Why Your Brand needs a Custom Surface Pattern Design
Custom Surface Pattern Design 315 Designs

Have you ever been drawn to a product because you liked the look of its packaging or label?  If I had to guess, I would say yes, you probably have. We all have at one point or another, stopped dead in our tracks to check out a product just because it had a pretty (striking, bold, colorful, unique) pattern on its packaging or label.

dragonfly pattern 315 designs

I know I have, not just because I’m a designer and I notice these things, but really and truly there is something powerful about patterns. They have the power to speak to you and make you want to buy a product just because of how they look.  They speak to you in a unique way, without using words, which is why patterns are very powerful and a key player in your brand marketing.  

And that is not just me talking because I love patterns, scientifically, the brain recognizes repetition so a pattern or texture that is incorporated into your brand will help it to be remembered and identifiable.

“Quite simply, humans are amazing pattern-recognition machines. They have the ability to recognize many different types of patterns - and then transform these  "recursive probabilistic fractals" into concrete, actionable steps.” https://bigthink.com/endless-innovation/humans-are-the-worlds-best-pattern-recognition-machines-but-for-how-long

 And they are everywhere 

Patterns are everywhere in the world around us. Patterns can be found on everything from clothing, housewares, artwork, and wallpaper, just to name a few. Patterns have the ability to draw people to a product by speaking to them without words by invoking a feeling.  They add color and personality to packaging and distinguish brands from each other.

 Patterns give your brand the uniqueness it needs to help your branding stand out

A custom-made pattern will add that extra special touch guaranteed to help your brand stand out from the competition while supporting your brand message.  Oftentimes a unique pattern design will incorporate core brand elements which will help build consistency and help with brand recognition.

tshirt patterm. 315 designs

How to use patterns for your brand 

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Patterns can be used on everything from your business cards, labels, packaging, stamps, websites, cover photos and a whole lot more.   Gone are the days when logos tied the brand together. Now it's a pattern that pulls it all together. In fact, over time, a pattern can become so popular that it speaks to an audience in such as away that it because an icon of a brand’s reputation and fully promotes a lifestyle.

Use patterns to help your audience visually recognize your brand:

  • Business Cards
  • Marketing Presentations
  • Ad Design
  • Labels
  • Packaging
  • Stamps
  • Social Media Posts
  • Social Media Cover Photos
  • Blog Posts
  • Web Banners
  • T-shirts/Clothing
  • Tissue Paper
  • Bags
Business Card Design 315 Designs

Create an iconic brand

In fact, over time, a pattern can become so popular that it becomes iconic and therefore the brand becomes iconic.  A popular pattern has the power to sell a product even without the use of a company logo.  They become part of our culture.  

LV Bag
Pattern Design Branding

Ready to create a custom pattern for your brand?  Great!  

Book Cover Design + Press Release | Mark Lado, Manufacturing Operations Consultant and Author

One of the great things about being a freelance graphic designer, is I have the freedom to work on a wide variety of design projects including book covers.  A book cover design is a great challenge.  A challenge that I don't take lightly and quite frankly, it is often a project that takes more time (or as much time) as starting a branding project from scratch.  Working with indie authors, I create a work of art that will not only entice the reader to purchase their book but also, is essentially the key to their success.  So the pressure is on!  

Mark Lado Book Cover Design 315 Designs.jpeg

My most recent book cover design project was one that I'm happy to report went very well, from start to finish.  Author Mark Lado is a manufacturing expert and he had been working on his book, "Building a Showcase Culture" for quite some time and was just entering the final editing phase which is one of the hardest and most stressful phases of the book writing process.  Once the editing phase has begun, authors are faced with another great challenge, designing their cover.  Some authors choose to try and design the cover themselves, but in most cases, this is a huge mistake.  Authors should have a vision for their cover, but since they are not usually designers by trade, it poses a serious challenge to try and create something themselves.  This is a big problem and the reason why most indie authors do not sell many books.  The design of the book cover matters because:

  • It entices readers to purchase your book
  • It is the key element to your marketing campaign
  • The image of your cover is used everywhere you try and sell your book

"One of the most challenging tasks for a new independent author is dealing with the design for the cover of his or her book. There’s no place I know of that’s the subject of more anxiety, scrutiny, second-guessing, crowdsourcing, opinion-mongering, and general unease than the small space of your book cover." Cover Design is Challenging for Authors

Book Cover Design Concepts

During our initial consultation, Mark and I discussed his vision for the cover and I learned about his target audience and what publishing sources he would use.  After some brainstorming, I went about my work.  I came up with three strong concepts for Mark to review.  We were going for a clean design with a corporate feel using red, black and white as a preferred color combo. 

