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It’s time again for our monthly UPPERCASE giveaway! We know many of you have become fans of this great magazine and if the social media buzz is any indication, you enjoyed Issue 21 as much as we did. In addition to the great articles about craft, style and print that we always enjoy in UPPERCASE, the latest issue includes an UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide! It’s full of gorgeous designs and expert advice from industry professionals.

The beautiful ceramics on the cover are by artist Molly Hatch.

The highlight of the latest issue is the art of 100 amazing artists. Here’s a short video from UPPERCASE about the Surface Pattern Design Guide and how to stand out as a surface pattern designer:

You can get a full look at the complete issue here, and you can start your subscription with Issue 21 here.

I’m honored to be included as an industry expert in Issue 21. When the UPPERCASE editor, Janine Vangool, asked me if I’d like to write “10 Expert Tips” for the Design Guide, she left it wide open as to what those tips might be, but I immediately knew what I’d like to say. As a buyer for an online fabric store for eight years, I would shop for new collections quarterly. Typically, reps would show me designs on paper, and sometimes on fabric. From a quick glance of a small sample, I would have to decide whether or not the fabric would sell well to our customers. Very often I would say to myself, “This artist is very talented but they most definitely don’t sew.” Designers who transition from other industries (scrapbooking, wall paper, greeting cards, etc.) often miss the mark when it comes to designing for fabric. I therefore came up with 10 questions to consider if you’re trying to market your designs to the sewing industry:

    1. How will the design read if it’s cut and sewn sideways or upside down?
    2. Are the colors going to coordinate with other fabrics already on the market?
    3. Are there opportunities for fussy cutting?
    4. Is the repeat subtle?
    5. Is the scale going to work for a variety of projects?
    6. Will the design work if it’s printed on stretchy fabrics or worn over curves?
    7. Are the illustrations on-trend?
    8. If it’s a collection of prints, does it tell a story or evoke a mood?
    9. If it’s a collection, are there coordinating designs to support the feature prints?
    10. Does it inspire?

(See Issue 21 of UPPERCASE to read more about each of these questions and my advice to designers.)

What do you think? Do any of our tips about fabric design jump out at you as being particularly important? Do you disagree with any of them? Are there other things you wish designers would consider when they’re working on a fabric collection? Add your thoughts in the comments for a chance to win an issue of UPPERCASE!