Where Do Patterns Go? Part 3: Secure Printing

As luck would have it, while researching materials for this post, we’ve gotten reacquainted with Jaeson Caulley, a long-time Artlandia user, who is also a designer, an expert in secure printing, and Vice President of DSS Plastics Group, a leader in manufacturing secure plastic cards.

According to Jaeson, over the past ten years, the market in building secure plastic cards has shifted from standard guilloché patterns to fine-line patterns, as the look is fresher and friendlier to photos, names, addresses, and all other kinds of variable data on the card.

For the new polycarbonate ID cards (“unbreakable glass”), which have laser-engraved variable data, fine-line patterns are also a must because the material simply won’t bond if large swaths of fill colors are used, whereas thin lines off the edge of the card allow the material to adhere to the next layer.

guilloche patterns for secure printing
Thin-line guilloché patterns created in Adobe Illustrator with Artlandia SymmetryWorks. Learn how to make guilloché patterns yourself »
Continue reading Where Do Patterns Go? Part 3: Secure Printing

Artlandia SymmetryMill 2: Pattern Design for the Rest of Us

Today we are happy to announce the release of a major new version of Artlandia SymmetryMill, a desktop application that provides the easiest-to-use tools for creating seamless repeating patterns from any image. Rebuilt from the ground up and based on modern technology, SymmetryMill 2 brings you a range of improvements and makes your pattern design work even more productive and fun. Among the major improvements are: Continue reading Artlandia SymmetryMill 2: Pattern Design for the Rest of Us

Where Do Patterns Go? Part 2: Patterns for Your Webpage

Patterns add flavor to your webpage, making it unique and unforgettable. As a pattern designer, you will probably want to make your patterns yourself, and all the Artlandia tools, SymmetryWorks, SymmetryShop, and SymmetryMill, will let you do that. But if you are in hurry, there’s a wealth of patterns on Pattern Central that you can deploy right away, either as is or tweaked to suit your needs.

To that end, for every shared pattern set, Pattern Central gives you a direct link to a pattern tile. The tile is exactly what you need for your page CSS (or the HTML style attribute).

For instance, to re-create the first pattern from a shared set, like “SymmetryMill Blending Modes,” get its tile image and upload it to your website or link directly to the tile. For a pattern to run through the body of a page, you can add this class to the body tag (the background-size property is optional and needed only if you want to scale the pattern):

.pattern {
background-image: url("http://artlandia.com/share/tile/17b819be244e76a");
background-repeat: repeat;
background-size: 30%;

Continue reading Where Do Patterns Go? Part 2: Patterns for Your Webpage

Pattern Tiles: New on Pattern Central

Artlandia’s Pattern Central just made it easier to use shared patterns in your projects. You could always load a shared pattern set in SymmetryMill and export a pattern tile for the pattern that you like. Now you may be able to skip a couple of steps, because the first tile in each shared set is available directly from Pattern Central. The tile image will seamlessly repeat if stacked both vertically and horizontally in many applications.

A direct link to the tile image on a pattern homepage.

Continue reading Pattern Tiles: New on Pattern Central

Get the Repeat Right: New Repeat Size display in SymmetryMill 2

You often want to make the repeat size of your patterns exactly to spec, which is now easy, thanks to SymmetryMill 2 displaying the repeat size when you edit the control path. You can also turn on the repeat size display by simply hovering your mouse over the control path. In either case, the repeat size shows up in the top section of the Source Image window.

Repeat size display
Hover the mouse over the control path to see the exact repeat size of your pattern.

Continue reading Get the Repeat Right: New Repeat Size display in SymmetryMill 2

Pattern Making on Autopilot: Pattern Explorer in SymmetryMill 2

Wouldn’t you want to sit back and relax while somebody makes all kinds of patterns for you? With SymmetryMill 2, you can! Just start the Pattern Explorer and let it run. Stop any time you see something interesting. But don’t worry about missing a beat. All the intermediate steps are recorded and you can replay them, like a movie, or browse frame by frame and select the best.

Starting Pattern Explorer.
Starting the Pattern Explorer.

Continue reading Pattern Making on Autopilot: Pattern Explorer in SymmetryMill 2

Make That Perfect Seamless Pattern: New Blend Modes in SymmetryMill 2

When it comes to making seamless patterns, there can’t be too many tricks up your sleeve. SymmetryMill 2 adds dozens of new blend modes to your arsenal and lets you customize boundaries between neighboring units in your patterns exactly to your liking.

You can choose among many blend modes, such as Normal, Enhanced Average, Dissolve, Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Inverse Color Dodge, Lighten, Screen, Overlay, Soft, Hard, Vivid Light, Glow, Freeze, Heat, Difference, and Composite.

Normal blending, Dissolve blending, Soft Color Burn blending, and Soft Color Dodge blending.
Examples of Normal, Dissolve, Soft Color Burn, and Soft Color Dodge blending.

Continue reading Make That Perfect Seamless Pattern: New Blend Modes in SymmetryMill 2

Get More Patterns out of Your Images: New Filters in SymmetryMill 2

You often want to tweak your patterns to make them look just so. In SymmetryMill 2, you can do that with a rich collection of image filters:

  • Adjust Colors
  • Sepia
  • Polaroid Color
  • Reduce Colors
  • Sharpen
  • Pixelate
  • Add Noise
  • Dot Screen
  • Symbol Screen
  • Cross-Hatch Screen
  • Emboss
  • Blur

Image filters
Applying filters to tweak your patterns.

Continue reading Get More Patterns out of Your Images: New Filters in SymmetryMill 2

Promote Your Brand: Sharing Patterns on Pattern Central with SymmetryMill 2

When you share your patterns, SymmetryMill 2 will do a better job of promoting your brand. You don’t have to do anything differently on your end. Simply click the Share button in the SymmetryMill toolbar, fill in whatever details you wish to include in the dialog, and your patterns will be off to Pattern Central to be seen by everyone.

