Creating seamless patterns Tile repeat

Creating Seamless Patterns With Affinity Designer

Creating Seamless Patterns in Affinity Designer
Creating Seamless Patterns in Affinity Designer

Here I will show the method of creating seamless patterns by making a swatch of graphic elements or pictures that you can repeat and connect to make a larger seamless design.

Make a swatch in a graphic design program or just plain paper and your favorite art-making tool.

What Are Seamless Patterns

As in this example, you make a swatch in a way that all edges connect to make a bigger pattern that doesn't have obvious joins.

Creating seamless patterns
Creating seamless Patterns

Uses for seamless patterns

Scrapbook pages
Computer backgrounds
Gift wrapping paper
Decoration
Fabric
Website backgrounds
Journal book covers

Tools

I’m using Affinity Designer to demonstrate the techniques but you can use any graphic design software.

I’ll also teach you how to create seamless patterns on paper.

There’re several ways to make patterns, I’ll explain them beginning with the simplest and easiest to the ones that require a few calculations.

Tiling elements is the easiest way to make tileable designs as background patterns.
Another technique is a repeat pattern in which the items match on the opposite side of the block.

Finally, the last way combines all the steps but uses Symbols.

I’m using Affinity Designer to demonstrate the techniques but you can use any graphic design software.

This can also be done on paper.

Set up a document:

When setting up the document, you’ll have to take into consideration the size, color profile and the intended use of the pattern.
Set up the canvas (workspace) for print or web.

Creating seamless patterns

You can choose whatever units of measures you wish for your canvas size.

Some basic math is involved, so to make it easy to demonstrate the steps, I’ll set up the size of the artboard (canvas) that is easily divisible by 2.

In this case, I’m making a square shape at 100 by 100 and using it as my unit pixels.

DPI refers to dot per inch and pixels is important based on the intended use of the final product.

For a web document, use 72 dpi but for printing use a higher dpi. If you plan to upload, your designs to any print on demand site, they usually have specific requirements. For printing, 300 dpi is usually OK.

Creating seamless patterns
Dimensions

The foundation of the repeat pattern is the tile swatch.

The simplest method consists of drawing a design in the middle of the base document and then tilling it on to a larger document. You can vary the arrangement of the tiles to make different patterns.

Creating seamless patternsTile repeat
Tile repeat
Tile repeat
Creating seamless patterns Tile repeat

Unlike the simple block, this tile requires you place some to the objects on the canvas and offset them of the canvas, copy and paste to the opposite side.

All repeat patterns are made by tiling the design elements. For a less “blocky” look, the adjacent tile is offset halfway on the horizontal or vertical axis.

Repeating Elements off the Edges

Unlike the simple block, this tile requires you place some to the objects on the canvas and offset them of the canvas, copy and paste to the opposite side.

Using the Fill Tool to Make Patterns

fill tool

The Fill tool automatically tiles images on a grid provided the original pattern can be tiled.