How to Become a Surface Pattern Designer

By The Arty Teacher - November 6, 1989

What is a Surface Pattern Designer?

A Surface Pattern Designer is an artist who specialises in creating visually appealing and repeatable patterns, often used in textiles, wallpaper, or other surfaces.

What Skills does a Surface Pattern Designer need?

To become a surface pattern designer, you’ll need an eye for colour and design and an interest in patterns that can be used on things like clothing, fabrics, and home decor. You’ll make the world a more colourful and pattern-filled place!

What Qualification does a Surface Pattern Designer Need?

To become a Surface Pattern Designer, you’ll need a combination of artistic skills, design education, and industry knowledge. Many professionals have a bachelor’s degree in textile design or surface pattern design where they learn design principles, colour theory, and various textile techniques. You will need to be able to use design software, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

Different Types of Surface Pattern Designer

Surface Pattern Designers may specialise in one or more of these areas:

  1. Textile Pattern Designer: Specialises in creating patterns for fabrics used in clothes and home textiles such as fabric for curtains or sofas.
  2. Wallpaper Pattern Designer: Focuses on designing patterns for wallpapers, considering scale, repeat, and colour.
  3. Home Decor Pattern Designer: Creates patterns for various home decor items, including bedding, rugs, and decorative accessories.
  4. Fashion Pattern Designer: Designs patterns for clothing, considering garment structure, fabric drape, and fashion trends.
  5. Stationery and Paper Goods Pattern Designer: Specialises in creating patterns for stationery, greeting cards, wrapping paper, and other paper products.
  6. Giftware Pattern Designer: Designs patterns for gift items, such as mugs, trays, and other decorative accessories.
  7. Digital Pattern Designer: Creates patterns for digital applications, such as website backgrounds, social media graphics, or digital products.
  8. Outdoor and Active Wear Pattern Designer: Specialises in creating patterns for sportswear, outdoor apparel, and activewear.
  9. Children’s Wear Pattern Designer: Designs patterns specifically tailored for children’s clothing and accessories.

What Can You do to Build a CV to become a Surface Pattern Designer?

If you want to become a surface pattern designer, you can take the following step to start building a strong CV whilst still at school:

While still in school, a student aspiring to become a Surface Pattern Designer can take several proactive steps to build a strong CV:

  1. Opt for Art and Textile Courses: Focus on relevant courses such as art, design, or textile studies to build the skills you need.
  2. Create Art in Your Own Time: Hone artistic skills, including drawing, painting, and digital illustration, emphasising creativity and attention to detail.
  3. Software Proficiency: Familiarise yourself with design software commonly used in the industry, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, to create digital patterns. Your school may have your software an there are usually deals for students.
  4. Galleries: Go to textile museums and art galleries that specialise in textiles so you can evidence your interest on your CV.
  5. Internships or Volunteering: Seek opportunities for internships, volunteer work, or collaborations with local textile manufacturers, designers, or fashion houses to gain practical experience.
  6. Create a Portfolio: Develop a portfolio showcasing a variety of patterns across different styles and applications, both traditional and digital.
  7. Participate in Design Competitions: Enter design competitions or challenges to showcase your skills, gain exposure, and build confidence.
  8. Attend Workshops or Courses: Participate in workshops or online courses focused on surface pattern design to expand your knowledge and skills.
  9. Networking: Attend art and design events, exhibitions, or industry conferences to connect with professionals in the field and learn about current trends.
  10. Stay Informed on Trends: Keep abreast of design trends in the fashion, home decor, and textile industries to understand market demands.
  11. Create Personal Projects: Work on personal projects to experiment with different styles, color palettes, and techniques, adding diversity to your portfolio.
  12. Seek Guidance: Connect with teachers, local designers, or professionals in surface pattern design for advice, feedback, and mentorship.

Still Curious?

Check out the website of surface pattern designer Laura Slater.

Learn more about Art Careers.

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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