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Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 1,957 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Betabrand + COLOURlovers: Color-a-Plaid Shirt Contest Winner!

Betabrand + COLOURlovers: Color-a-Plaid Shirt Contest Winner!

If you haven't caught wind already, 'Elements' by Lisa Clair (lisadale69) is our winner of the Color-A-Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers


To be noted: I [mollybermea] am not responsible for Lisa's palette combination. I simply needed it in palette form for a badge in this post.

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Congratulations to Lisa for her fantastic design!

Here's what she gets:

- A $100 Betabrand gift certificate.
- Recognition on our Web site.
- A Betabrand plaid flannel shirt based on her design — the very first of the batch that we're selling this Fall! Each shirt will have her name on the label (see below).

 WOW, 5,000+ Submissions!

Betabrand wants to thank the COLOURlovers community for the more than 5,000 design submissions they received as well as a big thanks to everyone who voted - five (5) voters also won something special.  Check out Betabrand's announcement here.

"We love collaborating in order to bring new expertise and fresh perspective to Betabrand's daily commitment to invention and this has been one of the most satisfying collaborations we've been involved with to date. We can't wait to see the finished flannel shirts this Fall and we're looking forward to keeping in touch with the COLOURlovers community." - Jared :: Head of Design at Betabrand

If you're just now tuning in, check out the initial contest post, plus here were our nine (9) finalists. That about covers it. Looking forward to the next one!

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Tribal 2012 Swim Fashion Meets COLOURlovers Designs

Tribal 2012 Swim Fashion Meets COLOURlovers Designs

As the Summer (for most of us) comes to a close and we seep in to Fall, we take a look back at the Mercedes Miami Swim Fashion Week back in July. Noticeable neon Indian inspired Tribal Trends are seeping in to the 2012 RTW ("Ready To Wear") collections.

"From Fierce animal prints to safari suiting, spring is swinging to a tribal beat..." - Vogue.com


COLOURlovers themselves seem to be trending amongst pattern and palette designs. Take a look for yourself...

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Mara Hoffman


Mara Hoffman collaged complex patterns and playful color combinations, using cooler hues like ostrich feather green and sky blue as a base to feature rays of fluorescent warmer oranges, yellows, and pinks. Showing a flair for Egyptian patterns and colors, Hoffman cites her husband Javier Piñón’s last collection O Babalon as an influence for her tribal trend.

Dinelia Brazil & Luli Fama

Dinelia Brazil and Luli Fama chanelled their respective Brazilian and Cuban heritages, using similar heavily saturated palettes to create a modern spin on tribal lineated patterns.




Red Carter

Heavily saturated eye-popping brights are set to bleed into the next season, after being mastered this spring by fashion veterans from Haider Ackermann to Jill Sander, and Rachel Roy.  Red Carter used blocks of electric blue, lime green and flaming coral to create strong futuristic swimwear bound to turn heads.



Aqua Di Lara

On the other end of the color saturation spectrum, soft watercolors and bleeding patterns created a rainbow connection. Aqua Di Lara stayed true to its feminine style by evoking galaxy gazing, with midnight blues as a backdrop for whirls of soft pinks, mellow yellows and dewy greens.

Softer pastel prints were also channeled by White Sands Australia in Australian bushland inspired colors of soft olive, sweet peach and pale wattle yellow.  L*Space, Caffe Swimwear and A.Che also proved that pretty pops of posies on a light canvas are eternally classic.





Regardless of your penchant for neon or pastels, next Summer is set to sizzle with these colorful new trends.

All photos courtesy of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim

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Printing with Patterns: Three Key Points + $75 Giveaway from Next Day Flyers

Printing with Patterns: Three Key Points + $75 Giveaway from Next Day Flyers

Using patterns in print design can really punch up a project. It's nothing new, but I'd like to point out a few different variations you might see as key benefits.

