Design Resources

Here are a few of my favorite design resources to keep you inspired, grow your pattern design or textile design business and promote your pattern design work. Please note that some of these resources are affiliate partners which I stand behind, love, adore and recommend.

Design Resources: Tools

Adobe Creative Cloud. Being skilled at using Adobe Illustrator and/or Adobe Photoshop is essential to being a professional textile or surface pattern designer. The extra benefit of getting an Adobe Creative Cloud account is that you have access to Adobe Fresco, which is my favorite design app for the iPad. Get started with a free trial here.

Creative Market. Looking for mockups to make your social media and portfolio shine? Look no further than Creative Market. I use their mockups on a regular basis and am always happy with the quality and ease of use of their mockups. It’s easy to apply for own patterns to their apparel or home decor mockups. Then you can visualize what your patterns will look like on actually products, instead of your computer screen!

Fabric Printers. Looking for a fabric printer for your next project? We have a wonderful list of options in this blog post.

Pantone FASHION & HOME Cotton Passport. Not every designer needs a Pantone book, but when you have multiple clients asking you to choose Pantone numbers for their product line, this is the best bang for your buck. TCX Pantone colors are the standard in the textile design industry and are used throughout the world. This is an important design tool if your clients need these services or if you need to choose Pantone’s for your own business.

Wacom Intuos Tablet. The best investment in my design business has been my Wacom Intuos Tablet. I have had my tablet for more years than I can count and use it every single day. It is the one tool, besides my computer, that I could not work without. Wacom makes a variety of models at different price points and all your options can be found through this link.

Pattern Design Books

A Field Guide to Fabric Design– One of the best books out there if you are interested in learning more about the textile design industry. FYI: This book is heavily geared towards the quilting industry.

The Chronology of Pattern: Pattern in Art from Lotus Flower to Flower Power

Fairchild’s Dictionary of Textiles– A Chelsea von Hasseln recommendation!

The Grammar of Ornament– In my opinion, this is the most inspirational design resources out in the market. A must own!

The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing & Ethical Guidelines– Questions about pricing your work? This is a fantastic resource for graphic, surface and textile designers alike.

Textile Design: The Complete Guide to Printed Textiles for Apparel and Home Furnishings

Style Your Brand– I fabulous book for exploring your brand style and creating a cohesive look.

Design Resources: Tech Tools

WordPress– Interested in starting a blog or building a portfolio site? I have been using WordPress for years and love how much control it gives you. That being said, it does take some level of tech savviness and can be frustrating at times! If you prefer an easier option try Squarespace, Wix or Shopify.

ScreenFlow 3– This is the tool that I use to capture and record my computer screen. If you are interested in creating tutorials or other videos, this is a key design resource.

Vimeo– A more private option to youtube.

Mailchimp– Mailchimp is a free tool for building your email list and sending newsletters, which should be on every freelance designer’s to-do list. I currently use Drip, but really recommend Mailchimp when you are first getting started.

Upwork- Running an online business is not easy and you can’t do everything yourself! I use editor Jill McKellan for some blog posts and tutorial projects and her service saves me a tremendous amount of time. I have also used freelancers for survey development and other projects.

At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

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