Arctic Pattern Creation

Originally published on Knuffel’s Blog.

A little bit of the process creating one of Knuffel’s new winter designs!

arcticPattern.jpg

1. Planning
During the spring/early summer, the holiday season seemed very far away. I thought I’d have plenty of time to create and test different designs (spoiler: it’s not a lot of time.).
I had a rough vision, and it included creating a winter-themed pattern for notebooks - and with that abstract idea I got started.

2. Inspiration
I tried to soak in the feeling of the freezing air and cold color palettes. you’d think living in Montreal should make it easy, but it was august, 34 degrees Celsius, in a city with no AC. But, luckily the internet is here to remind me how winter looks like! one of the things I like doing is watching short videos about the topic I’m focusing on. I especially loved watching these:

3. Sketching
I decided to focus on the arctic ocean with 3 subjects- wildlife, scenery and human presents. I sketched a layout and colored it with colored pencils. The colors weren’t final, but it was a basic color feel I was testing out.

sketchArctic.jpg

4. Advanced Sketch:
I did another layout sketch - this time a digital version - in order to make sure that it looks right as a repeat pattern. I tested it out on larger surfaces, and made several adjustments in positioning the objects.

sketch.jpg

5. Final Illustrations
Once I have a solid sketch, I draw everything with pen on paper, scan it, and then color digitally.

inking
boat
boat

6. Test Printing:
Personally, I feel that printing out a sample of the pattern is super important. It’s true for every visual piece, but especially with patterns, since it has many details that need to work harmoniously together. Looking at a hard copy is an effective way for me to identify glitches and rethink some details. After printing a sample I went back and made minor adjustments - moved an iceberg a few pixels here, moved a boat a few pixels there. Finally looking good!

7. Applying the Pattern
Now that the pattern is ready, the next step was to apply it to the different products!
Of course that was a whole other phase, that can easily fill another blog post (or more).

I hope you found it interesting to see the different stages. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more behind the scenes of the designs, or perhaps you’re interested to see how the physical products are made? I myself am still refining my process, but if you have any questions - comment below and i’ll do my best to help :-)

Thanks for reading!