What is Pattern?

A pattern is a design in which anything is repeated. This could be lines, shapes, colours, or in this case lemons.


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The Motif

The motif is that part of the pattern that is being repeated. In this, example the motif is these cherries.

Patterns can have more than one Motif and Motifs can be arranged in a variety of ways to create different types of pattern (see below).

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Regular Patterns

Regular Patterns are always manmade. In regular patterns the motif(s) is repeated in a way that is predictable.

The motif can be exactly the same each time, or it can change. If it changes then it will change in a way that it predictable. For example the hearts in this pattern change colour, but that same colours are repeated throughout the pattern.

There are many ways to arrange motifs to create a regular pattern.

Block Repeats

The simplest way to create a regular pattern is called a block repeat or a grid repeat.

In a block repeat the motif or motifs are repeated in a grid, equally spaced in horizontal and vertical lines.

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Half Drop Repeats

Half-drop patterns are the same as block repeats except that every second line is moved by half.

Half-drop patterns are very popular because they feel predictable but also feel more varied.

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Irregular Patterns

Irregular patterns are mostly found in nature, but can be manmade. In irregular patterns the motif is repeated randomly or unpredictably. Irregular patterns can have one or many motifs. 

The motif can be exactly the same each time, or it can change.

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Radial Patterns

Radial patterns are regular patterns that are arranged around a central point. They have a very balanced appearance and can be a great way to bring attention to a central point in a design. Radial patterns are very common in Islamic pattern design.