As bold shapes, patterns and prints take over our media, fashion and interior design schemes – we’re taking a look at some of the interesting and mesmerising uses for patterns. Our ability to recognise and interpret visual patterns is innate, traditionally allowing us to identify poisonous plants, distinguish predator from prey, and understand celestial events. Now we use patterns to create unique, eye-catching and exciting design work, from art to clothing, to interesting textures and furnishings for transport, interior design schemes and architectural projects.

Obviously when it comes to fashion, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even when it comes down to patterns – if you can carry it off, you can wear as many patterns as you dare, all in the name of fashion. So, disregarding the catwalks – when does pattern really need to be considered? The answer lies in the cause and effect of the patterns in question.

Let us elaborate – have you been in an old London Underground carriage recently? We’re talking about those extremely bright, liquorice-allsorts inspired seating patterns – colourful yes, but also slightly nausea inducing. We absolute love this recent blog discussing the successes and failures of public transport seat textile designs;

Not only do the patterns on public transport make for some iconic topics of conversation, but they actually fulfill a practical purpose. If you think of the wear and tear these seats get and the longevity of these fabrics – the busier these patterns the less obvious the damage!

Another pattern-related topic that caught our eye are the dazzle designs that were used extensively in the First World War as a form of rather striking camouflage for ships. It’s hard to believe that ships of such a huge scale were literally painted from top to bottom with complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other. Unlike other forms of camouflage, dazzle designs were not used to hide the ships but to confuse the enemy as to the ship’s course, range, and speed.

There seems to be a new trend arising for interior design schemes, where complex patterned wallpaper, tiles or murals are being used to decorate a single wall, drawing attention and creating a bold feature for a space.

We’ve collected some of our favourite examples of exciting patterns and prints to share with you and help brighten up a rather grey beginning to the month of March!