The remarkable world of patterns

Fred Showker

spectacular repeating shapes, images and patterns of Artlandia

Pattern Design, unlike any other form of design

Artlandia SymmetryShop Adobe Photoshop plug-inDesigning patterns is difficult because of the intricate demand to detail, and the level of skill required to visualize how the finished pattern will evolve. Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator have attempted to simplify the process, but haven't really hit the solution that satisfies. Enter Artlandia.

The latest version 3 of SymmetryShop, an Adobe Photoshop plug-in for professional pattern design markedly simplifies the pattern design workflow by making the plug-in functionality available as a floating Photoshop panel. So we thought we would look around and see how this technology is being put to work by world-class talents using this plug-in. Wow -- here are three "Designing Women" who take their patterns, and SymmetryShop very seriously!

Karen Miller Anderson extraordinary patterns

Dr. Karen Miller Anderson from Smithfield, NC is an artist and photographer, and one of her passions seems to be creating the most extraordinary patterns, iterations and imagery based on the geometry of nature and recurrent themes. Our header above testifies to some of her awesome art. Check out her site,, but most importantly her
Flickr Photostream of Patterns

Geometric patterns generated by Artlandia

SymmetryShop automatically creates the seventeen mathematical types of symmetric patterns as well as drop and diamond patterns, grids, gradations, sateens, and other standard repeat systems. The plug-in keeps the image source available for unlimited iterations and refinements throughout any number of Photoshop sessions. The new version makes this core functionality more easily accessible and adds new important features.

Alice Schlein,  designing print fabrics, wallpaper, woven or knit jacquards, etc

Alice Schlein, a self-taught weaver for the past 40 years, exhibited artist, teacher, contributing editor of Weavers magazine and co-author of The Woven Pixel -- Designing for Jacquard and Dobby Looms Using Photoshop. She writes:

quoting (SymmetryShop) It's very useful for creating repeat patterns, whether you are designing print fabrics, wallpaper, woven or knit jacquards, etc. (Its sister product, named SymmetryWorks, works with vector-based files rather than pixel-based files, and is to be used with Adobe Illustrator). end quote

See: Alice Schlein's Online blog

Robin Wood makes patterns for clothing and fabrics What a doll!

Robin Wood made all the fabrics for these wonderful dolls using Artlandia's SymmetryShop. At her blog, she writes:

quoting The more I use that plug-in, the more I like it. I had a ball making these, especially the Red Kaleidoscope one. In fact, I probably have something like 40 patterns based on the "seed" for that one now. (I haven't counted.) It's like using a real Kaleidoscope. Every time you tweak something, another beautiful pattern emerges, and I find that I want to save them all! end quote
wonderful dolls using Artlandia's SymmetryShop Check it out at :

Next, let's take a look at a work screen, and then meet our last pattern maker...


THE NEW SYMMETRYSHOP PANEL also adds convenience buttons that streamline a typical pattern design workflow. These include targeting the seed (motif) layer, selecting the control path, visualizing the area exported as a pattern preset, previewing the exported pattern, and other functions that used to require multiple steps. (Click for an enlargement of the Happy Cows pattern screen above)

Jenny B Harris arts & crafts excellence

Jenny B Harris, has created a world of patterns in her blog space, which also happens to include an array of other wonderfully playful visual delights. She's an illustrator, designer, and truly gifted artsy craftsy person. She writes:

quoting I broke down and splurged on a spiffy plug-in for Photoshop, called Symmetry Shop from Artlandia. They also have one for Illustrator called Symmetry Works. It cost me more than a few pennies but man is it fun! You can play with images and arrange all sorts of cool patterns with it. I just replaced my blog background with the first one I generated end quote

You'll love poking around in her site

SymmetryShop 3 supports the Large Document Format

In addition, SymmetryShop 3 supports the Large Document Format and at the same time dramatically improves performance by letting the user reduce the image size of a pattern on the fly. At the end of the design cycle, the user can rebuild the pattern at full size and quality by pressing a button.

SymmetryShop 3 supports the Large Document Format

Artlandia SymmetryShop 3 for Mac OS X and Windows

Artlandia SymmetryShop 3 for Mac OS X and Windows runs on all major operating systems and is available immediately. Photoshop CS4 is required to use the floating panel and most new features. In Photoshop 7 through CS3, the plug-in is supported as a legacy dialog.

Artlandia SymmetryWorks 5 - The download-only version of the plug-in costs US$315 or US$489 in a value package with Artlandia SymmetryWorks 5, which provides a similar functionality in Adobe Illustrator. The upgrade from previous versions of SymmetryShop costs US$75 (download).

Simplified Pattern generation screen shot
Extraordinary pattern with objects and textures screen shot
Full information available at
Previous reviews and pages on Artlandia in the Design Center

thanks for reading

Fred Showker

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