Humbug Creative



Perfect Patterns

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (116)

There are some patterns, both purchased and free, which just annoy me. Not because of their content, but because they employ publishing techniques which are, frankly, annoying.

It seems to me that a great many pattern producers seem to think they can charge more, according to the number of pages on their .pdf. Most people don't need included tutorials to include everything from how to chain, to how to finish off. Mostly, we just need a bit of help with the particularly tricky bits. To receive a pattern which is 20 pages long but is basically just a few lines of relatively simple pattern instructions, well, that's just disappointing.

I'm only just starting to consider publishing a pattern myself, but these are the things I plan to keep in mind.

For starters:

  • set your pages up in Portrait orientation - most patterns are that way, and to have occasional ones in a file which are Landscape doesn't aid speedy location
  • prepare your pages with a header (except on the first page) and footer (on all pages) which make clear:
    - any copyright restrictions or requests
    - the website address where the pattern can be found
    - whether the pattern is freely available or only available for purchase
  • watermark all your photographs to prevent inappropriate or illegal distribution
  • title and photo of finished item should always be on the front page - keep the photo of the completed item to half a page, maximum - full page photos use a huge amount of ink to print, and seem egotistical
  • be prepared to utilise multiple columns after the heading, introduction and main photo if this will aid the flow or help to reduce the number of pages

In the body of the pattern or tutorial:

  • include a glossary of abbreviations you've used - some are standard, but others are specialised, and do require explanation;
  • specify which terms are used (for example UK or US)
  • don't include more tutorial than is really needed - not every step needs a full-page photo! Iin my opinion, and this is a generalisation only, tutorial pictures of decent quality don't need to be any more than 5cm wide or high on an A4 page;
  • if possible, keep the complete pattern to two pages, which can be printed on both sides (saving paper). If this isn't possible, aim for an even number of pages which contain useful information - be a harsh editor of your own work;
  • at all costs, avoid having just a few lines of information on a single page; 

And finally:

  • save the pattern as a .pdf file, ready to download instantly once any payment has been made
  • don't insist that purchasers or free users supply their email addresses, especially if you aren't supplying a regular newsletter
Please, always respect privacy, as well as the creativity of others.