Pattern Recipes: How to Create Pattern Templates You Can Reuse | Shannon McNab | Skillshare

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Pattern Recipes: How to Create Pattern Templates You Can Reuse

teacher avatar Shannon McNab, Surface Designer & Illustrator

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

11 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Class Intro

    • 2. Benefits to Building Templates

    • 3. Building Proper Repeats in AI & PS

    • 4. Template Best Practices

    • 5. Building the Grid Pattern Template

    • 6. Half Drop Grid Patterns

    • 7. Versatility of the Grid Pattern Template

    • 8. Linear Toss Pattern Template

    • 9. Building You Own Linear Toss Repeat

    • 10. How to Fix Unbalanced Patterns

    • 11. Final Thoughts + Your Assignment

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About This Class

In this class, I'll show you exactly how to build and utilize two different pattern templates. Then I'll show you how to maximize their potential with just a few minutes of experimentation and how to fix them, if they are feel unbalanced.

Once you learn this method, you won't always have to start from scratch when creating patterns  – meaning its a HUGE time saver!

Meet Your Teacher

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Shannon McNab

Surface Designer & Illustrator


Hi ya! I'm Shannon, an American surface designer living in Dublin, Ireland who specializes in patterns and hand lettering. My focus is on helping you not only improve your creative work, but also your business skills – anyone who dreams of making a living from their work needs BOTH to succeed. But community is also really important, which is why I started Sketch Design Repeat – to support and encourage you.


PS. Want to keep in touch and know when I have new classes or articles? Sign up for my newsletter.