As I was tweaking my design concepts, I toyed with the navy blue as shown in concept one and liked it so much, I decided to present it to Mark.  And guess what?  He absolutely loved this concept.     I always seem to have at least one favorite, and it just so happened that Mark also preferred the same concept.

Book cover design concept 1 (Chosen design)

Book Cover Design Mockup 1

Book cover design concept 2

Book Cover Design Concept 2

Book cover design concept 3

Book Cover Design Concept 3

Press Release

To announce the launch of the book, I suggested we also write a press release and distribute to local media.  You can read Mark's press release on several local media outlets including:

Iheart Oswego.

Oswego County Today


To Purchase Mark's Book visit Amazon


Mobile Website Design | Patrick O'Leary Artist
Website Design Fulton NY

One of the great things about my job, is that I get to work with some incredibly talented people.  Recently, I had the pleasure of designing a mobile friendly portfolio website for Patrick O'Leary.  Patrick is a young artist and a very talented guy!  His work is fresh, colorful and thought provoking.  I really wanted this website to be free to show his unique style so I kept color to a minimum and went with a clean, minimalist look.  

Mobile Friendly Website Design

Website Design Services

Since Patrick is not ready for a full e-commerce website I suggested we create a portfolio gallery to showcase several of his favorite works, and provide viewers with contact information right above his portfolio so that they can get in touch easily.

Portfolio Website Design
Heather McCoyComment
Surface Pattern Design Challenge 2017
Custom Pattern Design 315 Designs Heather McCoy

This past December, I participated in a design challenge hosted by the creators of MOYO Magazine based in the UK.   MOYO Magazine is a wonderful publication that covers all things surface pattern design.  Just looking at this magazine will drive you wild with inspiration!

The challenge presented participants with a surface pattern creative brief and an opportunity to show finished works in their gallery.


I enjoyed participating in the challenge for a couple of reasons:

1. To further enhance my surface pattern design skill set by joining a challenge to create several patterns from scratch based on a completely random creative brief. A creative brief not intended for branding design (which I'm very familiar with) but rather the intended purpose would be for use the fashion and textile industry to create clothing or maybe even household goods.

2. To step outside my comfort zone and gain some insight into the fashion industry.  

Backstory...  I love creating custom custom patterns based on simple doodles, shapes, lines and squiggles, however, most of my patterns are used for branding design or paper goods.  Textile design is a whole different ballgame and it takes some extra creativity and fashion sense.  Not that it cannot also work for certain brands, but I enjoy learning about the industry as a whole.

The first challenge was to create a 'Neutral Art' pattern using specifically a neutral palette, linear drawings, artistic marks, doodles and or delicate textures.

Below is the custom illustration I came up with to start which I named 'Whimsical Ink' (we were asked to come up with a name for our design).  This line art drawing is meant to look like ink that has been swirled on a surface and appear a bit liquid.  


Creating an illustration is fun and can be somewhat simple, but then comes the challenging part:

  1. Decide on the proper scale of the illustration once made into a pattern

  2. Decide whether to color or not color the lines

  3. Decide whether to add a background color or leave black and white

Below are the version of the pattern design I came up with.  To color or not to color?


Pattern Design Heather McCoy
Surface Pattern Design 315 Designs

I decided to go with my favorite, black and white version of the pattern.  It seemed to fit the look I was going for better as it was a bit more striking.  But what is amazing about pattern design is that a textile company could purchase the pattern and use different color combinations to suit their needs.


Below is my 'Whimsical Ink' pattern swatch shown in their Neutral Art Gallery. (6th from left on the top row)

Pattern Design Gallery

Here is an example of how this pattern would look on a throw pillow.  Wouldn't look great on a gray couch?

Whimsical Ink Pillow.png
Heather McCoyComment