the student publication of the college of design at north carolina state university

Volume 24: Patterns (1975)

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(excerpted from the introduction) Pattern, structural or applied, functions as a visual element enriching surface and form . Whether sophisticated mathematical configuration or loosely designed primitive crafts, pattern is structure composed of an image or motif repeated in a specific order.

Repetition implies order and system, lending itself easily to mass production. The designer must be aware of the unique possibilities and limitations of mechanical systems of pattern production whether they involve fabric forming, printing, moulding, cutting, or a number of other methods. Considerations must be made in terms of size, shape, position of repeating units, the form and area of the total product and, the axis and stability of construction. Properties of the materials to be used, and other variables such as the possible number of values, colors, or textures, must also be considered.

Within each design situation, technical or handcrafted, the designer manipulates visual elements and must be aware of basic principles of pattern development and design.

Contributors: Carolyn Nelson, Deborah J. Ogden, Denis Wood