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1. Class Intro: Hi, I'm Shanna McMann, I'm a surface designer and illustrator who loves patterns. I've been designing them for over a decade for various clients in different markets. In that time, I've picked up some pretty neat tricks. That's where pattern recipes come into play. The hallmark trait of great pattern is that it seems are not glaringly obvious, meaning, you don't quickly notice where the pattern repeats itself. That's why I go to such great lengths to make sure all my patterns are balanced and the repeat of each design flows, but there are only so many work hours in any given day. Guess what? I'm not that faster designer. I really create more than two pattern collections in any given week. Anything that can improve my productivity it still helped me produce beautiful patterns is always welcome. By creating a few basic pattern templates that I can reuse over and over with new designs, I save myself a whole lot of time and know that any pattern I make with them, well look fabulous. In this class, I'll teach you how to build two types of pattern templates, the Grid recipe and the Linear Toss recipe. I'll walk you through how to create them from scratch, plus show you how to maximize their potential with just a few minutes of experimentation. You'll also learn how to identify gutters in your pattern and fix unbalanced repeats, a skill that will always come in handy. By the end of this class, you'll have the tools to design your own pattern recipes that will strengthen and quicken your own design work flow. Let's get started. 2. Benefits to Building Templates: Before we dive into how to build templates, let's first talk about the benefits of building good pattern templates. As mentioned in the last video, the number one benefit is that it makes patterns both faster and easier to create. By putting in a little time and effort initially to create a template, you'll save time for every instance you reuse it for new patterns. Faster designing also benefits your overall workflow. It can free up some time for you to work on additional designs for your portfolio or other aspects of your business that often get set aside when you fall behind, like marketing or retail research. Think of what you could do with an extra hour each week. Finally, the last benefit is you can use this template technique with any program or format you want. Most of my demonstrations in this class are in Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud. But, you can easily apply the same principles in Photoshop or any other program you like. Heck, you can even print them out and they have them on hand if you work in analog, like gouache or watercolors. To me, nothing beats a technique that anyone can utilize, no matter how they create. 3. Building Proper Repeats in AI & PS: Before I get into creating the first pattern template, I feel it's important to talk about how to build a proper repeat. This may be a bit of a refresher for some of you, but it's such an important aspect of the pattern design process that I didn't want to leave it out. Anytime you build a pattern repeat, you need to make sure that all the elements that hang off the edge are repeated on the opposite side. Take this floral pattern, for example. All these flowers are straddling the top edge of the art board and to make sure the pattern repeats properly, they also need to appear over the bottom edge. Same thing with this flower in the corner of the art board. It appears on all the other corners as well. One easy way to make sure your motifs are always placed correctly in Adobe Illustrator, is to use the Move tool. You'll need to know your exact repeat size first. You can see this pattern repeat is 7.5 inches wide by six inches tall. To ensure this corner flower appears in the correct place on all other corners, I'll select it and press Command Shift M or Control Shift M for PCs. To bring up the Move tool dialog box. Let's first duplicate the flower to the top right corner. To do that, I'll change the horizontal value to 7.5 inches and make sure the vertical value is set to zero. Now, when I check the preview box, you can see a flower moves to the top right but because we want to copy the flower instead of just moving it, I'll press Copy instead of Okay and now you can see it's duplicated in the top right corner of the art board. Now, repeat this process by selecting both top corner flowers and opening the Move tool dialog box again with the keyboard shortcut but you can also open it by going to Object, Transform, Move. However, I personally prefer to use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible because it saves time. Since we're duplicating these flowers to the bottom edge of the art board, I'll set the horizontal value to zero and change the vertical value to six inches then press Copy. You can see the flowers are all perfectly placed within the repeat. For those of you who work in Adobe Photoshop, the process will be slightly different. After you know, how many pixel is your pattern repeat is, you'll need to duplicate the motif you want to move first by pressing Command J or Control J for PCs. Then select the duplicate layer and go to Filter, Other, Offset. The offset tool works just like the Move tool in Illustrator. I'll change the horizontal value to 2250 pixels and make sure the vertical value is set to zero and press Okay. Then select both layers and duplicate them to give you four total motif layers and I'll select the two new layers and open the offset panel again by going to Filter, Other, Offset and this time I'll change the horizontal value to zero and change the vertical value to 1800 pixels and press Okay. See, just like an illustrator, this motif is now perfectly placed within the art board. I'd like to quickly mention here the big benefit to using Illustrator of a Photoshop when creating patterns and that is, it is easier to keep your files neat and so much faster to make adjustments, especially the more complicated a pattern gets. You can see here, this is a pretty simple floral pattern that Illustrator with every motif grouped together but in Photoshop, it's over 60 individual layers. Of course, it's still possible to create complicated patterns in Photoshop, especially if you're using more painterly or analog techniques. You just have to be more diligent about naming and grouping layers to prevent your file from becoming a mass and that's probably the biggest reason why I prefer Illustrator over Photoshop when designing patterns. 