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Single Use Design Pieces

Simplify a project by using patterns. In this design, the abstract pattern with the perfect color palette, truly resembles a feel for the arts. It doesn't restrict the design to a certain type of art where the festival might cover anything from painting, sculpting, fiber arts and more. Using an artistically geared pattern keeps that visual open.

Print Magazine's, Color in Design Awards (2011) / Poster Design by Dave Whitley

Coordinating Design Pieces

Using patterns in coordinating print projects can easily lend a hand in matching sets of items such as wedding invitations which usually contain a main element, the invitation - plus response cards, enclosure cards, save the date cards and thank you cards. Not to mention possibly following through with the design on wedding day programs, seat placement cards, etc.

autumn textile by weddingpaperdivas.com

Reusable & Customizable Design Pieces

When working with products you want buyers to customize, simple two-color patterns make it easy to do so. This makes it a snap for you to go in and adjust the pattern palette before shipping a digital file or physical product off to a client.

Tea Invitation by FLIPAWOO (customizable pattern invitations)

No matter what type of print project you have, these are a few benefits to using patterns to speed up your design or business process, not to mention a great way to add a ton of interest in your work.

Using COLOURlovers Patterns in your designs...

Here at COLOURlovers you can download an .SVG file of your pattern designs as long as you were the original Pattern Template creator. Additionally, if you have Seamless Studio, you can export designs as: .SVG, .JPG or .PNG to be able to use in other graphics software for design.

The Giveaway - How to Earn Your $75

This is a random giveaway picked from those who leave a comment. You have two choices:

Link to and place an image of a project you have designed with patterns. This can be from a yesterday or today, real or fake and must be a complete looking project. Does it fall under one of the three examples above?


Link to and place an image of a print piece or pieces (such as a wedding invitation set) you adore and think is a prime example of one of the above three examples.

In addition, I'd love to know why you like using patterns in your design or why you like seeing patterns in design.

Entries will be collected through Sunday, August 28th, 2011 (by midnight PST). 

Next Day Flyers, the postcard printing specialists will be providing gift a credit of $75 to the randomly selected winner!


header credit:

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Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork

Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork

Introducing...PLYWERK, an eco-conscious photo mounting and art panel company based in Portland Oregon. They work with professional artists, photographers, interior designers, point and shoot photographers, parents, and everyone in between!

Art pieces are a made up of your print adhered to a Plywerk Panel to create a beautifully natural piece of wall art. Gorgeous bamboo or maple are offered for the wood options.

Plywerk Anatomy 101

Bamboo & Maple Plywerk Panels

COLOURlovers has recently become a Pro Partner of PLYWERK. Why is this super notable to mention? Because you're going to get the best, most amazing deals ever when you create an account (which is free). These deals are customized to COLOURlovers Members Only under the Prodeal membership (which is also free). Pretty sweet huh?

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Copyrights: Are they always Black and White?

Copyrights: Are they always Black and White?

Hello COLOURlovers!

Copyrights are well known topics that continually float around the community. So I've snagged someone in the business of creating and selling vector artwork to explain in laymen's terms the crazy in's and out's of copyright (with digital art). I'd like to introduce to the blog authorship, Ray Dombroski, founder of The Vector Lab (thevectorlab.com) and a COLOURlover himself.

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Enjoy the post ~ Molly Bermea / Blog Editor



Intellectual Property and Copyrights

Whenever an artist creates a new original work in the United States as well as in many other countries, it is automatically covered under copyright protection.  With the use of licensing, that artist can grant certain additional rights to others. A license can be written to give someone else the right to resell the art or create derivative works (remix or change the art), for example. These licenses are important when it comes to using stock art or clip art for your own designs.

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Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"

Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"

Some of you may already know our own sec9586, some of you may have just heard of her as the designer of the Betabrand plaid pattern, "Betabrand2" in our contest, "Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers". Either way, we're featuring her today so you can get to know her even better!

