A New Resource for Pattern Fanatics
I last covered the work of the Berlin-based Neubau team in 2006, when Die Gestalten Verlag published its Neubau Welt collection of 1,000 vector outlines of people and objects. The book/CD remains a great design aid and has since been made available as a less-expensive download. I've recently been exploring Neubau Modul, an equally-rich resource also published by DGV. And "exploring" is an appropriate word, given the vast realm of possibilities this new tome opens up for designers.
Neubau Modul is for those who love working with pattern. I have to admit that I'm a bit of a pattern nut, so Neubau's approach of providing 2,000 graphical primitives (think circle, square, triangle, rectangle, hexagon, pill) in vector, bitmap and hand-drawn scanned versions makes sense as a compendium of the fundamental building blocks from which a large variety of patterns can be created. However, if this was just a random set of images, it would be of limited value. What makes all the difference here is that everything is conceived as part of a modular system, making it relatively easy to generate pattern variations via combinations.
For example, the vector patterns are provided in Adobe Illustrator format, making it simple enough to layer them atop of one another. However, the mammoth book accompanying the CD streamlines the process by not only providing examples of all the patterns but tips on how to use them. A nice touch is the inclusion of a transparent pattern overlay card, which can be used to generate combinations based on the printed examples.
Neubau Modul is a soundly conceived and well executed resource that should be of ongoing value to designers in any medium. It can be purchased on the DGV site for $65 or as a signed limited edition on the Neubau site for $128.80.