Excerpt from The design master plan
Here is another great way to merge two different blocks: lay one block on top of the other. These next two blocks originated from the same base unit but are slightly different. Blocks don’t have to be related but it might be best if they are fairly simple. Place the designs on any angle you feel will produce a good design. For instance, one block could be placed on a 45° angle and off-centre in relation to the other block.
The next two designs (a base unit and a border pattern) are completely unrelated, so what happens when they are merged together?
The blocks chosen for merging don’t have to be pretty. Two mediocre designs can make a great one. Merging the designs doesn’t have to mean a full-scale design overhaul; a little of one can jazz up the other. Going through this process for some inspiration means you don’t have to start from scratch to obtain an entirely new design.
In the next diagram, the design on the left has had a small modification made to it, while the one on the right now has too much detail, and it’s hard to know where to look. It seems like too much of a good thing, so that idea is best scrapped.
You can try reintegrating the new design into the original if you wish. In this case, there seems to be too much space between the two larger parts of the design so a little modification may be in order.
What about altering both sets of designs?
Now the design is becoming more coherent.
Merging two elements, one of the original ideas in figure 49E (previous page) and the latest central block resulted in a great pattern.
So why do these two designs look more like they were made for each other? It’s because the diamond shaped space created by the larger design is filled by a diamond shaped design, as shown below.
With a small modification, this new base unit can also be a great design in its own right.
Don’t be surprised if you discard your original design ideas as I have here—they may just serve as a stepping-stone to another great design. Treat this process like putting together a jigsaw where you don’t know what the final picture looks like until you’ve tried an arrangement of the elements. The new base unit was then put through the process. You’ll see some of the resulting designs throughout this book.
For over 120 more fabulous design tips, check out The design master plan.