ARL pattern zines

ARL pattern zines

winter 2018

Completed at Facebook New York’s Analog Research Lab

The center of my design residency at the Analog Research Lab inside Facebook NY was a self-assigned exercise in pattern-making. Given six free weeks to play, I didn’t know where to begin or how to create structure for myself! 

Each day I’d sit down with a blank worksheet of the same shape and see how many I could draw in 30 minutes. I typically select a visual approach, like blobs, animals, dotted lines, heavy texture, etc. Next I’d select a handful of the best motifs and refine them digitally. Those tiles would become five digital patterns, and the next day I’d start over. On Friday’s, I’d take the previous four days’ patterns (now twenty in number) and lay them out in a zine template I’d designed for the risograph, which prints a single layer of transparent color at a time. Each spread included a small diagram describing the tile used and its orientation and repetition, and the covers featured all of the tiles in a single pattern.

Printing the edition always yielded surprises as I played with the printer’s limitations. At the beginning of the following week, I’d start the exercise over again with a new tile shape and color palette.

In total I created five zines of the patterns, and spent the sixth week applying what I’d made to a larger paper installation, linked here

I’ve since taught this process as a workshop and find it delightful and invigorating, a reliable structure for creating new artwork for individuals of all skill levels. I’m grateful for the time to play, explore, and enjoy the surprises.

The images below are a brief selection of the spreads, some exercises were more successful than others, but many of the sketches from this process have made their way into future projects.