Journal – Day 2 of 100 Days Of Surface Pattern Design

Blog post written by Charlie Albright
Journal entry for day 2 of 100 days of surface pattern design #the100dayproject. Following Bonnie Christine's class Intro To Surface Design on Skillshare.
Home » Journal – Day 2 of 100 Days Of Surface Pattern Design
Okay here it is, the last project session of my 100 day projects on day 2 of 100. I am ending with surface pattern design. This session was meant to come first. Well at least that was the order I decided on pre Day 1 when I was planning all my 100 day projects. But clearly it felt a little different today. Enough chat, let’s get started.

Following Skillshare class – Intro To Surface Design today.  I am actually skimming through the detailed videos on Illustrator because a) I’ve already watched these twice in the past, and b) Illustrator is actually my go-to image editing program and I already feel comfortable with it.

I feel like if I want to do something in particular, I’ll remember that there was an Illustrator way to do it and go back and find the relevant video.

However, if you are not well versed in Illustrator, especially for this particular context and subject – surface pattern design, then you will highly benefit from these detailed videos by Bonnie.

Adobe Illustrator Tip

You may be familiar with ctrl + and ctrl – for zooming in and out of your artboard. However, another good Illustrator zoom shortcut to know is ctrl 0. This zooms you back out so that your entire artboard is visible.


Adobe Illustrator Tip

There is a handy little tool for surface pattern design, or any other kind of process where you are digitising hand drawings, called the ‘smooth tool’. It is hidden under the pen tool flyout menu and is used to reduce the number of anchor points of a line and smooth them out.

When you drawing curved lines in Illustrator they may not as smooth as you would like. You can select the line you want to adjust first, then select the smooth tool, and draw over the line you selected. It will readjust the line underneath to make it smaller.

The smooth tool is also super handy for lines you have drawn freehand and scanned or imported into Illustrator. You may not realise it at first, but freehand drawings result in an immense number of anchor points when imported into Illustrator, which then go to explore your file size. So reducing the number of anchor points considerably, without a visual difference, is something that will become part of your surface design process.


Adobe Illustrator Tip

The Illustrator blob tool (shift + b) is also really good. It’s like drawing with the pencil tool but it applied a smooth tool effect before it snaps and finalises what you’ve drawn.


Until next time,

Charlie x

Charlie Albright

The world: ignites in me, a sense of curiosity. My mind does not settle until it can comprehend, until it understands. For the physical world, creation has always been my enduring method of choice. For the spiritual world, all-encompassing practices like yoga and meditation, a belief in a higher energy, and writing have always been the soothing and balancing tools I have returned to, to re-ground myself. This is my journey of self-expression. Through written words and different forms of art. To my soul, my inner essence.

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