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I really enjoy seeing what’s going on in surface pattern design trends. Surface pattern trends are an essential part of my work as a designer. And while I always try to illustrate patterns that are as ‘timeless’ as possible, it’s nice to follow surface pattern trends too. In this blog I’ll talk about a Christmas trend that I see popping up everywhere: Christmas dogs.

How does a trend work?

If you look at trends in a market, the cycle of a trend always starts with the innovators. These are high-end boutiques, makers of handmade products (like on Etsy), etc. You then see the trend being picked up by larger retailers. And after that a trend is everywhere for the mass and reaches its saturation point. After that it’s time for the next trend.

Luckily, the life cycle of a trend is often quite long. A good example are the unicorns. That trend started years ago and you still see unicorns on a regular basis in stores!

I try to always spot trends that are at the very beginning of the life cycle. The surface pattern trend I’m covering today, Christmas dogs, is in my opinion far from reaching its peak and we will definitely be seeing a lot of Christmas dogs in 2022.

Trend lifecycle: from the innovators to the saturation point

2021: Christmas dog illustrations

Surface patterns and illustrations with dogs are everywhere! This also applies to all domestic animals: cats, rabbits and mice are regularly seen. In addition to patterns with dogs and Christmas decorations in the shape of a dog, you also see many products aimed at our four-legged friends. Like Christmas sweaters. Some retail chains even go as far as making a matching Christmas sweater for yourself ánd your dog. (Then the question rises: do you look like your dog or does your dog look like you? ;-)) I personally think this Christmas dog trend comes from the pandemic where we were able to spend more time with our pets.

Moodboard for the Christmas dog surface pattern trend.
Moodboard for the Christmas dog surface pattern trend. All photos from

Fresh colors: light green and lilac

Surface pattern trends are not complete without a ‘color prediction’. Because besides Christmas dog illustrations we also see a lot of fresh new colors. This year, light green, pink and lilac will give your Christmas tree a fresh touch. I think it’s a nice variation on the traditional Christmas colors that we see every year.

christmas surface pattern trends colors 2021 2022 lilac and light green

My take on the Christmas dogs surface pattern trend

I really enjoy drawing dogs, so you can imagine I’m very excited about this surface pattern trend. You can see my take on the Christmas dogs below. I’ve kept the colors fairly neutral and traditional, but the fresh light green background gives the pattern more touchpoints with the current Christmas trend colors.

In the mockup you can see an impression of how the pattern would look like on wrapping paper. But I think this pattern would look super cute on stationary or perhaps a Christmas sweater. 

Christmas dogs surface pattern by Tamara Houtveen

Are you looking for a nice dog pattern for a product from your Christmas collection? This surface pattern is available for licensing. Feel free to send me a message via the contact button below for more information!

Tamara Houtveen

Author Tamara Houtveen

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