How to design a seamless pattern

Header image.

A seamless pattern is an image that can be placed side-by-side with copies of itself without any visible seams or interruptions on the content, so you can repeat this image and create a pattern that can go on infinitely to create unique backgrounds, text effects or brand elements.

Comparison of types of patterns.

Seamless patterns can be used in pretty much any design to bring visual interest, texture and consistency. Use this tutorial to learn easy ways to create your own custom patterns with Gravit Designer.

Set up your document

Start by creating a custom document size on Gravit Designer’s Welcome Screen. It’s easier to create a pattern tile using a perfectly square canvas size, so let’s use 400x400px. Fill the custom fields at the top of the Welcome Screen and click “Create!”.

Create new document.

Choose the elements

You can use pretty much anything to create a seamless pattern as long as it’s all positioned correctly, so it pretty much depends on the theme you want to follow. Let’s use some elements from Gravit Designer’s Library of Stickers for this tutorial.

Choose elements from Gravit's Libraries.

Place the elements correctly

The trick to create seamless patterns is the continuity of the elements you use on the tile. This means that the elements positioned on the border of your image need to match the border of the image of the next tile placed next to it, so that when put together, you can’t see any sort of division between the tiles. This is valid on the four edges of your tile.

Place the elements correctly.

To do that, first place the elements you want on the top and left edges of the canvas. You can position them exactly in the middle of the edge or not, it’s up to you and you can change this position later.

Placing elements correctly.

Duplicate and place on the opposite side

After positioning the elements, you need copies of them on the opposite sides to create the repeating pattern. Select all the elements and hit Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V, or go to menu Edit > Copy and then Edit > Paste.

For each copy of elements placed on the left edge, you need to add 400 pixels (the width of your canvas) on the X axis, using the Position fields on the Inspector panel.

Move copies on the X axis.
Move elements on X axis.

For the elements positioned on the top edge you will do the same, but adding 400 pixels to the Y axis on the Position field.

Move elements on Y axis.

Add the rest of the elements

Now that you have the seamless part of the elements positioning ready, you can add more elements distributed in the central part of the canvas. Let’s add one more element where the canvas looks more empty.

Place all elements.

You can also define a background color, using the Color Picker on the Inspector panel. Let’s use the color #FBF5D8 for this tutorial.

Choose a background color.

Your tile is done! You can click Clip Content on the Inspector panel to check how your file is going to look after exported. Everything appearing outside the canvas area will not be shown on the final exported image.

Clip content of the canvas.

Export your pattern tile

Now you can export your file to have the final image that can be used as a pattern. Go to menu File > Export > PNG image (.png).

Export pattern tile.

Tip: If you’re a Gravit PRO user, use the Advanced Export to export at 300dpi.

Test your tile

You can now import back the exported tile and try it out to see how it looks repeating as a seamless pattern. Import the image using the Place Image icon on the toolbar, via menu File > Import > Place image or simply by dragging the image from your folder to the canvas.

Import image to Gravit.

Once the image is placed, copy it and select Texture Fill on the color picker for the background color.

Select Texture Fill.

With Texture Fill selected and your image copied, click Paste on the Fill settings, to use the copied image as a texture.

Paste copied element.

With the slider you can change the size of the pattern. This is a good way to check if your pattern looks seamless or even to create patterns to be used on your Gravit Designer’s works.

Test pattern on Gravit.

Other kinds of patterns

You can use a similar technique to create other types of patterns, like a geometric one.

Let’s say I want to use this isometric cube to create a seamless pattern:

Isometric cube.

Make copies and align some rows with this shape leaving the Snap tool toggled on.

Make copies of the cube.

Select the Rectangle tool (R) and create a rectangle minding the vertices of the cubes. As you did before with the other pattern, the halves of the shapes at the edge of the rectangle need to match each other.

The cubes will be placed inside the rectangle, creating a clipping mask. You can select the cube layers and drag them to the rectangle layer on the Layers panel.

Create clipping mask.

Toggle off the visibility of the Rectangle’s border and then you can export this tile and import the final result as done in the previous example. This technique will also result in a tile that can be used to create a seamless pattern.

Test the pattern.

Minding the edges is the main trick, and by doing this you can create patterns with pretty much any elements.

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Claudia Driemeyer

Claudia Driemeyer

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