Creating a Pattern Collection: Sharing your work
I am always looking for fun approaches to sharing my work that will help buyers imagine using the patterns I create on different products. You cannot always have your new designs made into something right away. So, creating a way for customers to see your designs on various products, so they can envision using them, is important for helping your designs stand out.
Ways to showcase your pattern collection could be photographs of your printed swatches from Spoonflower, prints of your patterns, a complete collection layout, mocking up your patterns, lookbook, connecting with makers, and making fun DIY projects with your pattern fabrics.
There are a lot of ways to showcase your pattern designs, but in this blog post I am going to discuss 3 of these ideas in detail. We will go over Pattern Collection Layouts, Mockups for Patterns, and Connecting with Makers. In future posts I will go into great detail on making your own photography mockups for patterns and stationery. Also, creating a killer lookbook is on my “I really want to do list.” When I start creating my first one, I will be sharing the process right here on the blog.
End Use Considerations
Whenever you create a layout for anything, you should always have the end use in mind. Are you creating the layout for a printed lookbook? For an online portfolio? For a blog post? You will need the final dimensions to create the layout and the resolution for screen or print.
My end use is for screen, so that is what I will share here in this post.
Pattern Collection Layouts
Displaying your entire pattern collection in one image is a great way to show how patterns in the collection blend together cohesively, and how the scale of each design repeat looks in relation to other patterns in the same collection.
Your collections may have varying numbers of patterns in each collection. Sometimes I create a pattern collection with 8 patterns, sometimes 10 or more. It all depends on the collection. If you are not designing for a company’s creative brief, than the number of patterns is completely up to you.
Here are some layouts I have used to feature my pattern collections.
With a set of 10 seamless patterns, I created a large vertical image to show my Thicket Thatch Pattern Collection together.
I really like using the circular layout for showing the styles with the pattern names. It is also a great layout for showing 2 different colorways in a collection.
These layouts are versatile since they could be used to share a small section of them on Instagram, or used on a page in a lookbook or online portfolio. I made these images in Adobe Illustrator and, if I ever wanted to use them for a printed book, I can since the patterns are vector, and so is the layout.
Mockups for Patterns
I love creating mockups, especially since they can be reused for new products and collections. My goal for the next year is to build a large archive of reusable mockups to showcase my pattern design work in different ways. These mockups would be geared towards the brands I want to work with, and on a range of products. I have thought about the products they would make or sell, and created some simple neutral mockups that will work for almost any pattern collection. My mockups are kept as high resolution images so that they may also be printed in future lookbooks.
Here are a few of the mockups I have created.
If you want to see more of my mockups, visit me on instagram. I am always adding new ones.
Connecting with Makers
Creating a pattern collection, and getting your designs used by brands and makers on the products they sell, is the end goal in promoting your work, and you must find a way to connect with the brands and makers you love. But, you should do it in a genuine way. When I find a maker or company, I say hello, because I love what they are doing, who they are, and their story. Of course, I would be delighted to work with them, but that is not the only reason I am there. If they get to know me and love what I do, that is wonderful! This is not to say intentionally reaching out to brands is a bad thing, it is just something I have not done yet, but most definitely plan to do in the near future.
There are so many amazing creators out there doing beautiful things, and I want to stay connected with them. Their work inspires me to keep creating and, if I am lucky enough to earn their appreciation of my work, and I can be a part of what they are doing, I feel joy and purpose.
Brands and makers are my heros, because they make “all the things”! For example, the beautiful clothing played in, slept in, and worn by adorable babies, and loved in by their families. To know my work is woven into the lives of the families that use these products makes my heart smile.
So, when Olive Me Handmade started making her gorgeous baby clothes with one of my patterns, my heart smiled, a lot. Her baby clothing is just beautiful, and so are the little kiddos that wear them.
You can envision your pattern designs on many things, but it is the brands and makers that turn your work into products. Being connected to something bigger is the most rewarding part of my journey as an illustrator and surface pattern designer. It is being a part of another story, the makers story, and the lives of those they touch.
Check out Olive Me Handmade on instagram here, to see more of her delightfully curated organic baby clothing. The shop opens when items are restocked, so follow along to get first pick of new handmade items!
What ways have you shared your work? What products would you love to have your pattern designs on? Let me know in the comments.