Pattern design is an orderly enrichment of surface by ornament. It activates an area. The surface may be textile, glass, wood, wallpaper, wrapping paper, or any other surface. Pattern design is shown to best advantage when it has enough plain surface around it to act as a contrasting resting place for the eye from the activity of the patterned area.
The first step is to make a layout or general plan of the area to be designed. You must decide whether you want to confine the design to some areas or whether you want it all over and accordingly mark a layout. The layout does not contain any of the finished designs, not even a suggestion of the subject matter to be used. It is simply a guide as to where the design will be put. The layout is made exactly to scale.
Once the layout is complete you may decide upon subject matter. Do you wish to make a completely abstract design, or do you wish to use figures and shapes. Since the three dimensional unit of expression is in general not in harmony with a two-dimensional surface, this leaves two satisfactory methods of approach: line, and area.