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The importance of the design development phase

Design development is such an important part of the design process. It can be a step that can easily be missed but it can really make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful design.

What is design development?

The design development stage is the step where you’re going to start developing all of your ideas that you will potentially use within your pattern. This should be a really experimental phase.

You’re going to start by using the inspiration you’ve gathered and your mood board as reference points to start creating lots of different ideas that you can potentially use within your patterns.

First of all, make sure that you use your mood board to develop your ideas from so that it really stays in line with your initial theme and story but you also want to be really experimental. You can find out more about creating mood boards here and here.

One of the things that I so often see with students that I’ve worked with is that they are really reluctant to work through this phase and they create few ideas then hope they have enough to use for their pattern repeats. But these designs never end up as successful.

Be open and experimental

When you’re thinking about your design process make sure you are really open to trying different techniques, mediums and different ways of working. Experiment by creating lots of texture, colour and pattern ideas so you have lots of work with to create your motifs.

Most importantly be open to experimenting and coming up with as many different ideas. as you can. That way you’ll have lots of choices when you start developing your pattern designs and collections.

What I’ve noticed with students that only create a few ideas is that they often feel stuck and rather than creating new ideas they feel they have to use those ideas. They then end up limiting themselves, their creativity and their outcomes. The outcome is then never as good as it could be.

The more ideas you have the more options you will be giving yourself. And you don’t have to use all your ideas or one collection, you can always use them in future designs so nothing goes to waste.

The process of experimenting will not only help you learn and develop your way of working but it will let you discover new and unexpected outcomes. The process is all about learning and developing and them more development you do, the better you’re going to get, and the more successful the outcome you are going to be.

Once you’ve finished your experimenting, it’s time to refine your ideas into the motifs that you’re going to use within your pattern repeats. So I really highly recommend you to take time and enjoy this phase because it really will help you with your end design.

It’s a really fun and experimental process so I really encourage you to take the time at this point to really enjoy developing your ideas.


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