Inspiration in Bloom
The Story of the Blossom Pattern Design
As we evolved our apparel line for the Fall 2019 season, we explored the possibility of incorporating a print design. For this, we looked to our fleece jackets as the ideal platform for a printed pattern. Our classic Climate Changer™ and our newest addition, the Climate Changer™ Pullover, fit the bill.
Ruffwear product designer Liz led the pattern design process. She explained that before diving in, we had to set a few parameters. First, we needed to come up with a pattern that would be repeatable across all sizes – XXS-XL. What looks great on an XXS dog jacket might look strange on size XL, and vice-versa. Yet, we also wanted the pattern to look natural and not too engineered. Much of our design takes cues from our natural surroundings, and we wanted our new pattern to feel “like Ruffwear.”
Second, the amount of detail in the graphic design would need to be executable in production. Since we’d be printing on fleece, we needed to strike the right balance of detail for the resolution that would be used for printing onto fleece.
Finally, we wanted to create a color palette that would be attractive, inspiring, and relatable. It would need to meet a variety of human preferences and look good on many different colors and types of dog coats. Liz developed several patterns inspired by nature – tree canopy, tropical flowers, glistening water in a bay, old growth moss, huckleberry sprigs, and blossom. She printed paper samples and held them up against the office dogs to see which pattern or patterns would rise to the top. After narrowing down the selection to a few options, the team ultimately settled on the blossom pattern.
We chose blossom for several reasons. The variety in flower sizes and contrasting colors create a depth that mimics nature’s erratic patterns. It’s a repeatable pattern that doesn’t look manufactured, and the gray and pink palette would look best on a wider range of dog coats. While we pushed our design edge, we felt confident that we hadn’t gone too far. Blossom is fun and approachable, while maintaining a connection to our natural surroundings. “To me, flowers are wild and resilient while being powerfully feminine and graceful. I think that’s why I’m drawn to them,” Liz explained.
Inspired by springtime blooms and a dog’s penchant for making all things fun, our new pattern brings a playful twist to a technical piece.