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Pleasing Planar Symmetry

As a photographer, we learn right away that repeating patterns make for interesting images. Every workshop has you looking for and making photos where the pattern repeats. We love seeing things that go the same way. It makes us feel like the world is ok and that things are not spinning out of control.

Planar Symmetry is the type of repeated pattern that we see everywhere. It is created when symmetry patterns are performed across and down a surface. You will see it in textile patterns, wallpaper, floors, building tiles and many other areas. Planar symmetry creates a sense of normalcy – a pleasing calmness and predictability.

There are several different ways in which Planar is operated. However, it does have a plan that we can follow.

Translation is the most straightforward Planar operation. All motifs go evenly across and evenly down, without any funny business. However, with a simple Translation plan you can take a simple motif, like an alphabet, and with a little variation, create an exciting design.

Translation – Motifs go evenly across and evenly down.

By changing the size of the motif and varying the frequency we get another Planar pattern.

By adding colors, changing the size of the motif, so that they are closer together and by using Meta-Motifs even more interesting patterns are possible.

We do love it when the pattern breaks and there is that odd duck that goes left when everyone goes right. It makes us feel like our individual idiosyncrasies are uniquely wonderful and not something negative. Breaking a monotonous with color brings an aliveness, while the Planar symmetry keeps the party contained.

Planar Symmetry can be used to create your own personalised designs that can be put on cups, scarfs and masks at sites like Red Bubble.

Jamuna Burry

Exploring ideas on creativity through digital art.