Oh no, something went wrong. Please check your network connection and try again.

How to Make Your Surface Pattern Designs Truly Stand Out.

September 14th, 2023 - Tag: Surface Pattern Design

Ever been told that putting in 10,000 hours is the key to mastering a craft? Well, when it comes to surface design, creating countless patterns does help. But it's only a part of the equation. Like disciplines such as painting or music, surface pattern design isn't just about repetition, but understanding the fundamentals. Grasping these will allow you to design with intention, elevate your creations, and curate a captivating portfolio. Ready to dive deep?


Think of a bouquet with a mix of bold flowers, medium buds, and tiny blossoms. This variety enhances its overall appeal.

  • Hero shapes: This is the central element—big, bold, and detailed.
  • Medium support shapes: Slightly smaller and less detailed. They fill space without overshadowing the hero.
  • Tiny fill shapes: These fill gaps and add delicate accents.


The right colors can evoke emotions and even transport us to different eras. While an in-depth look at color theory is a subject on its own, here are some palette types to explore:

  • Complimentary: Two opposing colors on the color wheel.
  • Limited palettes: Monochromatic (one hue in varying saturations) or Analogous (neighboring hues on the wheel).
  • Split complimentary: Two analogous colors paired with one contrasting hue.
  • Triadic: Three evenly spaced colors on the wheel.

Balancing Colors:

  • Primary: Dominates the design.
  • Secondary: Less than half the design's area.
  • Accents: Tiny yet bold areas of color.
  • Pro tip: Nature offers an abundance of inspiration. So, always capture the colors around you.


The human brain craves contrast. It's what allows us to distinguish shapes and depth. Intriguingly, the part of our brain responsible for this sees in black and white.

To truly understand contrast, turn your patterns black and white. If they still work, you've achieved good contrast.


Practice makes perfect. Strive to improve with each new design, continuously honing your skills. Over time, your expertise and knowledge will naturally expand.


Finding your style can be challenging, but remember it's a culmination of all the choices you make—be it lines, colors, shapes, or subjects. While experimenting is essential, consistency is key when curating a collection or portfolio.


Understand your target market and niche. Study trends, but stay authentic to your brand. Remember, surface design is as much about serving your audience as it is about expressing yourself.


Mastering surface pattern design can be overwhelming, especially with so many elements to consider. But the journey becomes simpler and more enjoyable when you focus on making informed choices. Aim for continuous growth, taking one step at a time. Before you know it, these principles will become second nature, allowing your unique creativity to take center stage.