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Step and Repeat Pattern Techniques for Penmanship and Design

With Michael Sull

Starting date : 13 April 2024

Fees : HK$ 1,170 or US$ 150

Workshop Description

Step and Repeat patterns are graphic compositions composed of one or more given designs presented in such an arrangement that by duplicating the designs, the pattern can be enlarged in any direction and to any degree possible. The average person seldom thinks about this at all, and yet we see Step and Repeat patterns everyday printed or embroidered on the clothes we wear, and often in our favorite fashion accessories as well. Repeating patterns are continuously and vividly displayed in gift wrapping paper, traditional wall paper, and in the carpeting found in hotels and other commercial buildings throughout the world. In the nature of iconic repeating patterns of great beauty, perhaps the most legendary name associated with such artistic work is the 19th century British textile designer and artist William Morris (1834-1896). His remarkable work continues to captivate the attention and respect of artists and designers everywhere, and is still being reproduced today.


The purpose in offering this workshop

Step and Repeat patterning can be developed in various ways, and yet as common as these applications are in everyday life, it is quite rare to find instructional classes on the techniques ever being offered at calligraphic workshops, or in lettering-related publications. Brief instruction can be found on the internet, but such videos never seem to involve penmanship or calligraphic lettering. Throughout my career, being able to develop Step and Repeat patterns has enabled me to become more versatile as a professional Lettering Artist. So, while considering what subject I could offer as an online workshop program, I feel that this unique subject could well be of interest as another way to make practical use of a person’s own skills in the lettering arts. By using a combination of lettering, flourishing, and simple graphics, a person can design their own Step and Repeat patterns for gift wrap, fabric patterns for textiles and clothing, wallpaper, calligraphic border designs, background patterns for graphic design & wedding/invitation components, and frame-able works of art.

There are four basic forms, or styles of repeat patterns, three of which can be used with lettering. These are Geometric, Linear, and what I refer to as “Design Interception”. The fourth style is Reverse Patterning, which can be used with Flourishing (non-legible penmanship). If this last style is used with lettering, half of the resulting lettering will be reversed in a mirror-like image and is thus, illegible. In our program, however, I will share the techniques of all four styles. I will explain and demonstrate the “old school” (physical) methods of creating such patterns by hand without the use of a computer. The techniques are fairly simple and straightforward; you do not need a design or graphic background to learn the methods and create your own patterns. Rather, the sequence in which you do the steps involved is the key, but besides my explanations and demonstration, thorough instructional handouts will be provided.


I hope you will join us into this new adventure in the educational realm of The Gentle Penman. With practice, it will become a thrill to see your own artistry being created into repeating patterns of numerous duplicated images! And up until now, this will be a subject that has seldom, if ever before (in my experience) been offered or shared. In our first lesson we will cover the basics of Geometric and Linear patterns, and by following my instruction and the handout information, you can make your own basic Step and Repeat pattern with me. Lesson 2 and 3 will be devoted to Design Interception patterning, and lesson 4 will focus on Reverse patterning. 

Workshop Schedule

Lesson 1

Saturday, 13 April, 2024

23:00 pm - 01:30 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 2

Saturday, 27 April, 2024

23:00 pm - 01:30 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 3

Saturday, 11 May, 2024

23:00 pm - 01:30 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 4

Saturday, 25 May, 2024

23:00 pm - 01:30 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Note to Students

  • This is a live online workshop via Zoom (please make sure you have a Zoom account to access the workshop)

  • All live lessons will be recorded and available for 90 days following the final lesson.

  • All recordings expires on Saturday, 24 August, 2024 at 12:00 pm Hong Kong Standard Time.

  • Workshop handouts (if any), zoom links and recordings are available on the workshop page one week (or as soon as practicable) before the first lesson.

  • All workshop dates and times are according to the Hong Kong Standard Time.

Recommended Workshop Supplies

  • Click here for the supplies list recommended for this workshop.

Workshop Boarding Page (Only for Enrolled Students)

  • If you have not logged in, click here to access the instructions on how to access your workshop.

  • If you have already logged in, click here to access your workshop boarding page directly.

Refund Policy

  • All sales are final and fees paid for the online workshop are non-refundable.

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