4. Template Best Practices: Now that we've reviewed how to build a proper repeat, let's discuss a few pattern template best practices. First off, you'll always need to test your template before you utilize it to make patterns to ensure it repeats properly. There's no worse feeling than using a pattern recipe, only to realize not all the template elements are placed correctly. Which means you have to go back and start from scratch. Believe me, I've been there and it's not fun. How do you go about testing your pattern? In Adobe Illustrator, we can utilize the pattern maker. Here's my four dot pattern template you'll learn about in the next video. Before I test it, I'll need to first add a clear bounding box and the exact dimensions of the art board. So use the rectangular shape tool and create a rectangle to the size I need. For this repeat, that's 2.5 inches wide by 2.5 inches high. Then I'll make sure both the fill an outline on it are empty. I usually use a keyboard shortcut X to toggle between the fill and outline of an object, and then use the forward slash key to remove color. Now in order for this to work properly in the pattern maker, we need to move this empty rectangle to the absolute bottom of the pattern. I'll do that using the shortcut Command Shift plus the left bracket key, but you could also do that by going to object, arrange, send to back. Now I'm ready to test the template. I'll select everything by dragging my cursor and then go to objects, pattern, make. As you can see, it looks like everything is aligned perfectly. However, if you want to go one step further and double-check it, you can press Done and then create a new rectangle and fill it with the new swatch you just created. You see that looks perfect, but for the sake of this demo, let's say one object was slightly off the edge of my pattern like that. Now let's use the pattern maker to test, again, selecting everything and then going to objects, pattern, make. Now you can see that this second motif along the top edge isn't repeating properly. So I know I need to go back and fix it. For those of you who work in Photoshop, you can still test your templates by using its pattern feature. To test a pattern, you'll first need to create a new blank file that is at least double the size of your overall repeat. Since this template is 2.5 inches square, I'm going to make this new file 6 inches by 6 inches. Then go back to your pattern template and go to Edit, define pattern, and press Okay. Now switched to the blank file you just created and fill in the background layer by going to Edit, Fill or using the shortcut Shift F5. Makes sure the contents drop-down is set to pattern. Then under the custom pattern drop-down menu, pick your template design, which should be the last swatch in the menu, and click Okay. You can see that this repeats perfectly. However, if it didn't, I would need to identify the problem area and fix it, then tests the template again. If it's not obvious by now, I just want to drive home the point that it is so important to test your repeats to make sure they are working properly. One last thing I'd like to mention is how to best save your templates for using them later. When working in Illustrator, it's easiest to have one master file of all your pattern templates, each on its own layer and named descriptively to help keep the file tidy. This allows you to turn layers on and off so you're able to find the exact template you need easily. If you're working in Photoshop, I recommend you have a folder where you keep all your templates, save each as a fully layered PSD file, then also saved them as flattened high-resolution PNG files. I like to save them as PNGs instead of JPEGs so that the background is transparent. If you'd like to work analog or design your repeats traditionally with paper and pen, you can create your templates, neither Illustrator or Photoshop, and then save and print them out to utilize later. 5. Building the Grid Pattern Template: Now it's time for the fun to begin as we finally get to tackle the first pattern template, the grid pattern. Let's start with the simplest grid pattern template. At first glance, it looks like just a basic dot pattern, but there's a little more to it than that. The dots aren't the most important part, the number is inside the bar. You'll notice here that each dot has been assigned the number 1 or 2, and that's why this particular template is called the two-color grid because it utilizes two different colors and they repeat. However, since this template isn't just black and white, it doesn't fully illustrate the point. Here's a simple floral pattern using this two-color grid template. You can see the flower appears in two colors, blue and yellow, and each repeats diagonally and the pattern looks well-balanced. Now this is the absolute simplest example. But let's look at how the same principle is applied when we just add two more colors into the mix using a four-color grid template. You can see how much more dynamic the pattern is, even though I'm still only using a single floral motif. Each color bounces across the repeat and that's why this pattern works so well. The repeat has good flow in balance because your eye doesn't rest on any particular spot. How did I go about creating this four-color grid template and how can you make your own? The first step is to define how many different colors or motifs you'll be using and the size of your repeat. Usually, this grid template looks best with a square art board. In this case, I'm using four colors and my repeat size is 2.5 inches wide by 2.5 inches tall. I've already set up my art board to the correct size, so now I'll make a single row consisting of five dots along the top edge of my art board, and then add the numbers in consecutive order, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Then the last dot will be one. Because remember, anytime something is on one edge of the repeat, it needs to appear on the opposite edge as well. Now with that in mind, I'm going to go ahead and duplicate this entire row over the bottom edge of the art board using the Move