Tag Archives: surface pattern design

Pattern Observer

For those of you interested in designing and printing wallpapers, or indeed any kind of surface design, Pattern Observer is an invaluable resource. I cannot praise it highly enough. It offers an insight into the burgeoning surface pattern design industry, you can subscribe to their regular email updates (I do), join their Textile Design Lab to enter into discussion with fellow likeminded artists, keep up to date with the latest news and trends in the industry. There are even e-courses you can sign up for to improve and hone your designing skills, learn new techniques and improve your own sales and marketing.

If you are the least bit serious about becoming a surface pattern designer, or even if you just want to investigate the ins and outs of surface design before you decide, you simply MUST join or follow Pattern Observer.

I love the layout of the blog, which can be used as a launchpad to visit other areas of the Pattern Observer microcosmos, all neatly organised and categorised for your benefit. Use the drop down menu there and you’ll see what I mean.

Pattern Observer can also be found on Facebook. So you can keep abreast of the latest news without even having to leave your favourite social media platform.

One of the many highlights of following Pattern Observer is that each week a different artist is showcased, providing insight into their processes, techniques, business practice, etc. Very useful and inspiring for aspiring designers.

Here I’m simply posting the links to bring together Parts 1 and 2 of Pattern Observer’s primers on wallpaper printing techniques through the ages. A potted history, if you will, for your enjoyment.



For those wanting to take the guesswork out of designing pattern repeats, check out Pattern Observer’s 5 week self-study e-course, The Ultimate Guide to Repeats. Be aware though, this course assumes some prior knowledge of, and experience with, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

(Photo taken from the blog’s “About” page shows Pattern Observer founder Michelle Fifis and her family.)

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MOYO online magazine – a HUGE resource for surface pattern designers

I came across the website of Make It In Design, while surfing the Net looking for information on how to become a surface pattern designer (wallpaper, fabrics etc). Whoa, looks like I hit the Motherlode of resources for aspiring designers. Check it out on:


This offers courses on becoming a surface pattern designer, from learning how to design, to approaching companies for licensing and marketing deals. Here’s what their blurb says:

  • The Design School featuring The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design – an acclaimed online course for anyone who has ever dreamt of seeing their designs on stationery, homewares, fabric, wallpaper etc. The course takes you from sketch to pattern design to product in three modules. Find out more and register here

  • MOYO Magazine – the world’s first online magazine dedicated to surface pattern design. Get FREE inspiration and advice, read interviews with successful designers and enter design competitions

  • The MOYO Directory – the place to showcase your work and connect in the world of surface pattern design. Get your own webpage with unlimited portfolio space, get in front of potential new clients, and find other designers to network with

  • Live workshops and design masterclassess

  • A host of useful resources as you build your design career

I had a read of the pre-requisites of doing the online course. As I suspected, a certain level of proficiency in both Photoshop and Illustrator are on the list. I’m not proficient in either, and my learning-by-osmosis technique isn’t working :D. But I’m sure many of you reading this know a lot more about Photoshop and Illustrator than I do, and this may well be right up your street. So go ahead, check out the course, who knows, it might be just the ticket for you!

Next, I looked at MOYO magazine, a quarterly magazine currently in its 5th edition now and available entirely online. No matter what your interest is in surface pattern design, I can guarantee you will find interesting articles, useful information and inspiring art within the magazines. Best of all, it’s completely FREE!! So, do take a few minutes of your previous time to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and a piece of cake, and immerse yourself in these beautiful magazines.


Issue 1:  http://issuu.com/moyomagazine/docs/moyo-magazine

Issue 2:  http://issuu.com/moyomagazine/docs/moyo-magazine2

Issue 3: http://issuu.com/moyomagazine/docs/moyo-magazine3

Issue 4: http://issuu.com/moyomagazine/docs/moyo_magazine_issue_4

Issue 5: http://issuu.com/moyomagazine/docs/moyo_magazine_issue_5

Some of the articles I found most interesting in the MOYO magazines are those about taking a tour around a wallpaper factory, an interview with a real flesh-and-blood textile designer with behind-the scene views, DIY fabric printing, custom-printing your own wallpaper designs (http://www.wallpapered.com – which I am going to check out!), an interview the fabulous Amy Butler, etc.

The MOYO Directory enables you to set up an online profile where you can get in touch with industry mavens, to market and sell your designs. It does cost £9 per month though, so it isn’t a free resource. However, I would advise that if you were truly keen to get a foot on the ladder and get your designs “out there”, then that may be the wisest £108 spent this year.

Good Luck!