Write a Stand-Out Pattern Proposal


Writing pattern proposals is a crucial part of the design game.  We use proposals to put our ideas out there in the world, in front of publishers and yarn suppliers.  Without great proposal writing skills, you’re like that amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant you know and love, but that most people never get the chance to try.  You have great ideas, but the wider world won’t hear about them.

A pattern proposal is our introduction to potential collaborators, and we want to make a good impression.  So how do we do it?

Speak to Your Audience (While staying true to yourself)

This is a big one. You need to present your design ideas in a way that aligns with the aesthetic, style, and submission call specifics of the publisher or yarn supplier you want to work with.  At the same time, you’re an artist and you need to speak to your own unique creative voice.  Blending these two, finding the overlap between your style and that of potential collaborators, is a critical skill.  The good news is, it’s definitely doable! I talk more about how to find this balance in Pattern Proposals that Impress.

Present a Coherent Picture

All the elements of your proposal work together to communicate your design idea; you need to make sure they’re all sending the same message.  Does your sketch style and presentation align with your description of the design’s inspiration?  How does your yarn recommendation support your construction and stitchwork choices?  Thinking through how the components of your proposal work together will set you up to present a clear and compelling message of your design, and will communicate your professionalism and attention to detail.  Potential collaborators (publishers and yarn suppliers) are looking for these desirable qualities in a designer.

Create Eye-Catching Visuals

The visual elements of your proposal (the sketch and swatch) make the strongest first impression on potential collaborators.  You want to make sure your sketch and swatch a) communicate the essence / heart / flair of your design, and b) present a clean, professional aesthetic.  You don’t have to be a sketch artist to accomplish this, it just takes a little thought and practice.  Together, these two approaches will make the visual elements of your design stand out in the crowd of submissions your potential collaborators are sure to be sifting through.

Are you ready to take your pattern proposal writing from middle of the pack to standing out?  Check out Pattern Proposals that Impress.  I can’t wait to see you there!



Photography by Piotr Angiel