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Photo of fabric in bright pattens lying together. Words to the left read How to Request a Custom Pattern|Image of woman with an open laptop flipping through a pile of fabric swatches.

How to Request a Custom Pattern

Though Design Pool is primarily a licensable pattern library, we occasionally do custom design work to create original patterns. When do we do custom work? Our custom work usually falls into two categories. First, sometimes our pattern library just does not have the perfect design. We try to have something for everyone, but sometimes a designer is working on a particular project, and it just doesn’t exist. Second, sometimes a designer is working on a project that requires an exclusive design. While we have exclusive designs available for sale in our proprietary library, we can work together to create the ideal custom pattern if there isn’t one there.

So, what’s the process of creating a custom pattern?

The first step will be a phone call or Zoom meeting with Kristen to discuss your project. At this meeting, Kristen will ask many questions to learn more about your project and get a sense of what you’re looking for. This conversation gives us the information we need to design a pattern you will like while respecting everyone’s time and deadlines. The more information we have from the beginning of the project, the more successful it will be.

Here are some of what we’ll discuss:

  • What is the end use for this design? For example, will it be used for wallcovering, flooring, or ceiling tiles?
  • Where is this pattern being used? For example, will it be in a high-end traditional hotel, senior living facility, or modern office?
  • What is the preferred scale? For example, how large would you want the largest motif?

Next, you’ll share some visuals.

Visuals can also be an essential tool to help get your idea across. The more visuals, the better! The more images you can show us of the patterns that speak to you, the more precise our understanding of your preferences and aesthetics will be. We recommend a few methods you could use to communicate your needs visually with us.

Share your mood boards.
If you are working off a mood board already, that would be very helpful to share with us. This will communicate the project’s scope and show us what other materials, textures, and colors are involved.

Create a Design Pool Wishlist.
You can use the wishlist feature on our website to save patterns that you like or are similar to what you’re looking for. It’s also helpful to show us techniques you like, such as a watercolor effect or embroidered look.

Share a Pinterest board.
Pinterest is such a helpful tool for sharing ideas visually. We pin all patterns in our library so that you can add some of our patterns directly to your boards from there. Pinterest is also a great way to communicate a color palette.

Lastly, we’ll discuss the fine print.

  • We charge an hourly rate for our design work.
  • After our conversation, with a clear idea of the project, Design Pool will give you a quote based on that rate and timing. We never like anyone to be surprised by a bill, so we’re always clear about what you can expect for the cost before we get started.

Once design work starts, Design Pool will initially provide two or three options and will continue to revise the pattern until you’re satisfied. Generally, we work through two rounds of revisions to reach the finished design.  

One last thing…

We never knock people off. Sadly, it’s common for people to bring us a design like they from someone else that is out of their price range. Usually, they want this design at a lower price. Doing an exact copy of a design is unethical and is not something Design Pool will do or consider doing.

However, we can use that design as a starting point to communicate what you’re looking for. Knowing what you like about it and what makes it perfect for the project can be helpful. With that in mind, we can create an original design with some of those qualities expressed in a new, authentic way.

If you’re ready to start working on a custom designer, reach out to set up a time to talk. If you only need a custom color for an existing pattern, we do that too. The best part of digital, on-demand printing is the ability to customize! Let us help you create a truly unique environment.

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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