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Pattern-Making: Some Experiments! (Color Workshop)

April 14, 2010

I did a million pattern experiments. It’s for the color book, which is on the hue orange and promotes orange as a winter color that can be used for  hope/surprise/fun amidst a dreary gray backdrop (typical winter gear). It occurred to me that this orange story is also quite intimately about not just winter but winter in the city; in the country winter can be quite pleasant–there might be snow and fresh air to take walks in and have hot chocolate after. In the city any other color turns gray from the dirt–so there’s much less cheer in winter.

Anyways that background is important only in that it framed somewhat my pattern experiments; I wanted to have something feminine but structured–almost a flicker of a curve amongst the city grid.

This was super fun; I’m really excited about patterns and have started making them in my work of late, but never had much of a formal background, so it was quite nice to get a formal introduction to pattern making through a pdf that we got through class. We had had to make patterns in Design Procedures in the fall but never had any sort of guidance with it (except that it should iterate!) so it was so nice to approach this systematically and not totally blindly.

I had an idea to make patterns with some photographs I have–can post these later–but this turned out to be quite tricky; what’s more it sort of occurred to me later that these photographs, though of the city, were not quite appropriate for this exercise; in fact, by adding the photo element iut was almost like adding texture to it. (Will post these examples if I get a chance.)

First the black and whites.

This is my first draft; I got excited about the idea that circle could be used to create a pattern.

But much too bubbly and circly for this. I still do like it; can save the idea for another project.

The city grid! This was actually just a preparation-pattern I was doing for ANOTHER pattern, but this one turned out quite fine, so I might as well include it.

The reverse is quite pleasant as well. I’m actually really happy with this city-pattern one. (Excuse the much on top; screenshots for speed!)

I got obsessed with the idea of having a curvy feminine shape that I cut somehow. The cut could be play up into a grid (city) and add a bit of a surprise (a la the color story). Sounds good, but was tough.

Super complicated pattern! Upon looking at it now, there’s like 5 different patterns in one here! But that is how I roll. Don’t worry; it gets better.

A nice simple one. This is the shape I wanted to cruelly cut up. I think it’s quite nice, especially if I some of the “eyes” were to be filled in. (I wanted to generate as many patterns as possible before doing any finessing.)

The same pattern, but a bit cut. Seems a bit silly, but I was really obsessed with this idea.

A weird little one tat I did earlier in the game.

The final coup:

Clearly, the strongest pattern, in my eyes. There’s the feminine shape, but because it doesn’t connect to form a ribbon, there’s this gridding/hard aspect to it, which  really really like it. (As you will see later with the color patterns, this was also the pattern that could do no wrong.)

Same one, rotated, just to see.

Going to put the color ones in the next post.

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