tool, just as I demonstrated in video 3. Now I've taken care of the top and bottom of the repeat. But now I need to add in a few more rows. The total number of rows you add should always equal the number of colors or motifs in the pattern plus 1. Just like I added five dots to the top edge, I need to include a total of five rows of dots evenly spaced inside the repeat. But because I like to be as efficient as possible, instead of moving each dot one by one, I'll group the top row together by selecting it all and pressing Command G or Control G for PCs. Then do the same thing for the bottom row. Then I'll select the top row and repeat it vertically by holding down Shift and Alt and then delete using the mouse. I'll do that two more times until I have five rows total. Then select everything and go up to my align controls and click Vertical Distribute Center, which should be the eighth icon from the left. Now, each row is perfectly spaced apart and I can ungroup everything by selecting all the dots and pressing Command Shift G or Control Shift G for PCs. The next step is to change the numbers on the inner three rows to create a good flow to the pattern. Just like we have numbers going consecutively across the first row, the numbers also need to be consecutive down the first column. I'll change these numbers to 2, 3, and 4. Then we'll do the same thing for the right edge of the art board. Because remember, we want this template to repeat perfectly. Now I need to go in and change all the middle circle numbers, remembering they should always go in numerical order. For the second row, the first number is two, so I need to change these numbers to 3, 4, and then 1. Then repeat that process for the other two rows. Here's the four-color floral I showed you earlier in the video, again, to illustrate how well this pattern works. Now what would happen if I decide to switch one or two of the numbers within the repeat. I'm actually going to illustrate that using this sample floral p on top, so the change is much more visually noticeable. I'm just going to swap a few of these flowers around. Now let's test the pattern with the pattern maker. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out so you can get a better view of the pattern when it's repeated. Can you see how I now have two red flowers sitting right next to each other? It's the first thing that draws my eye and the pattern no longer feels is balanced. Now if I switch back to the original, you can see just how much more successful the original repeat is because the color is evenly distributed and leads your eye across the pattern. With this recipe, you can adapt it to as many different colors or motifs as you like. But I'd suggest staying between four and nine colors. Actually, I hardly ever use this grid template as is. Instead, I use it as the first step to building a half-drop grid template and it's just what I'm going to show you how to create in the next video. 6. Half Drop Grid Patterns: You've learned how to create a simple grid pattern recipe. Let's take that same template, make a few changes and create something that will be infinitely more dynamic. How are we going to do that? By utilizing a half drop within the grid template itself. Some of you might be asking, what the heck is a half drop repeat? Well, the difference between a half drop and a regular repeat is that it repeats a motif halfway down in the vertical direction. Here's a basic dot pattern to illustrate the difference. On the left is irregular, straightforward dot pattern. Just like the grid template I showed you in the last video. On the right, is the half drop pattern. Instead of all the dots being repeated out along the same horizontal line, every other dot peers halfway down vertically, creating a bouncy line and in turn a more interesting repeat. We can apply this half drop technique to a basic grid template and create a much more dynamic pattern. Here's the foreground template I created in the last video. Turning it into a foreground half drop is probably much easier than you think. The first thing I'm going to do is make my art board a little wider to about four inches. A basic dot pattern looks best if the repeat is a perfect square. I find that the half drop looks best if it's a little more rectangular. There's a little more breathing room between the motifs. Before I turn this into a half drop, I have to redistribute the rows of dots evenly within this larger upward. The easiest way to do that is group each column together. Then select everything and press the horizontal distribute center button in my alignment controls. It's important to remember to ungroup everything afterwards, before continuing. It's also wise to turn on your smart guides at this point. You can turn them on by going to View Smart Guides. Mine are turned on. You can toggle them on and off using the shortcut command U or control U for PCs. Now, are you ready to see how easy it is to turn your grid into a half drop? I'm going to select the first four dots of the first four rows of the repeat. While keeping the left button on my mouse press down. I'll hold down the Shift and Alt keys to duplicate and move the dots until they are in exactly the middle of the original dots. That's where the smart guide come in handy because it tells me exactly when it's perfectly aligned by displaying a vertical line and the word intersect as you can see here in pink. I'm going to release my mouse and click my mouse again, but this time, only hold down the Shift key and move the dots until they are halfway between the first and second rows. You can see that now I've created a half drop repeat. Remember the number of half drop rows you need is equal to the number of colors or motifs in your template. In my case here, it's a four color template. I have four half drop rows. But I'm not quite done yet. Just like when I created this simple grid template and had to change the numbers consecutively on each row. You do apply that exact same process to the half drop rows. How do you know what number to start with on the first half drop row. For any grid template using four or more colors or motifs, I always start with the number 4. It doesn't matter if I'm creating a four color or a seven color half drop, the answer is always the number 4. I don't know why that's the case, I only