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

The Design Process Checklist For Surface Pattern Designers

August 28, 2023 - Tag: Surface Pattern Design

The design process for surface pattern designers is a structured series of steps that guide the creation of patterns for various surfaces, whether its fabric, wallpaper, ceramics, or other products. Here's a general breakdown of this process:

Inspiration and Research

  • Mood Boards: Gather inspiration from various sources such as nature, art, architecture, or current trends. Create mood boards with collected visuals to set the tone and direction.

  • Theme Selection: Decide on a specific theme or concept for the pattern.

Sketching and Conceptualization

  • Hand Sketching: Start with rough sketches on paper to explore shapes, motifs, and layout.

  • Digital Drafting: Some designers prefer initial drafts using digital tools.

Design Refinement

  • Motif Development: Focus on specific motifs or elements of the design.

  • Color Palette Selection: Choose colors that fit the theme and target audience. This might involve multiple colorways for a single design.

Pattern Creation

  • Layout Designing: Decide how the motifs will be arranged. This could be a repeating pattern, a random layout, or a mirrored design.

  • Digital Rendering: Use software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create a digital version of the design.

Technical Adjustments

  • Seamless Repeats: Ensure the design repeats seamlessly if it's a repeating pattern.

  • Scale and Size: Adjust the size of the design to fit the intended surface.

  • File Formats: Ensure designs are in the appropriate format (e.g., vector or raster) based on the production method.

Client Feedback

If working for a client, gather feedback and make any requested revisions. Usually clients request to see sketches first before you render digital, always check your contracts and communicate with client along the way.

Portfolio Update

Add the design to your personal or company portfolio. Upload your artwork onto Patternfield so art buyers and manufacturers can see your new work.


Showcase the design on social media, websites and your newsletter.

Sales and Licensing

  • Direct Sales: Sell the design directly to consumers or businesses.

  • Licensing: License the design to companies, allowing them to use it while you retain the rights.


Each designer may have their unique take on this process, but these steps offer a broad overview of the journey from inspiration to a finished surface pattern design.

Learn what Surface Pattern Design is.