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Winners Workshop Afternoon

2 Oct 2018


A blog by Andy Ward:


This workshop was great fun. On the day we had great weather for working out of doors and everyone made a real effort to explore the diverse subject matter Pensthorpe offered us. Each participant created a single themed repeat pattern based on the flora, fauna and even the weather around us, which we then applied to digital mockup products back in the presentation room. The results surprised all, and I really could see some of the designs created featured on retail products for sale in the Pensthorpe shop. 

We began our workshop by looking at examples of repeat patterns I had created for various fashion brands and the products they had been applied to. We briefly looked at how a pattern can be constructed, and then we took some bold coloured Posca pens and paper out into the park to get started on deciding a theme for our patterns. Pensthorpe has several specially planted areas,  each offering a wide range of plant varieties. From a creative standpoint this means we were faced with a huge choice of shapes, textures, and colours to bring into our designs. We settled in the Habitat Garden and the themes came naturally to the participants when faced with so much to choose from. Insects, plants forms and the weather were a few of the themes decided upon and mood boards began to take shape. Plants, clouds, insects, bee hives were sketchy out and after an hour of drawing each participate had enough material to take back to the presentation room to work with. 

They had drawn each element of their theme as a stand alone object so that they could all now be scanned in and brought into photoshop for colouring and compositing. In turn we chose the elements that best represented each participants chosen theme and began colouring up and composing them in photoshop. We created a single repeat tile of our coloured designs  by using the offset feature in photoshop to create a seamless edge to edge tile. This could then be easily repeated over and over again to form large patterned sheets ready for taking to print or our case for making mock ups. 

Once our sheets of repeat patterns were designed and saved I then made some digital  product mockups to illustrate how our patterns could be applied to a variety of apparel and homeward products. These included backpacks, mugs, cushions, bedspreads, and stationary. The entire digital process of creating the patterns from scanning in the Post sketches to presenting the final mock ups was projected from my laptop onto a large screen for all to follow. 

In just 2 hours the participants had worked successfully through the process of designing a repeat pattern from scratch through to seeing it working on a range of mock up products. I hope that this simple process inspired further research by the participants into surface design and it’s possibilities. I was amazed at their hard work and results!