know it works. I'll change the first dot on the top half drop row to four. Then I'll update the rest of this row accordingly, to 1, 2, and 3. Then utilizing the same principle is when I made the basic grid template, my half drop columns need to be in numerical order as well. For this next row, I'll have to change the numbers to 1, 2, 3 and 4, and then do the same thing and change the last two half drop rows. One way, you can easily tell if have added the correct number to each dot is to check the downward diagonals of the pattern. They should occur in reverse numerical order. As you can see from this top left dot, this diagonal goes from 1 to 4,3,2,1 and so on. I've already created a pattern with this template using the same flower from the last video. You can immediately see how much more dynamic the pattern feels simply because the colors bounce around a lot more. If I switch between the basic grid template and the half drop template, it's even more apparent. In the next video, I'm going to show you the versatility of this template and how you can maximize its potential. 7. Versatility of the Grid Pattern Template: Up until this point, I have only utilized a single motif in multiple colors. But the great thing about this template is you don't have to stick with a single motif. You could also, just as easily, use multiple motifs that are roughly the same size and shape. For example, here's a few Christmas ornament motifs from my Christmas bubbles collection. You'll notice I have four different designs, and I'll place them in the exact same way in the four-color half [inaudible] template as I did with the single floral. Just like the floral, when you see this pattern repeat, it works well because the different motifs are equally distributed, allowing your eye to bounce across the pattern. Now, this still looks fairly simple, but there are a few tools you can use to experiment with to achieve a bit more interest and diversity in your grid patterns. You could first try adjusting the size of a few of your motifs. Let's try making this ornament a tiny bit smaller. I'll select every instance of this ornament within the repeat and then transform them altogether by going to Object, Transform, Transform Each, or by using the shortcut Command Shift Alt D or Control Shift Alt for PCs. I'll change the horizontal and vertical scale to 80 percent and press OK. You can see they're all a little bit smaller. But now maybe I also want to make this ornament a little bigger. I'll repeat the exact same process by selecting every instance of this ornament and using the transform each tool again. But this time, increase the horizontal and vertical scale to 115 percent and press OK. Now, I've already saved a pattern swatch of the varying sized ornaments. If I switch back and forth between the original and the updated version, you can see I added an extra bit of interest in less than a minute. However, scale isn't the only variable you can play with. You can also adjust the rotation and orientation of the motifs. Going back to my original ornament repeat, I'll select one of the motifs and open the transform each tool again. Now I'm going to change the rotation. I'll go down to rotate and change the angle to 20 degrees. You can also play with the reflect x and reflect y options to flip the orientation of the motifs. Here's a pattern swatch of the ornaments I already saved, showing a variation in both orientation and size. As I switch back and forth between the original and this new pattern, you can again see the difference's quite big. The absolute most important thing to remember is you modify the motifs when using a pattern template, is to remember that anytime you change an attribute of motif along the edge of repeat, you also need to change the motif on its opposite edge. The pattern continues to repeat seamlessly. Making small adjustments with motifs illustrates just how versatile this template is. Because with a little experimenting, you can create several unique looking patterns quickly. Now one final piece of advice before we move on to the second pattern template. If you have more than one dominant color within your motifs, make sure to include at least one subtle color in-between them to balance out the repeat. Here, in my ornament example, both the red and forest green are quite bold and stand out more than the teal or the gold. When deciding which ornament was assigned to which dot number, I wanted to make sure that the red and green workplace right next to each other. To further illustrate this point, I've made swatches of both this original design and a version where the red and green are right next to each other. As I switch back and forth between them, you can see the difference. In the version where they're next to each other, the pattern doesn't feel as balanced and makes the red ornament much more prominent as opposed to the more evenly space color in the original. Again, if you're using more than one dominant color within your motifs, make sure there's a softer color placed in-between them to help keep the pattern balanced. 8. Linear Toss Pattern Template: The second recipe of this class is a Linear Toss Repeat. Although, it might look complicated, it has a formula you can follow just like the grid template. As long as you keep the pattern template attributes in mind as you create your own, you will be just fine. Now why is this recipe called a linear toss? Why does it work so well? The name comes from the type of elements I used for this pattern. Unlike the squarish motifs I use in the grit recipe, this pattern utilizes very linear icons such as flowers with stems, branches, leaves or any other rectangular motifs, like all these examples here. This recipe works because the motifs looked like they were just collected, and then tossed at random. However, the secret is that the toss template itself isn't so random. The key to a successful linear toss recipe is to make sure your motifs are pointed in three or more directions within your repeat tile. It's the number one thing to remember. The reason you need to have at least three different directions, is to ensure that your pattern has a lot of movement, allowing your eye to wander along the pattern. Here is a single tropical leaf repeat using my basic linear tossed template. You can see that the bottom tip of