Giving Your Right Brain a Regular Workout

5 Ways to Design with Products in Mind

As our range of products continues to expand, and we consistently improve our new image uploader, there is no better time to start thinking about catering designs to specific products. Have you been focusing only on shirts and prints and avoiding home decor items like duvet covers and throw pillows? Well, we here at the RB Blog are here to help. There’s no reason to fear the product, so we’ve highlighted some key tips to help you update your RB portfolio or get started on making your designs available across a wide range of goodies.

With back to school in full gear and the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to update your RB portfolio and get started on making your designs available across a wide range of goodies.


1. Plan Your Composition

This is a key ingredient to a beautiful product, creating with a composition in mind so that your design lands in the center and upper two-thirds of the template will make for a cohesive and planned look. Polished designs often consider the scale of the composition for each individual product, so take the time to check your designs are snuggly fitting front-and-center inside the template. Lou Patrick Mackay’s “Vitality” is a great example of well executed composition on a Duvet Cover.

"Vitality" by Lou Patrick Mackay


2. Create Meticulous Patterns

For larger textile products such as throw pillows and duvet covers, you can’t go wrong with a beautifully designed pattern. There’s something visually calming and comforting in the repetition of patterns, and smaller-scale patterns are enjoying a surge in design popularity at the moment, making it a good time to try creating your own if you haven’t already. Also, it’s worth checking out our tutorial on how to make a repeat pattern duvet cover, which has step-by-step instructions on how to make your patterns pop.

As an example, “Pineapple Party” by brigittehuynh is a great example of a brilliant, adorable pattern.

"Pineapple Party" by brigittehuynh


3. Plan a Central Focus

Try and design something with the product you’re making for in mind. This is especially fun to do with products such as tote bags or throw pillows which naturally favor simple, bold designs. Think about the size and scale of the product for which you’re designing and consider what would make it work as a standalone product. Totes look great with text, or centered designs which draw your eye to the middle of the bag. Experiment with our super fast preview feature to see which designs look best on which products. Don’t forget about the subtle smaller scale of phone cases which can bring out detailed hand-rendered designs wonderfully. You can check out these designs below, “I Think I Can” by Renee de Valle, “hello gorgeous” by AnnaGo and “Stay Wild” by TheLoveShop for great examples.


4. Experiment with Patterns, Geometric Designs, & Structure

It is outrageously fun to play around with pattern, geometric designs, and different shape structures for different products. Try branching out by using hard-lined-designs on soft textile products, or mix up your use of the formal elements for a fresh effect. Check out these geometric throw pillow wonders for some excellent examples: “Candyland- Licorice dream” by Elisabeth Fredriksson, “Nordic Combination 31” by Mareike Böhmer, and “Tulips” by tracieandrews.

5. Mix and Match

It’s also worth trying to clash or mix media you’ve been using for new effects. Consider what a photograph would look like printed on a throw pillow, or a fineliner drawing on a tote bag. Unexpected textures or mediums can work brilliantly if juxtaposed against already textured totes and throws. Check out “Triangle” by elia, illustration below for a great mixing of media and product that looks like you’d want to carry it around with you all day.

"Triangle" by elia, illustration


If you need more help, have a look at our FAQ.

Do you have any tips for designing with specific products in mind? Share them in the comments below.

See more Tips and Tutorials