The 4 Types of Pattern Repeats

Ah, repeats! Choosing a repeat style for a design can be tricky as there are so many factors to consider.

Does it look right? Is it too repetitive? Is the scale too large? Does it look forced?

The questions never end in the quest for the perfect design. Now, lets get to what the 4 types of pattern repeats are!

The 4 types of pattern repeats are:

  • Full drop
  • Half drop
  • Mirror
  • Continuous

All are fantastic in their own right and can be used for many different styles of designs. Some are better suited to certain styles than others, depending on the motifs being used and the overall look you’re trying to achieve.

Below are images and descriptors on each type of pattern repeat; happy reading!

Full Drop Repeat

A full drop repeat is the most simple of all repeats.

To create a full drop repeat you simply multiply your motif along the same line horizontally and vertically.

Doing this will result in a design similar to the one on the left.

 

Half Drop Repeat

A half drop repeat is often desired to break up the uniform look that a full drop repeat can often give.

To create a half drop repeat, you step your motif horizontally and then align the top of the second motif to the center of the first motif.

Once this is done, you then duplicate both motifs at the same time along the same horizontal and vertical lines.

Mirror Repeat

A mirror repeat can provide quite an interesting look if done right. Depending on the motif, you can sometimes end up with odd bits that have mirrored, creating a new object and now look a little out of place.

To create a mirror repeat, you duplicate your motif horizontally and then select the ‘mirror’ option in your design program.

You then duplicate both motifs across the same horizontal line.

Repeat this process vertically and you will have an all over mirrored repeat.

Continuous Repeat

A continuous repeat is possibly the most difficult, though it can be the best looking for any motif.

To create a continuous repeat, you start by designating an area such as a perfect square.

Place your motif so that it overlaps one edge of the square and sits outside of it. You would then duplicate this motif and place it in the exact same position on the opposite side of the square.

Continue this both horizontally and vertically and your square should appear like the image on the left.

Crop your file to the exact size of the square, discarding the elements sitting outside of it.
This will be your repeat tile that will perfectly align when tiled together.