Exotic Orchids

These designs are inspired by an appreciation of the exquisite and unusual form of orchids in bloom. Orchids are both wonderfully ornamental and excitingly exotic in nature and they are meant to symbolise innocence, purity and beauty.

The colour palette, composed by Kidspattern, is a lush selection of warm browns that are then offset by a silver-grey and fern-green.

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.

Pattern Design Development

This pat­tern series uses a selec­tion of dif­fer­ent tech­niques, ran­ging from photo-based digit­al prints, through mixed media, to also incor­por­at­ing hand-drawn ele­ments and vec­tor-based, cost-effect­ive flat prints.

During the design pro­cess I fre­quently mar­velled at the beauty of orch­id flowers. They have such an ali­en mys­tique about them, which really dis­tin­guishes them from oth­er flowers. I think the hand-drawn ele­ments with­in these pat­terns par­tic­u­larly illus­trate this because they accen­tu­ate the lovely detail­ing with­in these rare flowers, per­haps more so even than the com­pli­ment­ary pho­to­graph­ic ele­ments.

Pattern 1

This eleg­ant, white-on-white, flor­al is a full digit­al print. It is based on detailed pho­to­graphs of del­ic­ate, grace­ful orch­ids, whose stems inter­twine into a chain-like mesh. This option is par­tic­u­larly light, airy and dreamy. 

Pattern 2

This digit­al print ver­sion incor­por­ates some of my hand-draw­ing, along­side the pho­to­graph­ic ele­ments. These ele­ments are arranged more reg­u­larly, with more space around each stem. The col­our palette of this design con­tin­ues to be neut­ral and soaks up some gor­geous auburn tones with­in it.

Pattern 3

In order to provide an altern­at­ive ver­sion that was sim­pler and cheap­er to print and thus poten­tially more ver­sat­ile, I turned the draw­ing of the orch­id into a flat, single-col­our vec­tor illus­tra­tion. I scattered this ele­ment around in a polka-dot, in a rel­at­ively small size. The neut­ral col­our palette used across all the ele­ments here blends nicely togeth­er, par­tic­u­larly when posi­tioned atop the cream back­ground.

Pattern 4

Lastly, here is a ver­sion of the sim­pli­fied Orchid pat­tern, in which the flor­al ele­ments are enlarged and clustered closer togeth­er and more con­trast­ing, dark­er col­ours are used. It brings in the euca­lyptus shade of green present with­in the col­our palette and com­bines it well with a milk-chocol­ate brown back­ground. This more autum­nal col­our­ing is par­tic­u­larly fit­ting giv­en the con­text of the col­lec­tion it was com­mis­sioned for. 

An Orchid in a deep forest sends out its fra­grance even if no one is around to appre­ci­ate it

Confucius