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.”