I am usually pretty good at deconstructing a brief and then being able to reconstruct into my own individual way. However, due to the project taking me into unfamiliar territory, especially with Photoshop and Illustrator, not to mention the fact that I have never come across the hierarchy of pattern collections before, I have struggled with amalgamating my ideas and research into a cohesive whole.

Today, in the ‘Creating a Pattern Collection’ briefing, ran by Sian, I finally began to understand the complexities of creating a coordinating collection. I found it fascinating that there are 3 principle elements of a pattern collection:

HERO: The primary design. The showstopper. The core design. Engaging. Complexity of colour. The Story. Largest in scale.

SECONDARY: The supporting design. Enhances the Hero, but does not detract from it. Strong design. Simplified colour and pattern structure.

BLENDER: The collection glue. Simple style and colour palette. Smaller scale. Incorporates texture and mark-making.


Elisabeth Olwen, Skillshare, (2017), Available at: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Pattern-Design-II-A-Creative-Look-At-A-Full-Pattern-Collection/1070740680, Accessed: 16 June 2018

380b65a9Elisabeth Olwen, Skillshare, (2017), Available at: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Pattern-Design-II-A-Creative-Look-At-A-Full-Pattern-Collection/1070740680, Accessed: 16 June 2018


Karen Emelia, Skillshare, 2016, Paisley Gardens. Available at: https://www.skillshare.com/projects/Paisley-Garden/45696 (Accessed: 16 March 2018)

This was a little research I thought prudent to undertake before journeying through my explorative coordinating pattern collection studies. Having recently signed up to Skillshare, and finding such a wonderful treasure trove of tips, hints and professional tutorial from Surface Pattern Designer Elisabeth Olwyn, I would be stupid not to make the most out of this wondrous site.

JOHN DERIANScreen Shot 2018-03-16 at 10.08.04jd-half-1-SS18

Designers Guild & John Derian, S/S 2018, The Rose Swedish Blue. Available at: https://www.designersguild.com/uk/fabric/john-derian/the-rose-swedish-blue-fabric/p25751 (Accessed: 16 March 2018)

I have recently come across the designer John Derian, and can honestly say I am smitten!!!! The discovery came via his collaboration with Designers Guild, which strangely is one of my favourite design companies; a marriage made in heaven.

Looking over this collection, I am reminded of how important observational drawing is when conveying a rich and varied design. I absolutely love the full corollas in bloom (bang on trend with Common Ground/BUSY BLOOM), and adore how they are arranged; bold all-over print, allowing each rose to offset the next. Once far more proficient in Photoshop/Illustrator, I am going to experiment the hell out of my designs!!!!

I think one of the most important aspects I have overseen within this specific area of research has given me invaluable insight into which patterns, colours, textures and shapes look and feel good within the context of Floral/Busy Blooms. My Hero design could be completely observational like this design, but could be supported by a more stylised and linear interpretation of the same subject matter. The collection then can be amalgamated by stripes or mark making patterns. I am so excited to see what I can create/produce/make.


What makes this design so incredibly effective?


I think I would love to explore all these elements within my ongoing creative journey.

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