Sometimes you need a bit of help coming up with ideas, or finding images to inspire your printed textile designs. We’ve listed some of our favourite websites for finding pattern design inspiration to help you overcome your creative block.
Pinterest is always a great place to start, as you can save everything you find onto boards, and create boards for different projects and themes. Try and be organised and save images down a few times a week, even if you aren’t stuck for inspiration. This means that next time you need some ideas, you will already lots of design inspiration saved ready.
Patternmash is a subscription site (there are free and premium options) that emails you a monthly design brief, moodboard and palette. If you struggle to think of project briefs, or find you’re spending too long researching and not enough time designing, Patternmash is the solution for you. If you send your designs before the deadline, your patterns might even be featured on their website.
A great resource for surface pattern designers, as not only can you look through other people’s designs for inspiration, but you can also create an account to sell your work. Their Trend Stories are a good place to start, as they collate patterns on the site to fit key trend themes. You can also search by category (eg. geometric, floral), and their blog keeps you up to date with the latest exhibitions, fashion shows and new designers in the print design world.
Not only can you find thousands of images of beautiful pattern designs and drawings on Instagram, but you can also connect with designers who inspire you. Tell them why you love their work (everyone loves a compliment!), and find out more about their process; what paints do they use, have they used an online course they would recommend, where do they find their inspiration? Sometimes seeing a designer that you loves’ work in progress can really inspire you, as you can see the simple, achievable steps they take to make something beautiful, which you can try in your own practice.
Created by the team behind Make It In Design, this free online magazine is essentially a marketing platform for their courses. However, it does include useful business advice, how to’s, designer interviews, design briefs, and lots of lovely inspirational pictures for pattern designers. There’s also lots of ways to get involved, either by writing for them, or entering the pattern design competitions, and potentially seeing your designs printed in the next issue. It’s also worth having a look at the MIID galleries to see lots examples of past students’ work.
Categories are erratically updated and sometimes irrelevant, however the WGSN Insider blogs do occasionally turn up gems, like their Catwalk Reviews and content on the Graphics page (which also includes prints), all with beautifully big images of the designs. The articles are kept brief, so it’s a good site to quickly check in on every few days to see if there’s anything new to inspire you, and then go to another site for more information.
Although you have to pay for their main trend reports, Trend Bible gives away lots of their reports for free. Their blog is a great place to start, not everything is relevant to surface pattern designers, but you can see the latest trends in a number of industries, and find out the main takeaways from recent trade shows.
Hundreds of photographs of patterns that you can easily search through to find inspiration. A great site for original imagery, and to help you start a new project.
We hope you’ve found this useful, let us know if we’ve missed one of your favourite sites in the comments below.