Kites — Another Notan Design

Spoonflower, my favorite place for printing custom fabrics, has a fabric design contest each week.  Sometimes I enter it since it’s a fun way to try out new designs and practice my design skills.  This week’s contest is to create a small repeating design with the theme of Kites.  I knew I’d love to experiment with some more Notan-style designs for this contest.

I started with four simple kite drawings that I did in Illustrator.  I wanted the shapes to be fairly simple with each main kite shape touching two edges of its square.

Here’s the first repeat, in blue and black.  It was obvious that the tails of the kites needed more work.

I worked on the tails, making sure the tails met for each pair of kites.  I also played around with different colors.

The tails seemed a bit awkward and the colors were too much for me.  I redrew the tails so that the tails connected two different styles of kite, and I changed to a simple blue and white color scheme.  (This is where working in Illustrator is great–it’s so quick to make these changes.)

This was getting better.  The tails still seemed a bit clunky, so I redrew them again.  This time I connected them diagonally and I changed the type of tail on some of the kites.  I also made one of the kites orange to add some variety.

I was happy with the tails, but the orange was a bit too jarring for me, so I kept playing around with color options, like the two below.

I settled on using two different blues for the design.  I also added a bit of detail to two of the diamond kites.  Here’s my final design.

And here’s what it looks like in a repeat.  The two blues create a strong diagonal pattern.

If you like my design, you can vote for it in the weekly Spoonflower contest (you’ll have to page through the designs to find it).

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly. 
–Lauren Bacall

Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.
–Winston Churchill

Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Let’s go fly a kite!

–Lyrics from Mary Poppins, by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman

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