A Peek into Ellen Evered’s Design Process

Hi, I’m Ellen owner and designer for Ellen Evered Designs. I am a graphic designer with 10+ years of experience in the packaging and product design field and a graduate of OCAD.

EEDesertSpirit_pillows

Ever since I can remember, I’ve seen patterns in my surroundings – the silhouette of tree branches against the sky, the repetition of flower petals in my parents’ garden, the dots of umbrellas along a rainy street. I’m also pretty obsessed with patterned textiles – my home and wardrobe are full of fun florals, colourful geometrics and abstract patterns. I’m now combining this love with my experience as a graphic designer to create fabric and other surface pattern designs.

Until recently, pattern design was just a fun means of creative expression. Then I kept hearing how my designs would look great on pillows, a scarf, drapes or maybe wrapping paper. So I decided to take a few online courses offered by Make It In Design. I loved it! I learned how to put together a collection and some of the business side of the industry too. Since then I’ve launched Ellen Evered Designs  and have a variety of products available. In May I was featured in the latest issue of Moyo Magazine.  I’m now in the process of making my patterns available on fabric and hope to license my designs to manufacturers.

EEToadstoolTime_totebags

Here’s a peek at my creative process:

I draw inspiration from many sources and the idea for a design or a colour palette can come from quite random places. I’ve learned to keep my eyes open to the world around me, because you never know where an interesting image will lead you! My “Garden Grace” collection contains gingko leaves from a tree I saw everyday commuting to work and lupins from one of my son’s favourite picture books. Tree stumps visible throughout my neighborhood following Toronto’s ice storm this past winter inspired a design from my “The Great Outdoors” collection.

EETheGreatOutdoors_collection

I’ve learned to sketch a lot so I have a wide selection of content to work with. It’s a practice that was instilled in me from my days at OCAD. If I don’t have a notebook and pen on me, I’ll take a picture or pocket the object that catches my fancy and draw it later. Once I have enough interesting drawings, I scan the sketches and bring them into Adobe Illustrator. There I’ll clean up and redraw the images or use live trace to create vector versions. Then I’ll combine the elements to create patterns. Usually I have an idea of what the overall look and feel will be, but I also like to play around. I work out the kinks and the technical repeats after.

EEWaterLilyDreams_bedding

I typically create 1 to 4 main designs, and then a group of supporting patterns with a variety of scale to form a collection. I try to ensure that the different patterns work together, but are also interesting enough to work independently.

You can keep up to date on my progress by following my facebook page:

I’d love to hear what you think!