BY LENA WECKSTRÖM
Patterns on graphic concrete walls are very popular and may come in any shape, form or color. If you are wondering, “Can I make my own concrete graphic pattern?”, you can. Below are the why’s and how’s, as well as access to the 4 easy steps that will help you design your own pattern.
The advantages of making your own pattern –– rather than using some of our many existing patterns –– are uniqueness and the opportunity to get your message across in an incredibly stunning and memorable way.
A pattern occurs when one or more images or objects repeat themselves and fill up a space (like the paper piles on my desk, only much more attractive!). The effect of the pattern depends on which symbols are used and how they are repeated. The repeating image can be very small (such as a dot) or consist of larger groupings of images. The pattern formation can be very regular or quite irregular, almost to the point where the repetition is hard to notice.
In all cases, the power of graphics is clear: A pattern makes an imprint on the memory, associating the design with the place or organization to which it’s tied. Patterns can be used to elevate and personalize an otherwise generic product or design. Likewise, brands often have a defining pattern, as seen in sports clothing, furniture and any number of items on the market.
With patterned concrete wall panels, you can brand a building more visually (and more memorably) or take your design idea further than with any other traditional concrete surface application. When I started working at Graphic Concrete, one of the first tasks that I had to master was being able to sketch “seamless patterns” for precast concrete panels. A seamless pattern is a design template for an image that will have no visible breaks. It can go on forever.
There’s almost no limit to what the pattern could be: Whatever can be printed on a piece of paper can be transferred to the concrete surface. This fact made me really eager – it was time to start designing!
I am an architect and had never worked with patterns. In my eagerness to develop seamless patterns, I thought designing one would be easy, but no. The lines, the shapes would need to appear interesting, perhaps whimsical, with a starting point on one side of the template. They would march or wind or hopscotch their way across the template, but somehow must get back to the starting place by the time they reached the other side. You may have tried to design a seamless pattern, too, and experienced the same frustration I did at that time.
Well, here is a little secret: In those early days, I never got the pattern to continue seamlessly. Then one day, I asked for help (and should do that more often!). As a result, my lovely colleague showed me The Trick.
I absolutely love it! With The Trick, there are just 4 easy steps for when you say, “I want to make my own graphic concrete pattern.” You will never have to be frustrated again.