Egg Cups Pattern Design

Design Inspiration

I found this oddly shaped egg cup in a charity shop. I was attracted to its shape and its fabulous, desaturated blue colour.

To use the element in a pattern design I wanted to emphasise the unusual shape by showing it at different angles. I could have simply rotated the image but liked the idea that the shadow could be consistent throughout all of them. So the egg cup was shot and revolved at different angles, I then used the best shots combined to create the first artwork.

Colour Variations

For my pattern designs I use a catalogue of numbered, standard colours. There are currently 35x colours to choose from for example – 0 is white and 33 is black. Now I was able to colour each of the three elements; 1, circle 2, ellipse 3, background the number of colour combinations was astronomic. 35 x 35 x 35 = 42,875. There would be 35 that should be discounted though – designs where all three codes are the same – reducing the possibilities to 42,840!

Creating a Numbering System

With so many combinations it was vital to have a strict numbering system. I have used the order; 1-circle, 2-ellipse, 3-background. So for example F-34-35-11 means; 34 = pink, 35 = green, 10 = yellow – as shown here.

Placing The Pattern In A Location

To give context I combined a selection of finished designs with a straight-on shot of the chair used in my design for mid century modern chairs. Adding a fake carpet and simple skirting board. For every image I altered the colour of the real chair to complement the surface wallpaper. For each design I also created a simple version that was just the pattern, to show how the design could be used for fabric, lampshades, and other surfaces.

The Mega-Sized Version of Egg Cups

As an experiment I tried making the design elements gigantic. So large there would only be four in drop of paper. I think this was another turning point where the design took a massive leap. Once again the number of colour combinations doubled to an amazing 85,680.

Creating This Page

With so many colour combinations it would be impractical to show all of them. Here I have chosen 12 x mega versions (mainly 3 coloured) and their normal-sized next to them. These are followed by a selection of designs with only two colours which are less of an optical illusion and perhaps more realistic to chose for wrapping paper and soft furnishings.

* Smaller screen sizes are designed to display less colour examples.
Rolling your mouse over an image will display its code.

The Future

While exploring colour combinations I felt a lot of the smaller designs would be fabulous for lightweight dress fabrics. The Mega designs would be dramatic when used on a feature wall as wallpaper. On a much larger location such as a shopping centre they would be great fun too!

I would love this design to have another life taken up by a manufacturer. Please contact me if you would like a high resolution file or to talk about how we could work together.

Design Progression – above

  • Design A used a traced version of the photographs in different shades of dusty blue. I experimented with different background colours, but found the egg cup always in dusty blue was a limitation.
  • Design B recolours the egg cups in shades of grey. Again not all that possible to make interesting colour combinations.
  • Design C recolours the egg cups into much simpler shapes with a lot less paths. Colouring the shadow much more dramatic black and the egg cup green.
  • Design D takes out the shadow element altogether by replacing the shape for the egg with a simple white circle.
  • Design E replaces the white circle for a pink one – rather reminiscent of pimento stuffed olives – which wasn’t really my intention. At this point the design still contains the complex auto-trace paths which looked too busy.
  • Design F starts with a much simpler elliptical path with a circular path inside. This is the point of the breakthrough as the three elements 1, circle 2, ellipse 3, background could be coloured independently.
  • Design G takes out the coloured elements of the design and simply replaces all the traced outlines with white fills. Taking the design in a totally different direction. Yet to be explored…
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