What is Surface Design?

What is Surface Design?

Surface design involves incorporating a designer’s work with surfaces to create eye-catching visual appeal or provide information.

Surface design can take on a variety of forms, due to the broad nature of the category. Some common real-world examples of surface design include:

Robin Sprong floral installation for flower council
Examples of surface design: Range of examples:
Cards Playing cards, birthday cards, Christmas cards, get well soon cards, anniversary cards, valentines day cards.
Wrapping Paper Gift wrapping paper, Christmas wrapping paper, custom wrapping paper.
Fabric Graphic tees, pillow cases, duvets & bed linen.
Wall Art LED typography, graffiti, paintings.
Scrap-booking Scrap-booking.
Book Covers Comic book covers, novel covers, children’s book covers.
Editorials In newspapers, magazines and so on.
Home Decor Tile design, counter-tops, signs, doormats, crockery, couches, chairs, pillow cases, and so on.
Protective Cases For phones, tablets & laptops.
Children’s Apparel Onesies, beanies, gloves, shoes, backpacks/satchels, and so on.
Mugs & Cups Featuring illustrations, characters or pattern design.
Magazines Covers, page spreads, typography, illustration, photography, layout.
Signs Notice signs, safety instruction signs, danger signs, warning signs, caution signs.
Wraps Vehicle wraps & vinyl wraps, car decals, vehicle branding, vinyl stickers.
Covers DVD Covers, album covers, couch covers, chair covers, steering wheel covers, album covers, school book covers, car seat covers.
flower council installation surface design artwork
surface design using wallpaper installation in circular style office environment

And these are just some examples.

Surface design is all around us, whether it’s woven products, ceramics, wallpapers, t-shirts, or other surfaces that exhibit designs using a variety of mediums.

ceiling artwork on ceiling, example of surface design

Where at first, you might think that surface design is just about creating an eye-catching & inviting feel for a surface in a living space or on a fabric – surface designs are often incredibly functional and are often used to provide information to an audience. 

This sort of functional surface design can take on the form of signs, like safety and warning signs, or even infographics, maps, and other information printed onto surfaces like metal, perspex, card, wood and other materials.

From an artistic perspective, a surface provides a blank canvas for an artist to get inspired and create something that is visually enticing!

heineken product activation featuring different examples of surface design

Often, in the case of wallpapers and printable products, surface design can take on the form of bold patterns, striking colours and layers of geometric and organic forms.

Of course, each artist will treat what they will apply to a surface differently, whether it’s working with mediums such as watercolour, ink, die-cutting, oil paint, pencil illustration, acrylic and pastel, to name a few. 

Each artist treats a surface differently working with a wide variety of mediums such as watercolour, ink, die-cutting, oil paint, pencil illustration, acrylic and pastel (to name a few).

This choice of medium will relate to a designers preferences, skillset and approach to the kind of design they will create and apply to a surface.

In addition, every artist and designer has their own style, and intent for a specific surface design. Some surface designs will be primarily informative, whilst others might be more artistic and conceptual. 

Surface designers can choose their approach whether detailing geometric or organic forms, enjoy using vibrant, pop-art style colours & layering, creating intricate designs with positive and negative space, or combining these techniques to depict themes such as animals & nature, hi-tech & urbanisation, environmental impact, social change, social justice, politics, and plenty of others – to convey a purpose behind a surface artwork. 

led insignia surface design installation

How can Robin Sprong Wallpaper help you maximise style with surface design in your living space:

The artists we collaborate with range from far and wide, with local names to international brands & collectives.

Each artist or designer has their own style, exhibiting themes and sentiments that are important to them, and utilising a variety of mediums to design engaging wallpapers, vinyl wraps, fine art prints and stickers for corporate and residential spaces. 

We provide custom services, managing the process from sourcing imagery to match the vision for your space, to the creation of your design on your choice of surface with the right dimensions.

We even provide seamless installation to bring your space to life the way you intended.

Visit our artist collection to get some inspiration for how to convey important information or striking graphics on different surfaces.

Our range also includes plenty of styles & themes to keep in mind when designing a specific surface in a corporate, retail or residential space.

Or select from our product range to find eye-catching design for printing on a variety of materials, like plastic-backed or fabric-backed vinyl, or even in the form of decorative wall tiles.

Contact us to conceptualize and develop any surface design you have in mind!

haldane martin exhibition with stunning surface design