Entries are closed, thank you.

No late submissions will be accepted. 

* * * Please do not email any files! * * *

Keep going with your surface pattern designs; there will be another opportunity to participate in a future guide, they happen every couple of years. Best wishes,


I hosted a live Q+A about the Surface Pattern Design Guide on January 14 in which I addressed common questions, walked through the submission process and answered more questions. (With nearly 200 people attending, there were more questions than I anticipated, so the video is nearly an hour, but you can search the transcript to find something specific.) I've also posted below a high-resolution digital version of the third edition of the Surface Pattern Design Guide, originally published in 2019. Inside, you'll see the work of 100 artists selected for the quality and originality of their work plus tips and advice from industry experts.

Get your work noticed in 2021!

The fourth edition of the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide will feature the best in up-and-coming and seasoned surface pattern designers. By being part of the guide, your work will be exposed to an engaged and active readership of art and design buyers, potential clients, collaborators and consumers. 

UPPERCASE has partnered with some great companies who are offering some excellent opportunities for licensing, learning and consultation. It's a great way to get your foot in the door—art buyers and art directors of the companies listed will be reviewing the top 100 submissions as well as your portfolio and instagram links and will have access to all submissions should they wish.

The entry fee of $25 (USD) is to cover the hosting and administration costs of this submission system and will also be pooled as payments to the artists selected for UPPERCASE projects. 

Read the submission form in its entirety so that you understand what is required. Take your time in gathering your submission, uploading and submitting. You can save it as a draft before paying.



  • 100 artists will be included in the Guide.
  • Please submit new and/or recent work from your portfolio. If you were published in a previous edition of the Guide, you are welcome to submit new work. 
  • The entry fee of $25USD is to cover the hosting and administration costs of this submission system and will also be pooled as payments to the artists selected for UPPERCASE projects. No refunds.
  • Read the submission form in its entirety so that you understand what is required. Then take your time in gathering your submission, uploading and submitting. You can save it as a draft before paying.
  • Once you've submitted, you cannot edit your submission or change the work submitted. 
  • The form closes on January 20. Do not wait until the last minute to upload.
  • Submitters will receive a one-time use 20% discount code for anything in the UPPERCASE shop. Offer expires January 30, 2021.
  • Please note that if you are selected or contacted by one of the companies, you are under no obligation to pursue a contract. All negotiations, contracts and licensing details are between the companies listed and the artist—UPPERCASE is simply the method of making the match! 
  • To be eligible for the fabric licensing opportunity, you must not currently have—or have had—a fabric licensing deal. It's ok if you sell your designs on Spoonflower or other print-on-demand platforms. Members of the Windham team will select one designer at their discretion. Licensing and contract details are between the artist and the company. The scope, size and release date of this arrangement are to be determined by the fabric company.
  • Include 6-9 images of your recent best pattern designs or pattern illustrations (the designs themselves—no product mockups). They should be jpgs cropped square, 4 inches wide at 300dpi. RGB or CMYK is fine, but note that the magazine is printed in CMYK and there may be a colour shift when converting from RBG. No names, logos or watermarks on the image files, please. Three patterns will be chosen for publication so consider how everything will look together. Please submit colourways or patterns that work well with one another but show the breadth of your style and abilities. Select up to 9 files to include in your submission. Scroll down to see a sample spread of a previous edition.
  • By submitting to the entry form, you acknowledge that the work submitted is your own and you are not infringing on the rights of any other artist or company. You allow UPPERCASE to publish your work in print in issue #49 and in various digital promotions of the Guide. You will also be added to the UPPERCASE general email list. You can opt-out at any time. thanks! 

Submitters will also be considered for these exciting opportunities:

UPPERCASE Publishing


Selected entrants will receive commissions from UPPERCASE for the Surface Pattern Design Guide cover, magazine front cover and a special project to be announced in 2021.

Windham Fabrics 

One entrant will receive a fabric licensing arrangement with Windham Fabrics (value based on future sales)

Make Art That Sells 

One entrant will receive free tuition to Lilla Rogers' My Toy Pitch: Illustrating for the toys and games' markets, co-taught with inventor Riley Wilkinson ($500 value)


Spoonflower will provide one artist $250 Spoondollars credit plus a 30-minute consultation with Spoonflower's Artist Community Manager, Tara Reed 

Bonnie Christine Immersion Course

Bonnie Christine is offering free tuition to her Immersion Course plus one free year of Flourish ($1627 value)

Chronicle Books

The top 100 submissions will be shared with Chronicle Books' Design Department for review. They will select 2 artists to have a one-on-one portfolio review and conversation (via Zoom) with a designer from Chronicle's Art Publishing Group. The 2 winning artists will also receive a $50 Chronicle Books gift card.

Blue Q

BlueQ's art and design team will review all submissions to the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide and select their favourite artist who will receive a BlueQ mega swag gift prize and get personal feedback on their portfolio.

Halfpenny Postage 

Halfpenny Postage will select an artist with whom they will publish greeting card(s) with payment by royalties.

Creative encouragement:

Be unique! We're not looking for trendiness, we're looking for originality and expression.

Our partners are looking for new talent!

Submissions are open to everyone, you do not have to be a "professional." 

Surface pattern design does not always have to include repeat patterns, it is about surface decoration, too.

Designs don't have to be created digitally. If you're an artist who makes work suitable for surface design licensing, take good quality images of your work, following the guidelines in the submission form.

Look in past issues #21, #32 and #41 for more about surface pattern design.

Flip through the third edition:

The Surface Pattern Design Guide is published inside UPPERCASE magazine. Past guides have been integral to issue #21 (featuring Jan Avellana, far left), #32 (Sarah Golden, above middle) and #41 (Julz Nally, above right). The next guide will be part of issue 49, April-May-June 2021.