What's Surface Design?

Whenever I am asked what exactly it is I do and I reply Surface Design, I tend to be looked at with a confused expression and asked, "Surface Design. What's that?". For those of you who do not know then hopefully by the end if this blog you will.

Surface design is exactly what it says it is. It's a design or pattern for a surface. That surface could be anything from fashion fabrics, furnishing fabrics, wallpaper, greetings cards, gift wraps and much much more. If you think about it surface design is all around you. You wear it, furnish your house with it, it is literally everywhere you look.  As a surface designer you concentrate on the pattern or design to be featured on a particular product, rather than being concerned with the design or making of that object. Designs can be created in any medium using any technique from drawing and painting to screen printing.  Embroidery and machine stitch, to digital design and printing. The possibilities are endless.

My work favours a variety of drawing and hand cut work mixed with digital technology. I take inspiration from art and beautiful objects, from jewellery to ceramics. I will start by drawing details, shapes and patterns. By hand using a scalpel I then cut designs into the paper.

The cut works are then placed on a variety of background and colours to be photographed. At this stage I have my design which with the use of some digital technology I can use to create patterns. If the design is for wallpaper then this is where the pattern is put into a repeat.

Once completed, my designs are sent away to be printed onto whichever product they are designed for.

I hope that this encourages you to appreciate and take more notice of the designs and patterns that surround you every day, as someone somewhere will have taken a lot of time and effort to create it. Just think how much duller would the world be without it.

Some of my favourite surface designs by other designers -