Coursework Part 1 – Patterns

Exercise: Patterns

  1. “Return to the previous visual dynamics exercise, or select a different typeface and zoominto some of the letterforms to pick up on its details.
  2. Choose some of your selections to develop as a repeat pattern. Consider your choices in terms of the potential for being decorative through repeating, reversing, rotating, overlapping, or through a combination of all of these processes.
  3. Explore how you can simplify or develop the designs by emphasising the relationship between the foreground and background, exploring scale, grouping elements into one form, or getting rid of unnecessary elements.”

I have just bought a lovely book on pattern – “The Chronology of Pattern” by Diana Newell & Christina Unwin.



Its a really comprehensive overview of the history of pattern/surface design, a real treat to look through. I noticed that much of the pattern is highly complex and probably not something I could readily create. However I thought I could maybe take inspiration from the geometry of the early Islamic patterns, and also the simplified forms from the modern era, such as designs from the 1950s.

I would also just like to mention this bookmark – the company is called Persephone – they aim to reproduce classics, and often also call on vintage design for their art work. So pretty.


Google search


So. I started with the letter ‘R’.


I got lucky with this one, it came together  very quickly. I simply arranged 3 letters vertically, copied the group, rotated and…well thats it. And I reckon the type designers really did the work for me!

Pattern 1


In the previous exercise, I’d played with the ‘i’ inside the ‘o’…


I added a bar across the top, to make my shape symmetrical.  I also copied the dot above the eye to re-use elsewhere.


Pattern 2


I quite like this, I think it looks pretty retro. I could have angled the O’s so they aren’t sitting vertically, which might make it a bit more ‘organic’ looking.

Next idea –  what about adding a line to an inverted letter ‘i’?






Isolated letter elements – snipped off a letter ‘t’


Letter ‘g’ chopped in half


Pattern 3 


Pattern 4


As you can see, the patterns became more elaborate and embellished as I went along, building on the previous designs. So is sooooo much fun, I could carry on doing this for a few more hours. Totally addictive!!!






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