Lately I’ve been noticing a trend in the clients we’ve been branding. More and more clients are wanting to see how pattern could work within their brand. It seems like I create more and more patterns by the day, so I figured today a brand board was in order, and how even the tiniest bit of pattern can spiffy up even the most tired of brands.
Patterns range in style from the gorgeous Arabesque tiled patterns to the tiny repeating subtlety of Japanese prints, and some of my favorite patterns were created in the Arts+ Crafts period (No, not the period in time where everyone made bird houses out of popsicle sticks). I’m talking about the beautiful visual art movement from the early 1900′s that brought back artistry and craft to the focal point of the conversation (Do me a favor and just google William Morris, will you?)
And if you thought the types of patterns came in a ton of categories, the uses for pattern are pretty much just as varied. Of course the obvious choice for a pattern would be as a full on background to any sort of blog, page, what have you- but I’m a huge fan of the unexpected surprise of pattern. The hey- what’s -inside -this -envelope-and -AHA! -pattern, the oh-wow -look- at -how-well-those-two-patterns-work-together-pattern, and I love love love the use of pattern as the main visual element, like in the Mast Bros Chocolate. It’s not for everyone, no. But it’s striking, strong, elegant, all of the keywords so many people love so much.
When it comes to finding patterns that will “work” within an established brand, or even finding out which ones could work within a look that you’re trying to create, I say (of course I say this) stick to what you love. I’ve been trying to think on some absolute no-no’s when it comes to pattern + style combination, and I think any pattern can really work in any situation- what plays into it however is more along the lines of scale and color, vs. imagery within the pattern.
Let me explain:
A client wanting a clean, and modern brand with a touch of feminine pop (sound like anyone out there?) can absolutely benefit from a pattern, and nobody’s hemmed in to just stripes and dots either.
A clean lined, geometric pattern (like a quatrefoil, or a simple trellis type pattern), can deliver the dual natured feeling of structured/ clean + feminine, while keeping the entire thing feeling super high end. It’s truly all in how it’s used in placement, the color palette, and the scale of the overall pattern that’s going to fine tune each of these connotative emotions. A larger set pattern will probably feel more funky/eclectic, while a small repeat pattern could feel very subtle + light. Some patterns are so small that when looked at 100% it creates an overall tone, as opposed to a repeating print.
So where does that leave us now?
Much like everything else that branding seems to be, the best thing to do is start with what you already like. Look to your clothes, accessories, home furnishings. What do you already surround yourself with? If there is no pattern at all (which I doubt, honestly) then pattern is 100% not for you, and I apologize for making you read all about the versatility and wonderment that is pattern.
if you find any recurring visual themes, take note. Even if Flosites doesn’t provide you with a lovely custom made pattern, you can still be open to the possibility of incorporating something new to freshen up what you’ve already got going on, which pattern does beautifully!
Until next time!