Update: Initial Patterns for the Patterns Directory

Thank you for the wave of contributions to help kick off the WordPress.org pattern directory. We now have 80+ patterns in the collection

Now that you’ve helped us populate the directory with so many patterns, @melchoyce, @beafialho, and I are going to shift focus to further refining and tidying up the collection for launch. Our goal for this pre-release set of patterns is to provide users with a diverse, high-quality set of designs that share a common thread. 

This does not mean that submissions are closed — just that we’re at a point where we can begin viewing submissions through the lens of curating and filling out the collection as a whole. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together a handful of suggestions to help folks who are submitting patterns between now and launch: 

  • Draw inspiration from history, art, and nature. Like the patterns that are currently bundled with Gutenberg, this set is designed to share the common thread of history, specifically through the lens of art and the natural world. Using these reference points allows us to cover a wide range of topics and styles, while still having a throughline that connects them all. When submitting a pattern for this pre-release collection, please consider having your imagery and text be related to those topics. That will help this feel like a cohesive set. 
  • Challenge yourself to create something new. Before you get started, take time to browse through the directory and ensure that your pattern does not duplicate existing work. For example, the directory includes many Media & Text patterns already, so there probably isn’t room for many more Media & Text patterns at this point. 
  • Write text creatively. For this initial collection, we’ve been avoiding “Lorem ipsum” text in order to help make the patterns feel more real. Try using text as a way to hook into that common thread of history, nature, and art mentioned above. If you have links in your text, feel free to link to WP.org or WordPress.org. You can use example@example.com as an email address if you need one. 
  • Be sure to use CC0 or Public Domain images. Keep the common thread in mind when choosing images. If you need inspiration, previous patterns have had great luck pulling from Rawpixel’s curated public domain collection of images. At this time, let’s avoid modern iconography as we wait for a more flexible icon solution in GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/
  • Aim for accessible color palettes. If your pattern uses colors, be sure that text contrast adheres to WCAG 2.0 guidelines. This will ensure that more people can read your pattern! 
  • Consider a range of screen sizes. Be sure to test your pattern on mobile, tablet, and desktop views. Some patterns using large text tend to break awkwardly on smaller screens. Be sure to test that out, and adjust accordingly. 
  • Ensure your pattern works well in many themes. Be sure to keep your blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. settings as specific as possible: Outside of default colors like black and white, please specify hex values instead of relying on theme presets. Make sure your pattern isn’t using any theme-specific block styles, and be sure to set line-height for text when appropriate.

We’ll continue evolving these suggestions and guidelines over time as the directory continues to grow.

As we move into a more tightly curatorial part of this effort, I’d like to reemphasize that the current process is just for the early, pre-release phase of pattern submission. For example, if you have a pattern that is similar to one that is already in the pre-release collection, the Design team may hold off on including it for now. But you’ll be free to resubmit it directly yourself once the directory is launched.

Again, thank you all for your submissions! It’s exciting to see the directory come to life.