Monthly Archives: July 2015

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.

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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.

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