Sunday, January 07, 2007

Heraldic Design as Inspiration for Fabric Design

These are two papercut designs I did in the design class 2 years ago. The first was a counterchange assignment, and I love the way this floral lays out in an alternating stripe when it is repeated. Naturally for me, both designs turned out as fabric designs.

The second design was for a tessellation assignment, and since I am familiar with quilt-style tessellations, I wanted to do something more difficult than a standard based-on-a-square pattern. I also wanted to do something that looked floral, so I was happy with this trillium effect. After I turned this in I realized that by dividing the patches, I could have leaves & butterflies too, with this layout.

This second pattern is less obviously related to heraldic design, but heraldry uses tessellations in the "vair" and other fur designs. Counterchange is, of course, a common design effect in heraldry, one which is very effective. When I suggest heraldry as an inspiration for fabric and other surface designs, I mean not the heraldic lions or unicorns, (unless used as repeating patterns, which can be fun), but more that looking at some of the design strategies, like field divisions and counterchange, can be a rewarding source of inspiration.

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