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Design Basics: Rad Plaid

plaid facts

There is no doubt that plaid has woven its way into our everyday designs over the decades. The common pattern and all of the variations can be found everywhere from clothing to cell phone skins. But what do we really know about plaid?

First of all, the meaning is somewhat vague. Originally it was meant to indicate the pleat of cloth worn over the shoulder to accompany the kilt made with the same tartan pattern. It still means that, but in the US it has come to mean the pattern of criss-cross lines or check pattern that results from the criss-cross pattern.

Based on that information, tartan and plaid (at least in America) are the same. However, across the pond, the tartan is often specific to a clan or group, which is how some familiar patterns got their name. Coincidently, most US states have a tartan pattern of their own.

Below you will find a diagram of some common plaids. Interested in making your own plaid pattern? Take a cyber trip over to and try for yourself. We made this Today’s Nest inspired pattern in just a few minutes using colors pulled from our logo. We call it Lola tartan in honor of our mascot.

savourcrossing the lines


plaid facts


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