iPad Surface Design

If you’re just getting started with making repeat patterns on your iPad, you probably have a ton of questions.  What app should I use?  What file sizes can I work with?  How do you even make a repeat pattern?

I want to share with you my go-to process for designing seamless repeat patterns on my iPad for all my uses (Society 6, Spoonflower, Red Bubble, client work, etc.)  I have tried a TON of programs and processes for making repeats, and this is by far my favorite for a few reasons:

You can work in any file size with no layer limits (unlike most iPad based design programs)

You can see a live preview of your design while you create it

You can work with vectors (which means you can resize your repeat elements an unlimited amount of times to an unlimited size without losing any quality)

– You can edit your repeat layout as you create it (unlike Procreate where things disappear when they go off the edge of the canvas!).

How is this all possible?  Affinity Designer for iPads.  This program makes it easy to create beautiful seamless repeat patterns in a quick and easy process.

I created a detailed review of the program here in case your on the fence about getting it.  Read the post — Affinity Designer for iPads: Pros, Cons, and Comparisons with Procreate.

When I first discovered this program, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options and features.  So I spent the next few months learning everything I could about the program, and testing all kinds of surface design techniques.

The result? Two classes where I’ll show you everything from learning how to use Affinity Designer to building a pattern collection:

In the beginner’s class, you’ll learn how to use all the tools, how to set up the live preview, and how to work with vectors and vectorize elements that you made in another app like Procreate.

In the second class I’ll take you through every step of designing a pattern collection from start to finish, so you can build a cohesive collection to present in your portfolio, print on demand shop, or in print.

Still not sure about Affinity Designer?

There are a few things that make this app so perfect for surface design and a ton of other projects:

  • You can see a live preview of your pattern as you create it, so it’s easy to place your repeat elements in the right place, and move them around as you add elements to your pattern
  • Affinity designer has no image size limits, so you can create large images for print on demand sites, client work, or large art prints
  • You can easily make changes to the colors, sizes, and textures of your images without losing image quality
  • You can set up artboards so that your inspiration, repeat block, and finished repeat square are all on the same document
  • You can also work with both vector and raster images, so whatever project you’re working on, you can create the exact image type that you need

The best thing about this app is that there is no subscription fee, it’s a one time purchase, and it isn’t much more expensive than Procreate.

In this classes, I’ll show you everything you need to start designing patterns in Affinity Designer, and share all of my vector assets with you as free downloads, so you can start designing patterns as soon as you get the app.

iPad Surface Design in Affinity Designer: Vectors, Textures, and Repeat Patterns

When you watch the class, I’ll share with you a set of 70 images of textures that you can turn into raster or vector texture patterns for your repeats.  

We’ll talk about the differences between vector and raster images, so you can choose the file type that works best for your project. First I’ll show you how to create color palettes, and how to set up your document for live pattern previewing.  

Then we’ll cover how to create vector shapes using the pen, brush, and pencil tools. We’ll go over how to create any shape you can imagine, and how to turn a photograph into a detailed vector.  Next we’ll create a basic repeat pattern using vector shapes, and adjust the colors, sizing and spacing using the live repeat preview.

Next we’ll create a detailed floral repeat combining textures, hand drawn elements, and vectors made from photographs.  I’ll show you how to change the color and scale of your repeat elements, so you can tweak your pattern to fit your vision and personal style.

Last we’ll create a half drop repeat with detailed vectors made from a photograph, combined with hand drawn vector elements.  Half drop patterns help hide the repeat block seam, so your patterns flow seamlessly rather than appearing blocky and predictable.  

We’ll look at ways to add variation and movement to your pattern, so the repeat blocks are virtually invisible.

Ready to watch the class?  Click here to watch the class trailer.  Don’t have a Skillshare membership?  Pick up a free trial here: 

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