3 Ways Surface Pattern Design Can Enhance Your Business

I’m back to talk about the benefits of exploring surface pattern design. Let’s start from the beginning to make sure everyone understands what surface design actually is. I had never heard of it until about three years ago and didn’t realize it was such a huge creative industry.

A surface design is any piece of artwork that is applied to a surface. The artwork can be a repeating pattern, an illustration, graphic design, hand lettering, wood block printing, even simple doodles and organic shapes. The surface can be anything, literally anything that would look nice with a design on it: a pillow, bedding, curtains, phone cases, laptop bags, backpacks, the case for your glasses, wrapping paper, wall paper, carpets, notebook covers, any stationary item you can think of, and on and on.

I like to explain it this way: Look around you right now and tell me everything that has a pattern on it that you can see from where you are sitting or standing. I’m willing to bet that you will see anywhere from 6-12 patterns in your immediate vicinity. Once you know that a designer, a real person, designed each and every one of those patterns, you can start to imagine what a gigantic industry surface design actually is.

Here are three ways learning surface pattern design can enhance your business. 

#1: Diversification

If you are already in a creative business, it’s highly likely that you have artwork that will lend itself to surface design beautifully. I don’t know about you, but as a creative myself, I love to learn new techniques and how to apply them to my existing business. One of my students, Sharon Hoppe, has a very successful textured rolling pin business. Her rolling pins are gorgeous, with intricate designs on them that create the most amazing cake decorations. She is applying her newly acquired surface design skills to expand her business. What a great example of how you can expand an existing business by exploring surface design. She is using her new skills to diversity and leverage existing design assets. This leads to more opportunity for additional income from a variety of sources.

#2: Multiple End Uses

Surface designs have so many different end-uses! You can create fabric with your designs on it and then make any number of products. Dylan Mierzwinski, who is a surface designer and friend, recently got licensed and when she presented her first fabric collection at Quilt Market, she made some adorable backpacks, several quilts, coasters and a handful of other products to showcase her pretty patterns. The same holds true if you put your designs on paper or other hard goods. I absolutely love to design my own wrapping paper and it’s one of my best sellers every holiday season. Your options don’t just stop there. A wrapping paper design might lend itself to a series of greeting cards, or notebook covers, or even stickers. There are so many options.

#3: Expand Your Customer Base

We all need to grow our customer base, right? Surface design is a great way to do this because you are showcasing your art in a new way which expands your reach. Customers who currently buy from you will be interested to see what new products and designs you’re creating. Offering surface design products increases your ability to reach new customers as well. Changes in technology enable you as an artist and designer to put your artwork out into the world and sell your products much more easily than in the past. Getting your art into the world in these ways breathes new life into your business, expands your reach and grows your customer base.

If you’d like to get started in Surface Pattern Design, join my free LIVE workshop: How to Get Started in Surface Design. It’s open for enrollment and all you need is some paper, a few pens, your smartphone and Adobe Illustrator. Adobe offers short-term free trials which you can explore on their website.

Here’s what you’ll discover:

·      The art of transforming sketches into beautiful repeating patterns

·      The secrets behind how to sell your work successfully

·      The confidence to pursue your creative dreams knowing what’s possible

I only offer this free workshop a few times a year. You don’t want to miss it. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what students have to say about it:

“This live workshop exceeded my expectations. It’s a great introduction without going into all sorts of details. I particularly appreciated that you demonstrated steps more than once and that you encourage positivity and kindness.” Angela C.

“I loved seeing everyone’s surface pattern designs in the Facebook group and being able to watch the video replays when it was most convenient for me. I thought this was an excellent workshop. Thank you!” Sam R.

“I highly recommend this workshop. Anne is a very engaging teacher and her methods and steps are easy to follow.” Susie W.

“Anne was so in tune with everyone, very helpful, and wanted to see our success! Thanks so much Anne!” Judy M.

Share this link to the workshop with your friends. Class starts on August 1st. I can’t wait to see you there.


It’s Never Too Late to Create

If you enjoyed this blog please share it with your friends and family. Click your favorite social platform below. And join my email list for weekly creative inspiration and an invitation to our private Facebook group, Anne’s Art Club.





Hi…I’m Anne!
My creative inspiration comes from a lifetime of observation. I grew up in Paris on the Place St. Sulpice and walked to school through the Luxembourg gardens. And that was only the beginning… Learn more by watching the video on my About page.


Favorite Quote