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Pattern and Color, and the Intriguing Effects Created by Their Interaction


By Barbara Jacobs

What’s in a pattern, and why should we care?

Color is one thing, and of course I think it’s one of the key aspects of design, and of creating supportive, interesting, and attractive spaces.

Pattern is another aspect of “surface design” that can apply to any surface or even a space in its entirety.

I personally enjoy seeing patterns in all kinds of places—and, not to be too presumptuous—maybe you do, also.

Of course Nature is all-pattern, texture, and color.  This image (below) reminds me of seeing a landscape, or a planet:

Talk about “earth tones!”

But seeing interesting pattern in man-made objects, and in the built environment in particular, does hold a fascination for me so I wanted to share a few places that I recently found inspiring.

 “Plaid Light”

Lines, shadows, and textures combine to make interesting patterns.

Interesting to look at, as a result of repetition of line and texture, in verticals both organic and built.

On a smaller scale…

The colors and visual texture here remind me of an impressionist painting.

These really made me smile…a color palette resource!

The pattern of pastel-colored lunchboxes combines with black-and-white graphic lettering.

I really enjoy seeing these patterns and colors! Can you guess which ones I bought to use?

The Question

What are the paint colors that these images inspire you to use? Single or as combinations, it's all fair game and I am interested in YOUR favorites!


Barbara Jacobs

Can we talk?...about color, that is. That’s our objective with this ongoing discussion—a Color Exchange, if you will—in this Durability + Design blog. Whether we know it or not, color affects all of us, in many ways. So let’s engage in this exchange and explore this mysterious and exciting subject of color, its effects, and its applications.



Tagged categories: Color; Color + Design; Barbara Jacobs Color and Design; Design

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