By the Seashore

Seashells are considered fascinating due to their origins in the depths of the boundless waters and having once homed curious sea creatures.

We value them for their durability as well as their beauty. So much so that we use them to decorate not only our surroundings, but also ourselves wearing them as adornments.

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.

Seashells often act as great souvenirs, bringing back a memory of a summer day spent beach combing. As children, we remember being engrossed in building a precious collection of little treasures found washed up on the beach. In this pattern design series, I aim to evoke a pinch of this sentiment.


« By the Seashore » is a pat­tern design series com­mis­sioned by a cli­ent to include in their Spring ‑Summer Collection for girls aged up to 36 months old. The over­all col­our theme was com­posed by Kidspattern and is a fem­in­ine selec­tion of soft lilacs matched with creamy browns. Each col­our palette is indic­at­ive of each age group — start­ing from the top strip : Newborn (0−9 months old) fol­lowed by Baby (6 – 18 months) and finally Kids (up to 36 months).


The chosen ele­ments con­sisted of a pre­cious col­lec­tion of dec­or­at­ive sea shells matched with pearls and tas­selled gems. These were pho­to­graphed by Kidspattern which formed a start­ing point for the devel­op­ment of these digit­al prints.

For the Newborn line, I cre­ated both a sin­gu­lar motif and a three-col­our images of the heart shaped shell and matched them with three pearls. Additionally, for sup­port­ing ele­ments I drew lin­ear out­lines of all the remain­ing shells from the selection. 

Finally, the most advanced ele­ments for the old­est age group are based on a fill made from vari­ous digit­ally filtered ren­der­ings of the ori­gin­al pho­to­graph, which were touched up manu­ally to add gradi­ents of col­our. Lastly, to define the shape the out­line draw­ing was added on top. 

Newborn Line

The first pat­tern for the Newborn line has the heart shaped shells scattered amongst the fall­ing droplets of pearls in a dynam­ic and dimen­sion­al arrange­ment. Soaked in a soft pink palette, it’s placed against both col­oured and white back­grounds ; visu­al­ised in both large and small sizes on a baby blanket as well as a baby romper.

The oth­er sim­pli­fied option has the ele­ments arranged reg­u­larly and with even spa­cing between them. The total num­ber of col­ours used is reduced to only two and focuses on incor­por­at­ing aspects of the brown side of the palette.


This pat­tern was pre­pared for the Baby (6 – 18 months) age group. Here, I’ve used just the out­line draw­ings of the shells arranged in an even and reg­u­lar repeat, whilst the stripes on one of the sea­shells provide a diag­on­al visu­al rhythm and adds weight to the design. 

This ver­sion was placed on white, as well as a milk chocol­ate back­ground, where for con­trast the out­lines were recol­oured in white. Here I’ve visu­al­ised it in both a small and a large size.

Watercolour Effect

In this ver­sion, the more com­plex ele­ments are scattered in a dynam­ic arrange­ment. The fine details of the painted digit­al water­col­our fill bring in some won­der­ful textures.

These pat­terns explore vari­ous spa­cing between the rotat­ing ele­ments that appear to be sus­pen­ded in the air mid-fall. Placed in two medi­um col­ours — camel and cor­al shades – these are visu­al­ised in two dif­fer­ent sizes. 

Combining Both

This is the main ver­sion of this pat­tern, which was selec­ted by the cli­ent for print as a part of their Spring — Summer Collection. Here, the weight of digit­al water­col­our ele­ments is bal­anced out by the dif­fer­ently col­oured out­line draw­ing. These draw­ings are woven in between the water­col­our ele­ments, which adds to this design’s dimensionality. 

In the ver­sion placed on a white back­ground the gradi­ents of col­ours have now gained an opales­cent facet. 

For con­trast, the pat­tern was also placed on a rasp­berry sorbet col­oured back­ground with all the out­lines now recol­oured in just white and arranged closer together. 

Pattern in Print 

Below, please browse through a slideshow selec­tion of a few examples of this pat­tern in print. These are pho­to­graphs of the Client’s first cloth­ing samples pro­duced to dis­play at a trad­ing fair as a part of the launch of their over­all Spring-Summer Collection. Here you may observe how the pat­tern was used and prin­ted across mul­tiple items and how it fits with­in the wider con­text of the collection. 

On the left hand side you can view the items for the Newborn group, where­as on the right I’ve attached cloth­ing aimed at the older age group.

Please note that these images are provided cour­tesy of the cli­ent and Kidspattern and are used for port­fo­lio pur­poses only. 

“Those who look for sea­shells will find sea­shells ; those who open them will find pearls.”