Genue Inc.
September 12, 2016

DIY: 3 Ways to Create pattern Using Text


The use of text is something I sometimes tend to forget about when it comes to pattern design- my first instinct is typically to sit down and start drawing! But words, letters and typography can sometimes be really effective in print design. Sometimes it’s exactly what my pattern needs to give it that little something extra.

For example, I was once working on a collection of patterns that had a graffiti element to the theme. While typography isn’t really my strength, and not an aspect I would usually bring in, it is an integral part of street art, so the designs just would not work if I didn’t bring text into a few of the pieces. So I tried breaking out of my comfort zone and experimenting with different ways of using lettering in the collection- and it came out great!

Maybe you’re a pro at incorporating text into your designs, and love doing it- or maybe you’re like me and a little bit apprehensive about the idea. Whether you’ve been doing it for years, or want to give it a first try, here are a few DIY projects to help bring out the creative typographer in you.

Patterned Text using Genue features Pattern line, Pattern book, or ABC text

This is a great technique for when you are creating a design featuring only text as the motif. It involves creating beautiful patterned typography. If you’re not familiar with Genue’s pattern line pattern-line   and pattern book  pattern-book features or how to create abc  text with pattern in it; here are the steps. First, create your text by typing with the fonts and colors you’ve selected or you can add text by writing in the canvas, then save as a pattern line or pattern book. If you save as a pattern line, create a design with text within that line. If you save as a pattern book, then incorporate that text design when you type using the Pattern choice in the ABC text function. Simple! Check out Genue for some inspiration, too.

Book Page Transfer

This technique from Birgit’s Daily Bites was originally used for embellishing artist books and journals, but I think this is a pretty cool way to create artwork for patterns as well. You’ll need some old book pages and Mod Podge. The process is very simple- spread some Mod Podge on your canvas, press your book page into the glue, let it dry- then lift up. Once you remove the page, the printed text stays behind on your canvas- sometimes a bit of the page stays stuck too, which can give it a beautiful, vintage look. See the full tutorial here:

Embroidered Lettering

If you’re a textile pattern designer, you are guaranteed to love this one. Why not try embroidering your text motif? Mary Corbet’s Needle N’ Thread has a huge archive of tutorials for embroidering letters. There are a couple of ways you can bring embroidered letters into your designs. First, you could add in some embroidered “accent” words or letters to a pattern. Another way is to embroider a text motif, photograph it, and create a “faux embroidery” digital print. Faux textile techniques in print design are very trendy right now, and mixing it with text could add a unique touch to your pattern. Get the archive of instructions here:

Have you created any text-heavy pattern designs? Try experimenting in Genue and show us what you come up with!

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