Sharing patterns
Sharing a set of patterns from SymmetryMill.

Continue reading Promote Your Brand: Sharing Patterns on Pattern Central with SymmetryMill 2

Artlandia SymmetryMill 2 Is Coming. Are You Ready?

SymmetryMill 2 is almost here, and it comes with a new automatic pattern generator, advanced blend modes, a bevy of new filters, numerous improvements, and, importantly, a modern technology behind the familiar user interface.

SymmetryMill 2
SymmetryMill 2.

Continue reading Artlandia SymmetryMill 2 Is Coming. Are You Ready?

Call for Freelance Pattern Designers

This is going to be a short post. From time to time, companies ask us to help them find people who are proficient with our pattern design tools and may be available for a freelance assignment. To get your name into circulation, please leave a comment and outline your area of expertise. Or email us privately with the same information. Also consider publicizing some samples of your work in the SymmetryWorks user gallery and Pattern Central… Good luck!

Pattern applications in fashion design

Where Do Patterns Go? Part 1: Fashion Design

Pattern applications are endless, but there are never too many ideas when it comes to brainstorming new uses for your patterns. Here, inspired in part by a wonderful collection of 1000 dresses by Fitzgerald and Taylor, we ran through a few of such ideas.

Most of the source patterns are taken straight from the Artlandia Glossary and are included in a free bonus pack (in a vector format, of course) available with a purchase of SymmetryWorks. We did make minor alterations, though. Couldn’t resist a temptation to tweak patterns on mockups when it’s so easy to do with SymmetryWorks LP. We can make the modified patterns available too. If you wish to get exactly these versions, please contact us and we’ll see what we can do.

Now, let’s get to work. An animal print goes to a fitted round-neck knee-length sleeveless formal dress which underscores femininity (even within the constraints of business settings) and altogether creates a strong impression of authority.
Continue reading Where Do Patterns Go? Part 1: Fashion Design

Positive-Negative Patterns, Figure-Ground Reversal, and Counterchange

Call it whatever you like, but this is a fascinating subject. The terms “positive-negative patterns,” “patterns with figure-ground reversal,” and “counterchange patterns” are often synonymous, but they can also shed light on the same pattern at different angles and go to the heart of what makes patterns with color reversals so interesting and attractive.

Counterchange patterns

Before we start, let’s be clear on one thing. Traditionally, counterchange patterns are introduced with the help of black and white pictures, which is certainly proper because nothing conveys the gist of color inversion better; or the concept of yin and yang; or positive and negative. We’ll follow the tradition and give only a few examples in full color, mainly to drive home the fact that color reversals work splendidly with any number of colors so your counterchange color palette can be as elaborate as you wish.

Back to the subject, “counterchange” usually refers to color reversals in the most generic sense. For instance, we could say that the number of standard pattern types grows dramatically from 17 to 46 if one permits color reversals, alongside rotations, reflections, and other symmetry operations, when generating a pattern from a motif. In that context the neutral term “counterchange patterns” is ideal. And, yes, starting from version 6, SymmetryWorks creates both the standard 17 pattern types and the 46 counterchange pattern types at a click.

Counterchange patterns from H.J. Woods re-created with SymmetryWorks
Three of the 46 black and white counterchange patterns from H.J. Woods re-created and recolored with SymmetryWorks. Inset: How do you make that chevron pattern? Draw a colored rhomboid, choose Mirror as the main symmetry and Mirror and glide as the color symmetry, and click Make in the SymmetryWorks panel. Then rotate the control path 90 degrees and tweak it to be as shown. Want to see a tutorial? Vote in comments.

Continue reading Positive-Negative Patterns, Figure-Ground Reversal, and Counterchange

The Simplest Diagram of the 17 Symmetry Types, Ever

As a pattern junkie, you may know how to capture the structure of a repeating pattern in a diagram; that is, determine to which of  the seventeen symmetry types a pattern belongs. Yes, we are talking about surface patterns, or wallpaper patterns, whose type is determined by what mathematicians call the plane (2D) symmetry groups. Turns out all pattern schematics are not made equal and, surprisingly, the most simple diagram, which is also the most useful for the non-mathematically inclined, is also the least known or, we might even be tempted to say, a well-kept secret.

Traditionally, because you are dealing with symmetries, your pattern schematics would show symmetry operations, probably combined with boundaries of repeating units (“unit cells” or “fundamental domains”), and often made more intelligible by superimposing  actual patterns produced by a simple asymmetric bit (a line, a comma, or a letter of an alphabet). Here are a few examples of the standard approach, which we show mostly to help you fully appreciate a simpler one that’s coming up next:

Symmetry diagrams (international notation)
The 17 pattern types shown in the standard international notations for symmetry operations (rotations, reflections, and glide reflections), from D. Schattschneider.

Continue reading The Simplest Diagram of the 17 Symmetry Types, Ever

The Best Way to Market Your Repeating Patterns

You’ve created your first pattern designs. It was fun and they look gorgeous. Now comes the tricky bit: making the world aware of your creations. You are a budding pattern designer and you don’t have your marketing channels—yet. Putting together your cleverly organized website, and adding profiles on all social media sites you could think of, ate up a good chunk of time, but no small army of followers eagerly awaits your new artworks. Cold calling perspective clients, studios, and reps is a part of your daily routine, but no one is returning your calls yet. So what now? How do you start building up your brand and jump start that success you’ve always known would come? Sorry, we won’t give you a ready-made recipe, but there are avenues that may improve your chances of being discovered. Which way to go is up to you and you will most definitely pursue more than one path.

Continue reading The Best Way to Market Your Repeating Patterns