the leaf is angled in many different directions. When its pattern swatch is applied to a large area, you can see just how natural the repeat feels. Now, let's compare how that looks to a pattern that's created using the same leaf but in only two different directions. Here you can see this leaf is pointing up and to the right and in this one is angled down and slightly to the left. Here's how this pattern looks repeated out. This is not a bad pattern by any means. It's just not as visually interesting as the true linear toss repeat. This example utilizes a single colored leaf. But what if you're using a motif that has high contrast? For example, here's a flower with a light colored stem and a bold orange blue. This is how that flower looks when applied to the two direction repeat template. Here's how the same flower looks in the linear toss repeat. See the difference. It may not be perfect, but the linear toss has much better balance. One quick tip to keep in mind as you're building linear toss repeats, is to have a few smaller motifs on hand to fill in any gaps that occur like these spots here. Keep things simple and the colors of those motifs soft, so they don't stand out too much. I'll turn this layer on so you can see the many floral motifs I add to this pattern to further improve upon it. Here's how that floral looks now with the pattern when it's repeated out, it looks much better. 9. Building You Own Linear Toss Repeat: How do you go about making your own linear toss template? First, you'll need to decide what size your overall repeat will be. Mine is going to be 2.5 inches wide by 2.25 Inches tall. We'll start off by making art board to that exact size. You can add a new art boards to any file by using the shortcut ''Shift O'', and then dragging your cursor anywhere in your file. To adjust the sizing of the art board, just go up to the art board pale options at the top and manually adjust the width and height. To get out of art board, either press ''Escape'' or click a selector tool. The letter V is the keyboard shortcut for that. Now I'll create a long rectangular box. I suggest using a single rectangle with a 1-2 or 1-3 ratio to start with. But once you create your initial template, you can always duplicate it and then play around with different sizes. For this template, I know I'm going to need a fairly long and thin rectangle. Create one that's one inch wide by 0.3 inches high, making sure it has no fill, and then a thin 0.5 black stroke. But before I start placing and rotating the rectangle in my art board, I need to add an arrow inside it. I'll know which direction to place elements in once the linear toss template pattern is done. You can do that easily by creating a line segment, clicking the ''Backslash'' key, drag your cursor inside the rectangle will holding the ''Shift'' key. Just like that. Now we need to add an arrows of the line, so I'll go over it to make stroke pattern or just press the shortcut command F10, or control F10 for PCs. I'll first change the thickness of my line to two points and then go to the start arrowhead drop-down menu and pick an option. My personal favorites for this are areas 7 and 9. The arrowhead is a little large right now, but I can change that easily by adjusting the skill layer. I think I'll go for about 80 percent. The last thing I need to do is group the rectangle and arrow together by selecting them both and then going to object group, or using the shortcut Command G or Control G for PCs. Now I'm ready to start building the template. I'll start by placing the rectangle somewhere over the left corner of the up board and then rotating it. Then just like I did when building my grid pattern template, I'll need to duplicate this rectangle perfectly into the other three corners of the repeat using the Move' tool. Select it, open the Move tool again, which is Command Shift M and then change the horizontal setting to 2.5 inches, and the vertical position to zero, then press "Copy." I'll do that again, selecting both rectangles this time, opening the Move tool and copying them to the bottom of the art board. The reason why it's important to duplicate your first rectangle on every corner first before adding in additional rectangles is so you have a better idea of the space you need to fill. The rest of this process is simply duplicating the rectangle multiple times and then experimenting with the placement and rotation of them. Remember the two most important things to keep in mind as you build your linear toss template is one, your arrows need to be displayed in at least three different directions within you repeat. Two, anytime a rectangle straddles the edge of your art board, it needs to be duplicated in the exact same place and orientation along the opposite edge. There will be some trial and error involved with building linear toss templates, especially your first one. Feel free to test your template as you're building it. Just add a new layer and place your motifs on top of the template, like I did here with my tropical leaf. Then use the pattern maker to test if your template has good balance. If you need a refresher on how to do that, simply go back and watch video 4 again. If you've experimented for awhile and are still having a hard time building a linear toss template with natural flow. Once you add in your motifs, I've got a few things that can help. That's what I'm covering in the next video. 