What is Surface Pattern Design?

If you’ve been perusing our website you may have noticed a section called “Surface Pattern Design” and asked yourself what is surface pattern design? Well, I am going to explain it and truly don’t think you will look at items in a store or your home the same again.

Are you ready for it? Surface Pattern Design is any pattern design created for a product or surface. For instance, does the coffee mug you hold have a pattern or logo? The shirt you are wearing have a floral pattern? Do your shoes have a fun design? See where I am going here? Someone created the pattern or logo that sits on the shirt you are wearing or the greeting card you opened today. Surface pattern is everywhere, which makes it so fascinating.

One of the patterns I created in the collection above is swaddling this sweet little angel.

If you happened to read our about page, you would see me working on a pattern via my computer. Most of the final magic happens there, but there is so much more behind the scenes that goes into every design. Before jumping in, I would like to explain my history with design and how surface pattern design has evolved over the years.

Where the Journey Began

While attending college studying Elementary Education I realized I had a passion for interior and textile design. Because of this I changed my major to Art and Design. Being an Art and Design student gave me the ability to dive into all things art, but I felt drawn toward fabric – dying fabric, weaving on a loom, sewing, batik techniques, and appreciating the beauty of fabric design.

In the early 90’s however, the internet and computers weren’t widely used. We used typewriters to write papers and in order to create designs on fabric, it was all by hand. Dyeing fabric, painting fabric, wax resist techniques, knitting, weaving, and the list goes on.

Here’s a few books and my syllabus from when I first took a surface pattern design class.

The syllabus states masks will be provided when mixing dyes. Lots of chemicals!

After graduating from college I was one of those creative people that left school thinking – what now? I realized quickly art and design was going to have to be a hobby, not a career. After college I landed a dream job as a flight attendant. This was a dream job because it gave me the opportunity to see the world and learn about different cultures and appreciate history like never before. With the flexibility of being a flight attendant, I also had the opportunity to pursue my love for interior design and work for an interior designer. Designing and having a creative outlet was something I needed and craved.

Fast forward to 2020. While on Instagram I saw an ad which was asking would you like to see your patterns come to life on wrapping paper? Fabric? Wallpaper? That immediately stirred up something in me I had pushed away and didn’t know was possible. I decided to investigate this more.

The Learning Phase

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Researching before diving in is my thing. I have to research and research… and research more. That’s when landing on a surface pattern design class on Skillshare was the answer. I had no idea surface pattern design was a thing and I had no clue what Skillshare was. Basically it is a huge online platform with classes for everyone. Anything from photography, lightroom, knitting, interior design, calligraphy… you get it. I thought, the investment was small to try out something new. Turns out, this is just what I was looking for and I didn’t know it.

Fast forward to today. I am two years into learning and have completed my first collection. Eventually I will share more with you and our website will house my designs, but as you know, anything worth doing well is putting the time and effort in before sharing with the world. Some patterns will be popping up from time to time on Instagram – we’d love for you to follow along there too.

The Design Process

The design process starts with a simple idea. I like to draw my inspiration from everywhere, but this example started with flowers and I took photos of them.

A few branches of chamomile in a ball jar was the beginning inspiration.

Daisies and chamomile flowers exude joy and happiness to me. If I could have one wish it would be to spread joy and happiness everywhere I go. I wanted this picture and pattern to do that.

The photo is a jumping off point for creating motifs that will eventually live in a repeating pattern.

This was an encouraging sticker I created.

In this photo you see the color palette defined and the beginning stages of a design.

The design begins to take shape by using the motifs and coordinating motifs to

create a repeating pattern like you see here.

The Final Product

The magic really happens when you imagine a pattern out in the world like this…

It is a pretty cool process, right?

Would you enjoy learning Surface Pattern Design or a new skill? Definitely head over to Skillshare to check out all of the classes they have to offer. There are so many artists and creatives on this platform from photography and painting to web design. Have a peek at our “learn” page to see some of my favorite teachers on Skillshare.

I truly believe anything is possible. If you want to learn something new… go for it. We only have one life to live here on this earth.

Let us know in the comments if this is the first time of learning about Surface Pattern Design? Or is this a skill you would like to learn?

Until next time…


Every. Single. Moment.


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  1. Love this post Ang!! My eyes will be looking for patterns like this in the future.
    Thank you for the thorough explanation ….. Mom

  2. I love this and can’t wait to see your repertoire grow with your new, somewhat revisited, skill! <3

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