Instrumental Collage

Inspired by a passion for the art of music, the base artwork for this design is a collage made from snippets of various instruments. This multi-faceted portrait celebrates these exquisite tools for self expression, with which one can convey what mere words often fail to. 

As with all artistic endeavours, music tends to remind us that we can find joy through repetition and diligent practise to improve and learn new skills.

This 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.


Draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from still life rep­re­sen­ta­tions in the Cubism art move­ment — in par­tic­u­lar the impor­tant role of the famous Gui­tar paint­ings by Picas­so — this art­work attempts to employ a sim­i­lar use of geo­met­ric fig­ures in its core struc­ture. In Cubism, artists began to break up the sub­ject into many dif­fer­ent shapes and then repaint them from dif­fer­ent angles in an effort to find new ways to trans­fer three-dimen­sion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tions onto a flat canvas.

Sim­i­lar­ly, this design aims to cre­ate a pat­tern by rear­rang­ing and jux­ta­pos­ing build­ing blocks cre­at­ed by cut-out pieces of pho­tographs. 

Elements Development

This design is from a series of pat­tern devel­op­ment com­mis­sion for a client’s Autumn — Win­ter series for Boys aged up to 36 months old. The colour palette for this design was cre­at­ed by Kidspat­tern and was set at a range of warm browns matched with a cold beige and two shades of clas­sic blue (a medi­um and a dark tone).

The cen­tral ele­ment was based on a series of pho­tographs, which were cropped and reassem­bled again with the aim to cre­ate a new hybrid that uni­fies and cel­e­brates all kinds of musi­cal instru­ments. The focus was placed on high­light­ing the intri­cate detail of par­tic­u­lar fea­tures from instru­ments such as a trom­bone, vio­lin, cel­lo and an elec­tric guitar.

Above you can view the base ele­ment matched with a check, which was select­ed as a com­pli­men­ta­ry print. Addi­tion­al­ly, you can view an option to use a stand­alone mod­ule as a place­ment print illus­tra­tion. 

Starting Point

Here, the base option has the sin­gle ele­ment repeat­ed in a reg­u­lar man­ner, along­side two colour ways of this version.

The first option is pre­sent­ed in a large size with ele­ments close togeth­er and set on a light cream back­ground recoloured in brown mono­chrome to match.

Whilst the sec­ond is reworked in blue, with more spac­ing around the ele­ment and set against a checked, sec­ondary print. 

Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design


For the devel­op­ment, these options focus on the blue aspect of the colour palette. In both, the build­ing blocks of the orig­i­nal ele­ment have been shift­ed around with an inter­est­ing result.

The spac­ing in between the inter­lock­ing shapes is explored and pre­sent­ed in two dif­fer­ent arrange­ments: one fea­tures the addi­tion of a sec­ondary ele­ment checked pat­tern whilst the oth­er blends in smooth­ly with the light blue of the back­ground. 

Dark Background

Last­ly, the build­ing blocks were recoloured in a way to incor­po­rate the full spec­trum of the palette, which result­ed in more shad­ing tint variation.

The mod­ules are brought clos­er togeth­er with a reg­u­lar rhythm in order to cre­ate a seam­less repeat.

Instrumental Collage · pattern design
Instrumental Collage · pattern design

“It’s easy to play any musi­cal instru­ment: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instru­ment will play itself.”

Johannes Sebas­t­ian Bach