10. How to Fix Unbalanced Patterns: You started to create a linear toss template. For some reason when you test it with multiple colors or motifs, you're slightly out of luck. Well, there are a few tricks to help avoid unbalanced pattern. The first thing we need to discuss is color. Just like we had a color rule with the grid template, there's also a color rule for the linear toss. The rule is to make sure each color is not repeated in the same orientation, either horizontally or vertically within the repeat. This especially applies to bold colored elements. Here's another floral toss repeat from my archives utilizing another tosser P I've created. You can see that the bloom color changes with every flower in both the vertical and horizontal directions. However, what if you've designed a linear toss template that looks great when using a single colored motif, but when you add multiple colors to it, it ends up looking really unbalanced? Should you throw out your template? Absolutely not. If you find you have a pattern that has a one or two elements that stand out, you may have a gutter that's throwing it off. A gutter is simply any stripe either vertically or horizontally, and in some rare occasions, even diagonally that's unintentionally created for motifs in your patterns that are aligning in a pronounced way. Gutters are never a good thing, but there's an easy way to identify them and that's with the squint test. You'll first need to have a very large area filled with the pattern you're working on so you can see it repeated out several time. All you need to do is look at your screen and squint your eyes slightly so the pattern is a little out of focus and the bolder elements will jump out at you. Here's a cute little dog bone coordinate for example. When I squint my eyes, the first thing I notice is that this red bone is creating a strong horizontal line through my pattern, but identifying the [inaudible] areas of pattern is only half the battle. Most important part is actually fixing the pattern itself. You might be thinking it's going to be incredibly time-consuming to go back and fiddle with your original template, but you don't have to. There's actually a super simple way to fix a pattern's visible gutters. All you have to do is double the pattern repeat, and then switch up the colors or motifs inside your new larger repeat side. That might sound a little bit complicated, but it's not. Here's the original dog bone repeat. The outward size is currently two inches wide by 3 and 3 quarters inches tall. Now I'm going to double the size of the repeat. To do that, I need to access my art board settings again by pressing shift out. Because I want the top left corner of my art board to stay in place, I'm going to change the reference point of it to the top left square in my art boards settings right here, and then I'm going to change the width to 4 inches and press escape to get out of my art board setting. Now that I've doubled the size of the art board, I also need to double the motifs in my pattern by duplicating the repeat. So I'll select all the motifs except the ones straddling the left edge of the art board and use the move tool again. Since the original repeat size was two inches, that's what I'll put in, and then press copy. You may be wondering why I didn't just select everything from the original repeat and that's because if I did, it end up with duplicate motifs in the center of my new repeat, where the original one ended. See if I go back, select everything, and then copy them, now I'd have two dog bones here, here, and here. Great. So now I have a new larger repeat and I can go in and swap out a few colors to try and achieve a more evenly distributed pattern. My advice to you here is don't go overboard. Start with the most glaring spot, make a few adjustments and then test the template. You can always go back and swap more elements, but it's important to test after every couple adjustments so you're not overworking that your pattern. The easiest place to start is with the most noticeable motif. You can do that by switching the motif where the original repeat sides ended to change the cadence of the larger repeat, which will help randomize everything. For this dog bone pattern, I'll change this red bone that I found most prominent with the software pink color. Instead of the bone going from red to red, it will now bounce between red and pink. From here, I'd probably tweak a few more colors, and then I test the template to see if new gutter show up or anything else needs to be tweets and see that's already looking better. However, if I was still really unhappy with it, I can always double the repeat in the vertical direction and repeat the process of swapping out colors, a few motifs at a time. Again, this part of the process can be a lot of trial and error, but once you've built a few linear toss templates on your own, you'll have a good idea of the best place to put certain motifs or colors. 11. Final Thoughts + Your Assignment: Whenever there is a way to speed up my own personal design flow and try and seize the opportunity. I hope I've adequately demonstrated how useful these pattern recipes can be and then I've convinced you to try them in your own workflow. But before you go and apply everything you've learned, let's quickly recap the most important things to remember when building your own pattern templates. Anytime a motif is hanging off the edge of a repeat, it also needs to appear on the opposite edge in the exact same orientation. Always test your pattern templates before using them to avoid extra work. Now specifically for grid pattern recipes, the number of rows in your template is equal to the number of colors or motifs in your pattern plus one. Remember, if you're doing a half drop repeat, the number of half drop approach you need is equal to the number of color motifs in your pattern. You can further customize your patterns by experimenting with the size and rotation of the motifs. For the linear toss recipe, makes sure the motifs in a linear toss are rotated in at least three different direction. If your pattern is feeling unbalanced, try the squint test to identify gutters and fix your gutters in your pattern by doubling the repeat size and swapping out motifs, a few at a time and testing as you go. Finally, once you've built your own pattern templates and have worked with them for awhile, it's absolutely okay to not physically use the templates for new patterns in each and every time. I've been using this method for several years now and only sometimes bring in a template to work on top of. The important thing to remember is to utilize the principles of the templates when creating your patterns and now it's time to put what you've learned to use. I want you to build your own grid or linear toss template from scratch, either in Photoshop or Illustrator, and then use it to create a new pattern. Applying all the different techniques you've learned to add interest to your repeat. Once you're happy with what you've created, go to the Your Project tab just below this video and click "Create a Project." From there, add your final design in any in-process images you have, so your fellow classmates and I can see what you've created.