Pattern & Texture: Jacob Granneman

Photo of a textured surface, from #pattern

Patterns, with there either vibrant, allure or gaudy, repulsiveness, are ornamental designs comprised of infinitely repeating combinations of shapes. In Graphic Design: The New Basics, the authors discuss how patterns are derived from the formation of isolated elements linear elements and the process of combining them. Furthermore, most patterns can be broken down into groups of dots, stripes and grids. The dots and stripes can often actually make up the grid, as they mesh together to form the illusion of lines slicing across the design in any direction. In this pattern, (left), the negative space between triangles actually created the lines that connect the pattern to itself. The pattern is really the result of two different triangular shapes meeting, then repeated over and over again. Simpler than what one might think at first glance.

Photo of peeling ads and posters presenting a highly textured wall from, #texture

Texture is what gives us the ability to visually and tactically distinguish objects and their purposes. In design, texture serves a similar purpose, but can be categorized in two ways. There is the physical side of texture, which is somewhat self-explanatory. This is the actual, “feel-able” texture; the type that would appear on a piece that was printed or designed by hand. The other dimension of texture is the virtual. The type of texture that is merely implied, do to what our brain perceives when viewing a photo or design. Take this photograph, (right), you most likely believe it is comprised of rough, torn paper, even though you cannot actually feel that. This is your brain calculating from prior physical experience, and applying it to the virtual texture in front of you.

In this graphic, (left), there are elements of pattern and texture, as well as evidence of points, lines and planes intersecting to create a singular design. The circles could act as dots or large points, and most certainly create a repetitive element. We associate them as one unit, due to the Gestalt Principle of proximity, which aids in the designs pattern qualities. More importantly, our minds see a broken varied surface, and we are very nearly convinced that if we were permitted to touch it, it would feel jagged and uneven. The individual triangles of varying shades, help this, but also contribute as the star planes of the design. As a final symphony note, the lines throughout tie the composition together from edge to edge with fervent angles and sharp intersections.

About Jacob Granneman

Jacob has been the Multimedia Editor for The Clark College Independent. He is also an improvisational actor and enjoys all forms of writing and videography. Find more of his work at or at
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