Shawna Crouch, aka "sec9586", is the owner / operator of CrouchDesign. She attended Murray State University, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art/Graphic Design in 2009, and specializes primarily in print design. Along with her designing day job, she runs a small shop on Zazzle as CrouchDesign, where she offers freelance design services. She also has an Etsy shop,  AquaNetNightmare, set to reopen September 1st, 2011 which will offer jewelry, cards, invitations, stationary and drawings.

Shawna continually uses COLOURlovers in every which way for both work and fun. Let's take a peek at how she does it...

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Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers

Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers

Have you ever wanted to apply your color design abilities to a real-life product? Well here's your big opportunity! Rev up your color coordination skills and become the next palette designer for a plaid shirt offered through Betabrand! You'll get the unique opportunity to color a plaid pattern, see the design in action (applied to a template shirt) and the possibility of having your colors picked for print. How cool is that?!

Betabrand is an online-only clothing company based in San Francisco that produces unique designs in limited-edition batches every week. They make Cordarounds, Japants, DARPA hoodies, Farmer's Market backpacks, disco pants, and much, much more.

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Ready, Set, Contest Time!

We've had our very own, sec9586 create a pattern template for a new plaid flannel shirt that Betabrand plans to release in two versions for the 2011 holiday season. Betabrand has already chosen the colors for one version - the other is up to you!

How it works...

Easy, color the Betabrand plaid pattern template, Betabrand2.

Your colored pattern will automatically appear with the rest of the entries on the contest gallery page. You may color as many versions of the pattern template as you like.

If your colors are chosen...

The Betabrand design team will select one winner, who'll receive the following:

  • - A real-life finished plaid flannel shirt;
  • - Your COLOURlovers user name on the shirt label (for this 2011 production run - see above image);
  • - $100 Betabrand Gift Card;
  • - Recognition on the Betabrand web site and in all company communications; this includes photo of the winner in his/her winning shirt (optional).

The contest runs August 2nd - 11th (2011). Anyone who submits an entry will receive a coupon code for 20% OFF any Betabrand product - offer only valid during the contest timeline.

View the Contest Gallery

Color this plaid pattern template to enter (Betabrand2)

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MadPattern Educational Series: The Awesomeness of Patterns

MadPattern Educational Series: The Awesomeness of Patterns

Patterns are way easier to make than you may think, you just have to learn the tricks. That's where I come in. It seems like the pattern world is real hush hush about their techniques and the tools out there are nothing short of awful - besides the COLOURlovers Seamless Pattern Maker and my own resources at madpattern.com. In this Educational Series I'll be helping you understand the different types of patterns. Let's first start with getting you Lovers up to speed on some of the universal laws of patterns.

Pattern Types

 Pattern examples A, B, C, D (P1, P4, P6M, P3M1)

It is mathematically proven that there are only 17 different types of pattern symmetries. this is a surprisingly nice and natural way to organize the patterns you see around you.

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Seamless Studio Design Tutorial: Nine West Contest Feature

Seamless Studio Design Tutorial: Nine West Contest Feature

With the release of Seamless Studio BETA, there have been some fantastic creations submitted. We're pretty excited to see designs become more and more intriguing with the new features this enhancement of the original seamless pattern maker allows.

An opportunity popped up for us to showcase how you can use Seamless Studio as an amazing design tool for things outside of COLOURlovers.com. I'll be using a real-world design contest for some Nine West totes - hosted by talenthouse.

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Small Business Model - Etsy PDF to Print: Featuring Dolls and Daydreams

Small Business Model - Etsy PDF to Print: Featuring Dolls and Daydreams

Etsy.com allows people to sell in many different ways. An excellent business model is selling your creations as PDF Patterns instead of the actual item itself. It requires almost no overhead so to speak since you are selling a digital file for the end-buyer to print themselves. It allows you, the seller, more creative time by simply selling the method rather than trying to keep up with demanding orders.

