Learn all the details for this Superhero Fabric Design Process from design concept, completion, and see the final result!
Last week I showed you a tutorial for a Fabric Superhero Binder…which I think turned out adorable! Today, I’m showing you the Superhero Fabric Design Process, and giving you tips on how to create your own hand illustrated fabric design to upload to Spoonflower! I use several tools and I’m spilling the beans on all of them!
This won’t be your usual step by step guide because ultimately, everyone works differently and even each design I create has a different process. The fabric I designed for my Coloring Book Zippered Pouches was a different process from this one but ended up with the same style, so you can see that every design has its own story, and this is just one of them. With most designs that are involved like this one…it takes HOURS to perfect a design.
What I used to create this Superhero Fabric Design:
- Sketch Book or White Paper
- Pencil (I use Mechanical Pencils)
- Adobe Illustrator in Creative Cloud or get it individually here
- iPad Pro
- Apple Pencil
- Procreate App in the apple store
- Procreate Marker Brush (comes with 7 other brushes in a set…I recommend all of them for different uses!)
When I started designing this, I knew I wanted to create a superhero fabric that was gender neutral since I wanted to make Fabric Binders for my son and daughter. I also didn’t want the usual POW! and BAM! symbols because I’m a rebel 😉 I wanted it to be fun and have a lot of movement, without looking too much like a comic book. As you can see, A LOT of thought goes into the design before I start drawing.
I start this part of the process either with pencil and paper or straight on the iPad. This largely depends on my mood. I started this one on paper. I came up with a few designs that I thought would translate well on the iPad…so I took the design there next.
I took the ideas from the pencil and paper drawing and placed everything in a pattern on the iPad using the Procreate app. This is still a rough sketch…I don’t want to draw each design perfectly on the iPad and realize the pattern doesn’t flow well. I can always move things around in Procreate or Illustrator, but I like to do some of the grunt work at the beginning of the design process so I don’t have to change too much at the end.
This design ended up having a lot of lines, and for me…clean lines are more difficult to do on the iPad Pro. I saved it as a JPEG, then took it into Illustrator.
I used the pen tool and shapes for most of this process. It is a bit involved and if you don’t already know how to use Illustrator or if you’re a VERY beginner, you might want to consider taking my Basic Printable Design Course. I created the design in a color I knew would not be the final design (in this case, everything that is purple was created in Illustrator). I also typed the words out to make things easier…the lettering didn’t end up looking like what I typed out.
Back to iPad Pro
Seems like I do a lot of back and forth, but trust me…this was necessary for me to get the look I wanted. I saved the file in Illustrator as a JPEG and imported into a new Artwork in the Procreate app, added a new layer, and traced over it with the Marker Brush. I changed a few things with the placement of the designs. What this did, was create a hand drawn effect that I wouldn’t have gotten in Illustrator. Procreate also has some limitations…which is why I go back to Illustrator in the next step. First, I hide the white background and export it as a PNG to Dropbox.
Finalize in Illustrator
Finally, I place my PNG from the iPad into Illustrator and trace it. You can read more about how I do that here. Once the everything is a vector image, I place everything so that it creates the superhero fabric pattern (in my course, I go over how to create basic patterns, but the concept applies to elaborate patterns like this one, as well). I save it as a JPEG, then upload it to Spoonflower to create my Superhero Fabric Design!
I’m loving the way this turned out, and you can even purchase this from Spoonflower (you can try it on Wallpaper or gift wrap, too!)