Ditsy definition

SEP 5, 2011

daisy ditsy mini, FABRIC BY FRUMAFAR on Spoonflower

There's been some discussion in a Flickr forum about our upcoming "ditsy print" contest theme and what exactly ditsy means, so I'm going to attempt to clarify what we had in mind.  A ditsy print is quite small in scale, and the design motifs are usually scattered or random rather than being ordered in a definable pattern like rows or stripes.  At a distance, a ditsy print looks almost like a solid color, the scale is so small.  (I read that definition online somewhere awhile back but unfortunately can't find the source now.)  Florals seem to be the most common element in vintage ditsy prints, but we're not necessarily looking for florals and haven't specified that for this contest.

The "Daisy ditsy mini" design by Spoonflower design group Frumafar is, I think, a good example of a floral ditsy print.  It's shown above on an 8-inch swatch so you can see how small the flowers are.  I hope this is useful to you all, but please feel free to ask any further clarifying questions in the comments.  Good luck and happy designing!

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  • I’m personally rather disappointed by the decision to reduce the number of entries. I feel that the blog post stated that entries should be “quite small in scale” and that they could be “scattered or random” but necessarily so. There was so indication that prints which weren’t scattered or random would not be considered as obviously some ditsy prints can be more ordered and defined. I understand that there is no way the team could have known that they would receive so many entries. But I feel that it is unfair to remove entries without giving competitors a chance to edit their entries to fit this more narrowed definition of ditsy print. It’s certainly disheartening to know that I spent a fair amount of time on a print that is probably going to be removed from the contest because of its more ordered pattern. I could have made a more random print, but I liked my design and thought others would as well, and it fit the specific description of being “quite small in scale” even though it wasn’t “scattered or random.”

  • In Australia in the 60s we called them ‘granny prints’ and they had to be floral. It seems ditsy is slightly more widely defined. I think it’s great that Stephen has written to all of us about the volume instigated need to reduce the number of competitors to make the voting round this week. Look forward to voting tomorrow!

  • I find it so disconcerting how so many designs that are tagged “ditsy” are just tiny; but not really ditsy. One of the things that makes ditsy designs difficult is trying to get a pleasing repeat that is not orderly. The one Kim Selected is a good example of ditsy; but it seems like a lot of the designs are just small. I really hope we won’t have to wade through dozens of designs that are not really ditsy in order to vote.

  • Ditsy design contest entries will preview at the 8-inch swatch scale in the contest, but the actual size of the thumbnail will remain the same as in other contest previews. Note that voters can always click on a design title during voting to go the design’s full page for a larger view.

  • I know that the contest previews will be shown at the 8-inch swatch size, but will they be previewed nice and big on the screen like that, so we can see the details? Because that print would actually not look like much more than tiny blobs if the preview images on the screen were the same size they usually are for the voting. I’ve been working on a ditsy that I really like, but so far I’ve been keeping it at a size that is larger than it really should be, so that it can be seen at the usual voting size.

  • Calico is actual a type of fabric. It’s a sturdy, inexpensive cotton weave.
    We think Calico Prints because it was very often used to dye with small scattered patterns (also referred to as chintz) This was possibly popularly done to hide the small discolrations and plant particles in the weave. If you couldn’t afford a finer fabric, you’d dye it or decorate it to hide the impurities.
    So, Yes, this would be a type of print used on calico fabric so it has become common to refer to this style as calico. Although technically, calico refers to the actual cloth, not the design.

  • Oh! This is one of my favorite kinds of prints, but I never knew it was called that. I usually call it calico, but that’s probably not right. Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!