Ribbons Pattern Design
The design is based on half-roll widths, as shown here, but could be scaled to any size of course. Here I have shown each drop slightly out of alignment to explain the design.
Ribbons Pattern Design
I have been working on a way to re-invent the pattern repeat, so that the final effect would be totally unique. The Ribbons pattern repeat works by using a series of vertical, equally-spaced, cross-over points. The ribbons are always smoothed horizontal when they cross these points. Rather like a series of points on a complicated railway line. Using this system every drop of wallpaper can change how the pattern looks by moving it up or down to whichever cross-over point is chosen.
When working on the ribbons I liked how when they were twisted they create a super-skinny, almost caligraphic serif element. The final design looks like it could be Arabic script perhaps.
For my pattern designs I use a catalogue of numbered, standard colours. There are currently 39 colours to choose from for example – 0 is white and 33 is black. For the Ribbons I have selected a colour for the ribbons themselves and a second colour for the background. This totals 39 x 39 = 1,521 different combinations, less 39 for those where the ribbon is the same colour as the background which comes to a total of 1,482 possible colour combinations.
Using Only One Colour
Working through each of the combinations I found that using white for the ribbons and just the background colour works very well too. So the pattern would work for companies such as Farrow and Ball who print their wallpapers using white onto a range of their paint colours.
I could have created yet another colour for the shadows of the ribbons, but decided to use 10% black instead, to reduce the number of colour combinations. Using this means that it just darkens the background colour slightly, making the shadow look more convincing.
Creating a Numbering System
With so many combinations it was vital to have a strict numbering system. I have used the code of the ribbon swatch followed by the colour code of the background, so for instance A-31-4 has blue ribbons on a teal coloured background.
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, wrapping paper, and other surfaces.
Large Scale Surface Pattern
I think the flexibility of this pattern would make it ideal for extra-large surface areas, such as airport lounges or office receptions. It would also be stunning when etched into glass. The design is vector-based so can scale to any size with no loss in quality.
Related Design Called Detour
If you like the Ribbons pattern design you might to look at Detour which has similar elements, worked in a chunkier design.
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.
For more information about Pattern Repeat see Wikipedia.