Urban Jungle

Impenetrable and unknowable, the tropical rainforest has an abundance of inhabitants and is bursting with life. This wealth of inspiration contributes to it being one of the most prevalent trends in pattern design. 

As a motif it speaks to our human desire for adventure ; our wanderlust for travelling to and exploring exotic lands ; and our deep need for growth, represented in the jungle’s dense vegetation.

Indeed our natural yearning to reconnect with nature and escape the built environment seems to make our Jungle fantasies more relevant than ever.

This sur­face 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.

Surface Pattern Design — Case Study

This jungle-inspired sur­face pat­tern design series was developed with Kidspattern as a com­mis­sion for a client’s Spring-Summer kidswear col­lec­tion. I’ve based my illus­tra­tion around one of the jungle’s most recog­nis­able inhab­it­ants, the par­rot and por­trayed two of these splen­did beasts in flight, nav­ig­at­ing their way through a labyrinth of rich foliage.

In cre­at­ing the hand-drawn ele­ments here I worked with a ‘leaky ink’ pen. This gave the out­lines a more express­ive and dynam­ic feel, whilst the pat­tern remained a straight­for­ward single col­our print. 

The mod­ule was arranged in simple repeat and presen­ted on a uni­sex white t‑shirt, which con­tras­ted well with the dark lines of the draw­ing. An addi­tion­al col­our­way had the design posi­tioned against a grey back­ground, with an extra lay­er of white high­lights on top. 


Jungle Pattern for Boys

At this point in the sur­face pat­tern’s devel­op­ment it was decided that the design should be split into two com­ple­ment­ary ver­sions — one more tailored for boys and the oth­er more so for girls.

To fit in with the broad­er col­our palette of the col­lec­tion we intro­duced two sat­ur­ated greens to be used as high­lights. These were presen­ted in a scribbly, ‹col­our­ing-in› book, style that matched the energy of the dynam­ic lines with­in the draw­ing. Below you can view the ver­sion of the sur­face pat­tern design that was developed for boys. Alongside it I’ve attached a recol­oured ver­sion, placed on a vibrant green back­ground and visu­al­ised on a pair of sum­mer shorts. 

Girls : Version 1

Here is an altern­ate ver­sion of the sur­face pat­tern that was developed for the girls range with­in the col­lec­tion (aged up to 36 months). It was col­oured in broadly the same way as the design for boys and thus was set up to part­ner it.

Note though that this ver­sion did present a more muted, altern­at­ive col­our­way, which blends in well when used on a grey, tex­tured cot­ton. Here the green and white accents are still present but set a more subtle, gentler, visu­al rhythm. 

Girls : Version 2

The fill for the col­our in the hand-drawn ele­ments was flattened and smoothed here, mak­ing the design appear more clean-cut, mod­ern and sleek. This fill also bal­anced bet­ter with the energy of the quiv­er­ing ‹leaky-ink› line being used.

The greens of the col­our palette are yet more pre­val­ent here too. Placing the pat­tern design on a dark-green back­ground has added more weight and depth to it, whilst the white par­rot is a more eye-catch­ing ele­ment that really stands out.

The sur­face pat­tern is visu­al­ised here, on a jump­er, in an over­sized man­ner that has the par­rot in the middle and the botan­ic­als spread­ing along the sleeves. This more col­our-sat­ur­ated por­tray­al really accen­tu­ates the opu­lent and mys­ter­i­ous notes with­in the Jungle motif. 

Girls : Version 3

Lastly, in one fur­ther update to the design I jux­ta­posed it against a back­ground con­tain­ing a bold, geo­met­ric pat­tern. This clash between the organ­ic and the ortho­gon­al lines in the over­laid sur­face pat­terns sets up a con­trast that, by com­par­is­on, high­lights the wild unru­li­ness of the jungle elements.

Using a pre­dom­in­antly grey palette, with a touch of juicy, vibrant, green the design is now much more mod­ern look­ing and pos­sibly more suited to an older age-group as well. 

Pattern in Print

Below you can view a few quick snaps of the first cloth­ing samples using these sur­face pat­tern designs. These were the final designs pur­chased by the cli­ent for incor­por­a­tion into their Spring-Summer Collections.

Disclaimer : These images are provided cour­tesy of the cli­ent and Kidspattern and are used for port­fo­lio pur­poses only.

“A brave heart and a cour­teous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.”

Rudyard Kipling English journ­al­ist and writer