CalArts: Funds. of Graphic Design-W3: 3.9 Rhythm and Pattern 2

So we’re going to use this black square as the basic building block to build a pattern out of.

So we’re gradually going to make it more and more complex, 
but we’re starting from a very, very simple form.

And part of why I think this is a useful exercise to make pattern is that it helps you look at shape and color, 
but it also takes you through a process of going from simplicity to complexity.

We’re not really gonna worry about things being mathematically correct here.

I’m just gonna go through this, and just kinda play and see what happens.

So straight away, if I take the shape and repeat it and rotate it,

you can see that we start to get another more interesting shape, 
but it’s still got geometry. 
It’s still symmetrical, both horizontally and vertically.

So then, if we take that exact same shape and put a scaled down version of it inside the black shape and make it white, 
we’ve suddenly got much more depth to our shape.

Now we’ve got negative and positive space happening,

so you can see here we’ve got a very flat form.

And here, we’ve suddenly got a little bit more depth.

The white interior is coming towards us visually
and now the black shape is pushing back.

But we’ve also got this other, more visible interesting shape here and we see this much more as a line, a thick line now.

So it gives us a lot more opportunities to work where there’s an element for our pattern.

And if we do the same thing again and we take this black shape, scale it down, put it inside the middle of it.

You can see now we’re starting to really get some depth to our shape and we’re starting to have a lot of possibilities for how we might deal with coloring the shape, for instance.

So I think these concentric shapes in alternating negative and positive colors seem to be working in quite an interesting way, creating some depth and some vibrancy.

I’m gonna see what happens if I take these away from being a square a little bit and make them appear a little more complex and less symmetrical just by rotating them.

That seems a little more interesting to me.

Then let’s see what happens when we start to add a little bit of color to the shapes.

So you can see how much the color has an effect on the white space.

So here perhaps the black shapes might feel a little bit more visible,

but as soon as we put these lighter colors in the background we’re also, we’re partly separating out the shapes of them now they’re two squares, instead of one shape.

But also, this white is becoming much, much more of a dominant element in the design,
so let’s just take a look at that again, very quickly.

So, now let’s see what happens if we continue with that. 
We can push the center further back
and suddenly we’ve got a much less harsh-feeling color palette.

And this feels less like a, perhaps a mark that might be used for a company or something like that.

And it feels a little bit more like it’s becoming a pattern design that could be used as part of a repeating design.

So if we then continue with this idea of since we’ve got symmetrical elements,

we can rotate them

and try and make our composition a little bit more interesting.

Then we could think about well, now we’ve got an interesting element let’s group that element together and think about putting it into some kind of repetitive pattern.

And you can see how these things, how these pieces, these building blocks, 
fit together is gonna start to make secondary shapes, 
so now we’ve got this very interesting dark brown lattice work happening.


So I’m just gonna repeat these shapes and basically make them take up the whole of the screen, so we can get an idea how this feels as a complete pattern.

So now we’re viewing it as a pattern you can really start to see some of the push and pull of the different elements, some things coming forward, some things coming backwards.

And as we’ve created this pattern, 
we’ve actually created some new elements by forming the pattern, 
so not our original building block anymore, 
but the pieces that are made from putting our building blocks together.

If you like, it’s kind of like the cement ซีเมนต์ or mortar ปูนขาว between the bricks.

So these are really interesting little chevron [เครื่องหมายหรือสัญลักษณ์รูปตัว V.] shapes that have been created that really we weren’t, I wasn’t thinking about at all.

They’ve just kind of appeared there and we can maybe put those in a color, accentuate เน้น,ทำให้เด่น those, try and make them a bit more of a feature of the pattern.

And now that we have a more locked-in pattern that we’re gonna work with, 
we can start to think about color a little bit more, I think.

So let’s see what happens if we, the black feels a bit too dominate, right now.
We could see what happens if we separate this shape out.

I think you can see that here you really see the black shape quite clearly. 
I think now, you’re obviously dividing it up into two shapes, instead of reading it as one shape.

So we can kinda keep going, we can fill in various different colors.

And you can see how much not just the hue but the value of the color really has an effect on which things are gonna be, 
which elements are coming towards you, 
which elements are receding into the background.

So here you can see this feels very, very much flatter cuz there’s similar tones,
but there’s also similar hues in these colors. 
So this is perhaps might be not the best color palette to use.

So let’s see what happens if we have something with a little bit more intensity, a little bit more brightness perhaps.

And then we could also think about maybe making something that is perhaps a little bit less symmetrical
just to take our pattern off kilter [สภาพที่ดี , order] a little bit.

So another way to get away from the kind of flatness can also be just to have the illusion of something being slightly less modular
and in other words, the pattern working in a way you wouldn’t expect the pattern to work in.

So as you’re making patterns like this, I mean you can really play with them forever. 
It’s a sort of endless process and it’s a really great way to look at the variations, the possibilities because on the computer it’s very easy to change everything.

So you can continually be looking and learning, seeing what happens visually when I change this background color, for instance.

Is there suddenly much more depth?

Does it feel like there are three or four different layers pushing towards me?

So when you do this it’s really important just to keep playing.
There’s no right or wrong, we’re not really looking for a concrete solution, 
we’re really just looking to learn about playing.

And one good way to do that on the computer is to actually build a pattern so that it’s complete, and then to take the colors and just play around with them a little bit.

So here I’m gonna isolate this brown color and you can see what happens as we start to make it a little bit lighter, a little bit brighter.

You can see what a radical difference it has and how the pattern feels, how the depth works, how the colors work and really the changes in what kind of palette you’re building.

So here we’ve got something that’s much more flatter where these elements are gonna stand out more,
 the yellow is perhaps gonna stand out more.

You can see as we punch that color back up it can become much flatter.

Be interesting to see what happens if we even make that background be very, very dark and again get these elements to pop out.

So there’s no real right and wrongs in this case, it’s really just experimentation in order to learn.

But once you give this pattern some kind of job to do or something to represent, 
then suddenly there is a bit more of a criteria for you to think about your design, 
and to think about what’s working, what’s not working.

And one easy way to do this with form, shape, color and pattern
is to look at historical motifs and historical patterns, 
and just try to analyze them a little bit.

And think about why those patterns look the way they do,

what kind of color pallets were perhaps associated with certain time periods or certain movements, 
even certain countries, certain cultures.

And just having that little bit of extra knowledge can really help you get a grasp on the tools and be able to control

  • how you want something to feel,
  • what you want the pattern and the color to reference.