books. Dover has the best election in my opinion. And I love to use them for inspiration, not just sourcing elements, for good-quality elements and mock-ups that you can purchase. Creative Market, Shutterstock and Adobe stock are your best beds. These are the highest quality and the most bang for your buck. But they do cost bucks. Just remember if you're in a corporate environment, you might already have access to Shutterstock and Adobe Stock C. You might want to ask about those resources. Textures can be found at, free stock, and texture I know they all sound very similar. The other thing about these textures that you need to know is not just where to get them, but that a lot of them aren't in repeat. So what I'm going to show you about how to put textures and stuff into repeat comes into play here. So you don't want to have a beautiful pattern and then see like some weird seam just because you put a texture on it That's not in repeat. We'll fix that. Don't worry about it. Color stories. Sometimes you want to start with color first. Check out these locations for the best color stories I have found:,,, This one is especially important because it lets you take colors from photographs. So if you have a photo you really like, you can find a ton of photographs that align with the colors you're looking for. And you can also find all the colors inside a photograph from this one website. and So these are great places to get color. Sometimes I like to look at color first and then develop ideas from that. And no way is the right way, just whichever way you enjoy the most. Go there, do that, do the things. Adobe libraries is basically like a little folder system that follows you between Adobe programs and any point you can open it up and grab pieces to work with. They're all in the cloud. So you can also share these with other people. It's an incredible libraries that, and if you're working as part of a team. You might want to all start adding two motif Libraries. If you don't know where to find your Adobe libraries, it's really easy. Just go up to Window on the top bar of Photoshop and scroll down to libraries and click. And there you go. It looks like a little bookmark in your sidebar here. And you can see I have a ton of libraries. And you can collect a lot of things inside of it. You can collect shapes, colors, some kinds of patterns, graphics, which means you can collect all your elements, including PNGs with transparent backgrounds. Make sure all your motifs are cleaned and ready to go. That means they need to be on a transparent background and cleaned up. We're not going to go over that in detail in this Skillshare, but there are plenty of Skillshare's out there showing you how to take your drawings and get them ready for a prince. Grab the elements that you decided to use. Whatever motifs, whether you found them are from your own pictures and clean them up, then put them into an Adobe library. You can use one that you already have. I'm creating a new one here for flower assets. Now let's use Adobe Capture and get these colors from the Moodboard into our libraries. This is going to be your first introduction to Adobe Capture. It's inside of Adobe Libraries at the very bottom there, just click on the plus and then hit Create from image. Make sure your moodboard is flattened and the layer is selected. Once the dialog box opens up, go to the third selection for color themes. Now it's just a matter of pulling all the dots over to the color bubbles that you've already put onto your moodboard. And you can create several of these. Just click Save to CC Libraries each time. This is a very sped up version, but you can see that I'm putting all three of my, while. I forgot I before I put all four of my color palettes directly into my CC library. And then I can access those colors at anytime. No matter what I'm working on, Adobe already puts a few mood options up at the top. You can see me clicking through and seeing what it decides was pretty inside the moodboard. And you can also use those as color palettes if you'd like. Once we're done, we just close that box and we can open up our libraries and see all of our color palettes right there. There'll be under, not grouped and you can group those later. You can also see as I scroll over each color, I can click on each color and it goes right into my swatches ready to use. So here's what to do next. Using your moodboard. Brainstorm several print concepts. Gathering, prep your motifs to develop those concepts. Save your motifs into your Adobe libraries, and save your color palettes using Adobe Capture. As an extra bonus, organize your Adobe libraries by motif type. And remember, you can do this with textures too. You can have text or libraries. This is a really great organizational tool. These libraries are a lifesaver. They have completely changed my design game. Anyway. Make sure you come back for the next video where I'm going to talk about my favorite thing in the entire course. Kaleidoscope prints. 12. Variations: Creating multiple options and colorways is now fast and easy. There are essential for any print designer to be able to do quickly. They're going to ask for them. They wanted to see other colors. They want to see what it looks like, bigger or smaller or whatever. So let me show you how to get through that and get to a final approved file as fast as possible. There's a lot of options to create variation. So let's go over three main ones that I like to use. Scale, color, and echo. Scale is the first one we're gonna go over, is easily shown in printout and in mockup forms. You can really choose Either way to display it. Here it is, like you would see it in a printout. And here's how it would look in a mock-up. Mockup can sometimes work better if you're not working with your designer in-person. Color is the next one. You can create dozens of options is best to print it out because I can literally have 20 different color ways and there's a million ways to change color. We're not going to go over every single way to do