Pattern Design Workshop Project: Robots!

Pattern Design Workshop Project: Robots! - student project

Workshop Phase 1: Moodboard

For my project, I decided I want to do something robot-related. I gathered a ton of images and did some loose editing to come up with this mood board that shows the general feel I'll be going for. Some general keywords that I have in mind: mid-century, bright, half-tone, over printing, lo-fi, primary colors, Japanese, retro, fun.

Pattern Design Workshop Project: Robots! - image 1 - student project

Workshop Phase 2 (Part 1): Sketches

To get ideas, I just started doodling in my sketchbook. I knew I wanted the robots to look cute and not menacing or realistic. I looked at some reference images but I tried to mainly just make stuff up using simple shapes lines. I came up with the following (nothing fancy or polished):

Pattern Design Workshop Project: Robots! - image 2 - student project

Things are a bit busy but I see some elements that I will use. These doodles are all about the line work. However, when I get to the digital phase, I'm going to concentrate on just the shapes and negative space. I also want to really simplify all the artwork. 

Workshop Phase 2 (Part 2): Digitizing

So I went into Illustrator and constructed the various robots and robots parts for the repeat pattern. My main goal was to keep the illustrations playful and dynamic. Sometimes going into Illustrator, things can get too technical and precise, so I tried to keep a loose hand. I also added some color (though these colors are not final). Next step: the repeat...

Pattern Design Workshop Project: Robots! - image 3 - student project

Workshop Phase 3: Repeat

Below are some some repeats I came up with. In the first pattern (white background) I attempted to really fill the space and keep a nice flow. In this pattern I felt the two robots with the big rectangular lower body parts really broke up the pattern in a bad way (my eye kept jumping to it). In fact, I left them out of the second pattern.

Pattern Design Workshop Project: Robots! - image 4 - student project

For the second pattern, I didn't rotate the robots and kept them vertical, which gave this pattern a very different feel. I also played around with putting the pattern on yellow, red, cyan and black backgrounds. 

Pattern Design Workshop Project: Robots! - image 5 - student project

A few things I did not play around with because I ran out of time: (1) I wanted to experiment with overprinting and screen tones (2) I wanted to try a different palette for the artwork itself.

I'll update this project as I make some more patterns with this art. Thanks for looking. And I definitely welcome any critiques! 

Richard Le

Motion Designer & Illustrator