Designs are patterns that can be used for numerous purposes in the Animal Crossing series. Each design may be bought for 350 bells at the Able Sisters in both Wild World and City Folk. Designs can be used for clothing, umbrellas, hats, carpeting, and wallpaper, although in Wild World and all games afterward, designs can be dropped on the ground. Designs placed on the ground occupy one square unit and prevent weeds from sprouting in the area where the pattern is dropped. They can also be displayed in a house as a painting or used as wallpaper and flooring. In Animal Crossing, the player can put a design on their front door; as of now, it is the only game in the series to allow this action. Designs can also be displayed in Able Sisters, and villagers in the town might end up wearing them. Visiting players may also obtain any of the designs displayed in the shop.
Beginning in City Folk, the player can create pro designs. This means that there can be different designs on the left sleeve, right sleeve, front, and back of a shirt. However, the player has to talk to Mabel and pay 350 bells (500 in Animal Crossing: New Leaf) to create a pro design, whereas the player can create a normal design anywhere. Animal Crossing: New Leaf allows new choices, such as long sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless dresses and shirts. Hats can also be created with pro designs.