Featured Etsy seller, English artist Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams, does just that. She does it very well in fact by showcasing a few different finished products as eye-candy for each pattern. Versions of these creations shown in the store are merely examples of how cute these plushes can look, but the fabric choices are up to you, so you can make these projects look any way you want. Each purchase comes packed with a PDF pattern and instructions on how to create it. Sarah also provides some extra bonus links and advice for sewing dolls, along with your purchase.


Opening More Doors for Cashflow

Sarah's business model not only sell's cute doll patterns, but also provides a way to dress these dolls up with upselling. A very smart move and works beautifully for her shop. As soon as you see these guys in their outfits you can't help but want to also accessorize!

Sell the Idea - Make it Tactfully Visual

These doll's aren't anything small either at 18.5" tall! Sarah does an excellent job showcasing her product. She doesn't just provide a single image of one doll, with a note that it's a pattern. She showcases a great picture of the main product - the Owls three in a row, sitting and standing. Then an up sell image of the owl's dressed in clothing - sold separately - and finally a representation of size by having a child in the picture holding one. I couldn't wrap my head around what this 18.5 inch doll might actually represented until I saw the image of the child.

Recapping this selling structure:

- Include nice, clear, un-grainy pictures. Sarah does a simple white background (a piece of posterboard can work). Colorful items are best shown on a simple background.

-Include a variety of inspirational looks. Sarah does this with many different fabric variations of the Owls.

-Include visuals to how big the item is: a quilt - show it on a bed, a doll - show it in your hands or a child's (try to represent it in real life, not against a ruler), an outfit - show it on a real body, etc.

-Finally, if there is a way to accessorize your item show it, but make sure to note that the PDF does not come with such and such items, but you can [link] get them here.

More Upselling

Etsy sellers create many types of products, not only in the sewing or PDF world. A couple of different scenario's to add upselling to your product pages would be:

Jewelry - Selling a necklace? Show an image with a ring and earrings that match....note links to those products...run a special to buy all three, etc.

Sewing Patterns or Clothing and Accessories - we've covered a lot about the patterns as the main topic in this post, but putting doll's aside, things like clothing could include accessories such as a purse, belt or other clothing accessory that might go.

Lastly, don't be afraid to start networking with other sellers to create a cross-combo upsell. Wow, does that sound complicated? It's easy, if you make dresses and skirts and have no interest in making purses, connect with a fellow seller and work out an agreement. If you only make necklaces, connect with someone doing more:

-Simple Exposure Trade - each of you post a product and link in another product page for upselling to the other user.

-Commission - Instruct buyers to mention a code in the special instructions field at checkout for the item on the other sellers product to get some sort of benefit (%/$ off next order, etc). Basically create a way to track that they bought from both of you.


Overall, the PDF to Print business model is an excellent way to keep loving your craft, broaden your market and have more time ultimately for creating new products for your line. A would almost guarantee that selling a pattern over the actual dolls will gross ten times more. Opening your pattern license up to allow others to sell the finished products provides even more of a draw.

As an Etsy buyer and crafter myself, I would much rather spend $10 on a pattern than spend $25+ on a single doll. Remember, Etsy is a creative community. Most of the users who sell on Etsy most likely buy on Etsy - and those people like to create.



One look at the patterns in the Dolls & Daydreams store, and you can easily imagine yourself spending a long and lazy Sunday with your sewing kit out, creating these precious little plushes.

Handmade plushes always give me a rush of delight. As a person who loves craft and collectibles, there's something about owning an item that has been created by hand that feels better than purchasing a mass manufactured item. It's a similar feeling to receive a gift that's been made by hand.

You can find Sarah / Dolls and Daydreams on Facebook and check out her blog for lots of information and cool things she's working on.

links to products shown: Owl | Fox | Girl

All images copyright Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams.

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This post was written in collaboration with both Colette Bennette & Molly Bermea

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