Pattern in Branding, Packaging and Graphic Design
From geometric designs to watercolor washes of ethereal color, pattern has the ability to bring life and character to packaging, websites and stationery. If you’re pattern-phobic don’t fret, these inspirational patterned designs show you how decorative doesn’t have to mean fussy or old-fashioned.
Whatever your vibe, whether minimal or ornate, you can give your designs an instant update with a stylish pattern. Scroll down to find inspiration for using a range of design-forward patterns on backgrounds and layouts for both print and web.
Inspiration: Geometric patterns
Geometric patterns use simple shapes in a repetitive style, building up to colorful and sometimes highly elaborate designs that still retain a minimalistic quality. Geometric patterns often feature symmetry and regularity, making them feel particularly pleasant and calming to look at.
These types of pattern work effectively for brand identities, as it is easy to apply a branded color scheme to the series of shapes in a consistent manner. Geometric patterns are a simple way to give designs a mid-century look, and take on a more vintage character when set in subdued, tonal colours such as mustard, brown, olive or navy blue.
Inspiration: Watercolor patterns
Ethereal and airy, watercolor patterns lend a handcrafted feel to packaging designs. They have a delicate, delectable mood, making them a natural fit for food and drinks products, and when used in strong monocolour they give more graphic impact and look particularly effective.
This delicate pattern trend is effortlessly pretty and makes for designs that are airy and ethereal. Create your own watercolour patterns using watercolour paints or inks dipped in water, before colourising them in Photoshop for a more striking look.
Inspiration: Illustrated Patterns
You can bring character and narrative to a range of designs with illustrated patterns. Illustration also allows your designs to feel more personalised and unique, as well as to give a specific mood to a layout. Woodland scenes bring a rustic, folk feel while naive, abstract designs lend a design an artsy look.
To avoid an overly fussy style, use a limited colour scheme in your illustrated patterns and promote symmetry and repetition to make an ornate design feel calming to the eye.
Inspiration: Marbled Patterns
Marbling is a centuries-old technique for giving paper a dreamlike, swirling, multicoloured effect. Originally used to decorate the covers and inside pages of books, marbled patterns retain a literary personality, making any design feel more luxurious and intellectual. They are the perfect fit for high-end products or artistic branding, and have a subtle adaptability that makes them more versatile than other ornate patterns.