The charming butterfly is indicative of the arrival of the spring sun, and hence around the world, it is viewed as representing change, hope, and life. Moreover, because of their fascinating life cycle, they’re symbolic of metamorphosis, renewal, and the transitory, fragile nature of beauty itself.

Among various superstitions around butterflies, the most common one is that they are a serendipitous indication of good luck.

This pat­tern design pro­ject was a part of my ongo­ing col­lab­or­a­tion with Kidspattern. If you’d like to learn more about them please vis­it their web­site HERE. Alternatively, view the archive of our pre­vi­ous pro­jects HERE, in which I dis­cuss in detail the his­tory and nature of our work.

All cloth­ing-mockups presen­ted here are provided cour­tesy of Kidspattern and are used for visu­al­isa­tion pur­poses only.


There are more than 17,500 recor­ded but­ter­fly spe­cies, which makes for a tre­mend­ous vari­ety of orna­ment­al mark­ing com­bin­a­tions on their wings. These unique pat­terns, alike oth­er prints found in the anim­al king­dom, have been a great source of inspir­a­tion for a mul­ti­tude of design­ers. Most fam­ously, these ref­er­ences fea­ture strongly in many works of Alexander McQueen.

Some of the but­ter­fly wing speckles are evoc­at­ive of leo­pard or chee­tah spots, which would explain the reas­on why they are as pop­u­lar amongst the anim­al print lovers. 

Inspired by this ongo­ing theme, this pat­tern series was based on pho­to­graphs of real but­ter­fly wings taken by Kidspattern. This design formed one of a com­mis­sioned course of pat­tern devel­op­ment for a client’s Spring — Summer Collection. « The Butterfly Wings Kaleidoscope » was inten­ded as a digit­al print addressed to girls up to 36 months old. You can also view a cor­res­pond­ing design for boys inspired by moths HERE.

These pho­to­graphs of but­ter­fly wings were digit­ally manip­u­lated and recol­oured to fit the col­our palette for their inten­ded age group. The over­all col­our theme was designed by Kidspattern and is a fem­in­ine selec­tion of dreamy pinks and soft grey, con­tras­ted by spots of dark navy and cor­al. This was split into three age groups — of which you can view each one above start­ing from the bot­tom strip for Newborn (0−9 months old) fol­lowed by Baby (8−18 months) and finally the Kids Line (up to 36 months) on top. 

These ele­ments were then arranged into a kal­eido­scop­ic com­pos­i­tion that formed the main base for the pat­tern repeat mod­ule. Below, the devel­op­ment of this series is pic­tured across vari­ous col­our-ways, place­ments and arrangements. 

Elements and Colour Scheme

Newborn Line

This group included pat­terns cre­ated with sim­pli­fied and smal­ler ver­sions of the wings.

The first pat­tern presents two options, with the addi­tion­al use of small dots between the ele­ments to accen­tu­ate the calm­ing simple repeat and bal­ance out the spa­cing. These are presen­ted on two dif­fer­ent back­grounds (one light pink and the oth­er white). They also dif­fer with the total use of col­ours, start­ing at three and redu­cing it all the way to just one in the blue version. 

The second idea sees all the single but­ter­fly wings scattered reg­u­larly. Here this is visu­al­ised in two dif­fer­ent sizes and presen­ted on both : white and col­oured back­grounds. For the lat­ter, in order to make the ele­ments stand out, a white flat shape was added under­neath each single col­our print. 

Pink and Coral

This is a selec­tion of pat­terns focus­ing solely on the pink aspect of the palette. The mod­ule is recol­oured in mono­chrome shades and repeated regularly. 

The fol­low­ing options explore three dif­fer­ent col­oured back­grounds : white, light and medi­um cor­al, as well as being visu­al­ised in vari­ous sizes : medi­um, large and oversize. 

These ver­sions vary in the spa­cing between each mod­ule and the place­ment of the ele­ments on the gar­ment. In the last pat­tern, the high res­ol­u­tion ori­gin­al pho­to­graph enabled this design to be majorly enlarged. This really allows the fine intric­a­cies of the scales that make up a but­ter­fly wing to shine though. 

Pastel Fantasy

The intro­duc­tion of the light blue into the mix res­ults in a dreamy, pas­tel col­our com­bin­a­tion. A par­tic­u­larly inter­est­ing effect was achieved on some of the ele­ments by recol­our­ing in a gradi­ent between the two main shades. 

Presented here, is two pat­terns using dif­fer­ent col­oured back­grounds : blue and pink, which are both visu­al­ised in two dif­fer­ent sizes. In the first ver­sion, the mod­ules were con­nec­ted to each oth­er in an evenly spaced arrange­ment. Whilst, the oth­er pat­tern acts as an over­size place­ment illus­tra­tion, which offers a mod­ern tex­tur­al print.

Dark Navy

Lastly, these pat­terns incor­por­ate the use of more con­trast­ing ele­ments of the palette. The focus was shif­ted towards the blue aspect, set­ting the baby blue and the dark navy as backdrops.

It was import­ant to provide an idea of how this pat­tern could also be used quite suc­cess­fully on a dark back­ground. Recoloured in mono­chrome, with the lay­ers of but­ter­fly wings build­ing up in gradi­ent all the way to white, this design is highly dimensional.

“Happiness is like a but­ter­fly : the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your atten­tion to oth­er things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

Henry David Thoreau