Key Opportunities for Surface Pattern Designers – some short lists

As a surface pattern designer, key opportunities for making money include:

  1. Licensing your designs to manufacturers, brands, or retailers.
  2. Selling your designs through Print on Demand platforms.
  3. Setting up your own e-commerce store or website. (Drop shipping)
  4. Accepting commissions and custom work.
  5. Offering teaching and workshop services.
  6. Collaborating with brands or influencers.


There are numerous brands that license work from surface pattern designers. Here is a list of some well-known brands that collaborate with surface pattern designers for their product lines:

  1. Anthropologie
  2. Target
  3. Crate & Barrel
  4. Pottery Barn
  5. West Elm
  6. Kate Spade
  7. Rifle Paper Co.
  8. Marimekko
  9. Liberty London
  10. Urban Outfitters


There are several print-on-demand platforms available where artists can list their designs for sale and earn commissions. Here are 10 popular platforms:

  1. Spoonflower / Shutterfly
  2. Redbubble
  3. Society6
  4. Zazzle
  5. Raspberry Creek Fabrics
  6. Teespring
  7. Threadless
  8. Fine Art America
  9. Vida Studio (*currently vetting)
  10. Teepublic
  11. Merch by Amazon


There are several companies that provide print-on-demand services for drop shipping businesses. Here are 10 examples:

  1. Art of Where
  2. Printful
  3. Printify
  4. Gooten
  5. Gelato
  6. CustomCat
  7. SPOD (Spreadshirt)
  8. Pillow Profits
  9. Apliiq
  10. Pixels


Here are three surface pattern designers known for their custom work:

  1. Lisa Congdon: Lisa Congdon is an artist and surface pattern designer known for her vibrant and intricate designs. She has collaborated with various brands and companies to create custom patterns for products such as stationery, textiles, and home decor.
  2. Lotta Jansdotter: Lotta Jansdotter is a Swedish-born designer renowned for her simple and organic patterns. She has worked on custom surface pattern designs for numerous clients, including apparel brands, home goods companies, and fabric manufacturers.
  3. Sarah Campbell: Sarah Campbell is a British designer with extensive experience in surface pattern design. She has collaborated with well-known brands and retailers, creating bespoke patterns for textiles, wallpaper, and other products. Her work often features bold colors and expressive motifs.


A surface pattern designer can offer workshops in the following ways:

  1. In-person Workshops: Conducting in-person workshops allows the designer to interact directly with participants in a physical setting. These workshops can be held at a designated studio, art space, or educational institution. The designer can teach various techniques, share their expertise, and provide hands-on guidance to participants.
  2. Online Workshops: With the rise of digital platforms, surface pattern designers can offer workshops online. Through video tutorials, webinars, or live streaming sessions, designers can teach participants from anywhere in the world. Online workshops provide flexibility and convenience for both the designer and participants, who can learn at their own pace and engage in virtual discussions.
  3. Collaborative Workshops: Surface pattern designers can collaborate with other artists, designers, or industry professionals to offer collaborative workshops. This can involve partnering with experts in related fields such as textile production, digital printing, or product manufacturing. Collaborative workshops provide a comprehensive learning experience and offer participants insights into various aspects of the surface pattern design industry.


There are several examples of surface pattern designers who have successfully earned money through collaborations with brands and influencers. Here are a few notable examples:

Rifle Paper Co.: This popular stationery and lifestyle brand collaborates with surface pattern designers to create unique and vibrant designs for their products. Their collaborations have included partnerships with renowned artists and designers, resulting in successful product lines and increased brand visibility.

Oh Joy!: Designer Joy Cho, known for her colorful and playful designs, has collaborated with various brands and influencers to create limited-edition collections. Her collaborations span across home decor, fashion, and lifestyle products, showcasing her distinct surface pattern designs.

Marimekko: This Finnish design house has a long history of collaborating with both established and emerging surface pattern designers. These collaborations have led to iconic collections that feature bold and graphic patterns, which have become synonymous with the Marimekko brand.

Lisa Congdon: Lisa Congdon is a well-known artist and surface pattern designer who has collaborated with numerous brands and influencers. Her collaborations range from creating art for product packaging to designing textile patterns for fashion and home decor brands.

Photo by Victor Grabarczyk on Unsplash

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