Repetitive Splendor – Patterns in Art and Design

Patterns patterns everywhere… though this has slowly turned into a ridiculous idea of mine, mainly because it has taken so long to compile, I hope that it really isn’t so ridiculous. Possibly slightly helpful? or inspirational? Who knows. So now that this post is complete…what exactly is it? This isn’t a post about patterned wallpaper found in your Nanna’s bathroom. This post is a celebration of sorts, of patterns and artists and designers who create them and create with them. So here’s a list of different pattern resources that I found.

Steven Meisel

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These two images are from a series by Steven Meisel is actually what inspired me to do this crazy post. A brilliant set of photographs for a Spring issue of Italian Vogue, though I’m not sure about when the issue came out, it may have been in 2007. The human form and organic shape created by the clothing all blend together into an optically exhilarating flow of patterns and prints.

The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones, edited by Maxine Lewis

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This book is a great little resource for inspiration, and as a reference to the basic characteristics of cultural ornament. And if you’ve been wondering what history behind it is it offers that as well. I bought it for the pure purpose of visual inspiration a while back and it has proved to be very helpful in times of creative blocks.

The book can be found on Amazon here.

Helen Dardik

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These are just a few of a bunch of playful and colorful patterns, and there were oh so many great ones to choose from. Observing the details of each one of Helen Dardik’s patterns is absolutely necessary.

Pattern by Tricia Guild and Elspeth Thompson


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This book has received great praise from pretty much everyone who owns it. It showcases bold patterns and their wonderful homes having been incorporated into decoration, a difficult task. Here’s just a little snippet of the product description offered by Amazon:

Tricia Guild is known for her bold and original fabric and wallpaper collections and her extraordinary ability to use colour and pattern in decoration. She is inspired by fabrics, techniques, motifs and designs from all over the world and from every period of history – brocades and damasks from the Far East; the rich history of botanical illustration and flower painting; checks, plaids and stripes from northern Europe; vibrant ethnic prints from India and Central America; painterly designs from Chinese and European porcelain; the bold abstracts and geometric patterns of contemporary painters.

The book can be found on Amazon here.

Rick Leong



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This artist is based in Montreal, Canada. His many imaginative paintings have a softness to them, the same kind of fuzzy effect that appears in watercolors or painted silk.The patterns that emerge in his work are nature inspired, relating to the ocean… like waves or underwater landscapes, and lush magical forests.


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Ever wondered how you could turn that wonderful illustration into your own repeating pattern? Design*Sponge offers a little step-by-step tutorial by guest blogger Julia on how exactly you can do this. A very useful guide and definitely something to read through if you don’t already know how to do this.

Sølve Sundsbø



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The photo series entitled “Bloom” from an edition of V magazine is photographed by Sølve Sundsbø and captures patterns and texture in extreme movement. The billowing plumes of floral fabrics create spectacular effect, each image featuring a stunning compostion that features body and garment as art.

dchan on DeviantART

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Another set of illustrated patterns that really benefit from a close up. The vibrant illustrations include blob monsters, Mexican wrestlers, music-loving cheese burgers, and dancing condiments. With the wild clash of activity in the patterns it all kind of looks like Paul Frank on acid.

Tatiana Plakhova’s Wrapping Paper Collections on The Behance Network


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Though these aren’t downloadable, Behance has a good number of wrapping paper designs by Tatiana Plakhova, all beautifully illustrated. Each has its own unique geometric design ranging from the basic pinstripe, to the 70’s floral, to the very ornate optical illusion.



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Patternhead is a good place to find some crazy pattern tiles designed by John Rawsterne. There are a number of patterns available for free, and other detailed, high quality downloads available through the Patternhead store.

MEANNORTH: work by Naja Conrad-Hansen

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This was an especially exciting find because artist and designer Naja Conrad-Hansen has a spectacular and broad collection of work. Her pattern work is more a combination of fashion illustration and an overflow of pattern, sometimes with a hint of photo-collage-like influences. Some very wonderful work here.

Web Design Ledger



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Finally, the popularity of using patterns is growing in webdesign, moving into the other parts of the website anatomy, no longer kept only in the background. There’s a long list of different patterns from Web Design Ledger. These patterns were pulled from deviantART and have a variety of uses.

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Fred McCoy

Fred McCoy

I live in the now, darlings. I live in a permanent #selfie. I stare only outwards, because I am a man of outwards thoughts. Twitter / Google+ / Pinterest

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