Monday, 9 April 2018

How to Make Repeat Patterns, by Paul Jackson. Review.

A Guide for Designers, Architects and Artists

By Paul Jackson

Laurence King Publishing Ltd, April 2018

Paperback, £17.99

ISBN 978-1-78627-129-7

Star rating: *****

Brand new from papercraft guru Paul Jackson – a genius new title about pattern design. Those who are familiar with the wonderful paper manipulation how-to books of this author may be surprised by the subject of this title – but the book’s existence is due to a eureka moment when Paul Jackson intuited that his paper-folding skills were based on an underlying understanding of how to create pattern repeats. Transferable skills! (I am personally very big on the design theory of everything – what you know in papercraft can be applied to, say, crochet, if you only just think about it. Yup, everything is mathematical.)

This highly-illustrated book is a detailed explainer of precisely how to create pattern repeats, building upon basic principles. Each chapter builds upon the previous one, starting with the four principles of pattern design (symmetry operations to the initiated) – you have to learn the lingo – rotation (think clock hands), translation (directional sliding), reflection (mirror flip), and glide reflection (slide + flip), and culminating in – yay! – M C Escher-style tessellations.

You do have to be committed to read this book.You must focus and progress chapter by chapter – no fast-forwarding or dipping in – quiet and coffee will help. Your patience will reap mega rewards – by the book’s conclusion you will have a deeper understanding of how to generate patterns. And you will be champing at the bits, eager to have a go at designing astonishing tessellating patterns and exquisite all-over designs.

Although the terminology is, well, geeky, the explanations about exactly how to go about building patterns are clear and straightforward. The section on designing Escher-type repeats is particularly praise-worthy. The creation of astonishing puzzle shapes is broken down into simple, do-able operations. The sections about triangular and hexagonal tessellating tiles were unexplored territory for me. Now what initially seemed daunting looks achievable.

Back of book is a delightful bit entitled “Learn the Rules...Break the Rules”, which comes with several fun suggestions of how to mix things up for lively pattern-creation results.

Check out Paul Jackson’s other indispensable design titles, all from Laurence King:

Note: I was given a review copy of How to Make Repeat Patterns.