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Applied Surface Design Using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop Short Course

Course description

This intense two day course will look at the powerful capabilities of using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop when making patterns and repeats. This course is for individuals who already have experience of using Illustrator and Photoshop - if you are new to either program please look at our beginners courses.

Both photoshop and illustrator have incredibly powerful and accurate tools that allow the creation of seamless linear and area repeats. You will learn to make these repeats as blocks and brushes, take existing patterns and rebuild them, deconstruct and analyse repeats.

Who should take this course?

The skills of making patterns and repeats are essential for anyone working in the applied arts, such as product designers, fashion and textile designers and production ceramicists. This course is suitable for anyone who needs to create accurate patterns which will then be printed/applied to a surface. 

Entry requirements

This is an intermediate level course. You need to have experience of using both Photoshop and Illustrator and are interested in taking your skills to a new level.

Please note that this course will be taught on mac computers using the current version of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Topics covered:

  • creating seamless repeats in Illustrator & Photoshop
  • testing then exporting a single block that can be used by a third party.
  • the brushes and their capability within Illustrator, especially pattern brushes made from several pattern tiles
  • testing patterns and creating several scales and colourways
  • accurate geometric patterns
  • accurate circular/serpentine patterns
  • half drop, third drop vertical and horizontal patterns
  • seamless patterns in Photoshop
  • copying an existing pattern and adapting to different uses
  • using tools to create simple colour palettes and applying this to patterns
  • creating predictable colour
  • getting things ready for your printers


Please bring to the first session:

  • Images and sketches and other visual materials that you can work from during the course
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • USB stick

This course is taught in a mac suite with 3 button mice

If you have a tablet (Wacom or other) you are welcome to use this with your own laptop. Tablets cannot be used with the UAL computers. Please be advised that UAL cannot provide technical support for personal devices.

IMPORTANT - Adobe ID Login for Short Course Students

Students will need to create an account with Adobe (unless you already have one) in order to access the Adobe suite at the college – instructions are included below. You will need to use a personal email address to create this. If you already have an account with Adobe, please make sure you bring your login details with you on the first day of the course.

  • Creating an Adobe account is free.
  • The software will only be accessible when logged into a UAL networked computer
  • The same account can be used outside of the University, but software will only be accessible through a personal paid subscription that students will need to set up independently
  • You can still create an account on the day but doing this beforehand will save time and avoid delays to the start of the class.
  • If you already have an Adobe ID/ subscription you can use this on your short course rather than setting up a new account.

To create an account, you will need to go to select 'Sign in' and 'Create an account'

Meet the Tutor:

This intense two day course will look at the powerful capabilities of using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop when making patterns and repeats.

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