all of these variations. I just want to tell you all the ways you can create variation and echo. This is similar to color in that I preferred to print these before doing mock-ups. It goes can create a very large or very subtle change that as interest. So like in this one, you have anchors that are playing on the bottom and on the top example, you have these white anchors that are echoed in the print. So you're literally taking some of your motifs, duplicating them in changing the transparency or the way that the layer sits on top of the other ones. In, in that way you create almost like an echo, a double shadow, whatever you wanna call it. And this can be a variation. And then you have your more simplified version underneath. And you have choices here. Motifs is a bonus way. I'm going to show you this one. Similar to color. I prefer to print these before doing mock-ups. That's because it's usually a very easy choice for the designer. Just removing a detail can change the look drastically. Look at this. The bottom one, in the top one are the same. There's just some elements removed. So if you're removing motifs are adding motifs. This is a very simple change and all you really have to do is print it out to show your designer. Now you have some ideas. So in your designer or client says, I like this, but I want to see some options. You know what to do. You can change any of these three asked them which they would like. And you look like a pro because guess what? You are. Now come to the next vid. Let's put this altogether into our final presentation. 13. Presentation: We're getting ready to present our prints. And these are the things we're going to need. In a physical presentation. I print everything out on 11 x 17 pages, on fine paper with a very good printer. So that's for a physical presentation, is pieces printed on 11 x 17. I can print out my mockups. I can print out the actual prints. I can show scale variations. And it makes it all very easy. But especially in these modern times, we're not always presenting in-person. That's when it's essential to be able to present digitally in a clean and professional manner. I usually put everything that I'm presenting into a single PDF and present it that way. That's going to include the actual artwork, the mockup, and anything else that I think might be relevant, including a mood board if my final prints match that, or if they've provided me with a mood board to start with. So this is probably the easiest part of anything we've done so far. All we need to do is first of all decide on our orientation for our presentation. And this is where our PDF remember. And you just need to decide if you're going portrait, landscape, which one of those two. And this should be letter size 8.5 by 11. If you're stateside, A4, if you're not. If you don't know, portrait, landscape, portrait is like you're drawing a portrait up and down. And landscape is like you're drawing landscapes side to side. So there you go. It's pretty easy from there. You can use almost any type of program that works for you as far as putting things in order and rearranging them to look of her presentation. For my presentation, I am doing this the easiest way I can in Photoshop. I created an 8.5 x 11 document in landscape because that's what I decided I wanted my PDF to be. And I created it with art boards. So I've already put my mood board in right here. And let's get in a little closer so you can see that. And it's actually, I created it in portrait size, so I just put another copy of it behind their enlarged it and blurred it. For the next one, I'm just going to drag my prinnts in here and make sure that they are the correct size. Have a bunch of my patterns here. I know that one. And that one are both in. I'm going to go ahead and put my mockups on at the same time so it can compare and contrast and arranging things. This is a pretty straight forward process. Now that I have this all set up and ready to go, all I have to do is go up to the top and go to File Export, Artboards to PDF. This is what pops up. We can change the destination. I do want it to be a multi-page document, a JPEG, so that's a decent quality right there. Include the ICC profile. I didn't change our board names, so no, I don't want to change that. And let me put this in here. Nautical print group. And then you just hit run and wait. And it's all done. Make sure you save this file too. So I opened my PDF in Adobe Acrobat. My pages are all messed up, so I'm just going to reorder them. All you gotta do is click the "organize pages" on the right-hand side and it lets you come into here and figure everything out. Now, I wanted this one to be group one and then just do the thing, you know, all done. And then just save it and close it. And this is how it looks. I labeled it set 1 -A, B, and then 2 - A, B. This makes it easy if the pages get separated or when somebody printed out, for them to figure out what's what. All right. Great job. This is another kind of presentation I just wanted to show you that I did with this project. I focused in on the bottom corner of my mood board and I just called it the Pink Sea. See, these are really beautiful pink looking prints that kind of all go together and have kind of a frilly yet nautical feel. It just goes to show that you can go almost anywhere with your creativity. You can pull disparate things together with a color story or with a theme. The ideas are limitless. There's just so much you can do. All right, your turn, go ahead and do your presentation loaded up to your project and come on back so I can say Thank you Before You Go! 14. Thank You!: We're at the end. And you should have an awesome project to show off. I can't wait to look through it and tell you how wonderful you've done. Because I know you're going to come up with some awesome things if you just follow the process is from the previous videos. So thank you so much for making it this far. I look forward to seeing you in the comments and project section, and in my next class. Have a great day.