Patterns 3 – give it some personality

I designed this collection in response to a brief to use only geometric shapes, and only design on the computer with no hand-drawn lines at all. It was a really interesting exercise – I immediately wanted to draw all the shapes by hand! Whilst I like the concepts and shapes in this collection, and the colour palette in particular, I think it loses energy and personality without the hand-drawn lines.

My geometric collection, produced entirely in Illustrator. Click for bigger image

So I decided to see what would happen when I re-made some of the patterns by hand. Some of them worked much better, and interestingly some of them didn’t – straight lines are the answer sometimes it seems!

Overlapping squares

Meshed rectangles

Sketchy squares

Layered wiggles


This week’s good stuff on the internet

Image via Wee Birdy

Wee Birdy features the best of non-tat Olympic souvenirs, including a lovely Track Print by Julian Shaw, some printed postcards by Custhorn and even a pair of Stella McCartney knickers if you’ve got a spare £30.

Eames House of Cards Image: PR

I’ve been a fan of Charles & Ray Eames for ages. One day I’d like to take a trip to California to visit the Eames House.

The Observer this week featured their pick of 10 of the best Eames designs.

My favourites of this list are the storage unit ESU 426-C, the house, and the House of Cards.


If you’re feeling you need a creative boost this list of books on MyLife Scoop might help. I’ve seen Steal Like an Artist recommended a few times, I must take a look at it. Freedom is Blogging in your Underwear, according to Hugh MacLeod. Rest assured though, I have not followed that piece of advice yet!

Designing Women – exhibition visit

I went last month to a really nice exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London. Designing Women, Post-War British Textiles, showcased work by 6 wonderful designers working in post-war Britain.

Their work shows the radical changes which took place in design in this period, with bold geometric and abstract forms and an embracing of a new, modern look. While much of their work looks ‘retro’ to us, I think it has an energy and freshness that still feels relevant today, and will always be exciting.

The most famous of the group is probably Lucienne Day. Many of her designs are now classics, and you can see them all over the place these days. The other designers featured in the show were Jacqueline Groag, Marian Mahler, Paule Vezelay, Mary White and Mary Warren.

Here are a few pictures I took at the show – all on my phone, so the quality isn’t amazing, but the work looks pretty good still!

Designing Women

View of the main gallery

Lucienne Day

Marian Mahler

Mary Warren

Mary White

Another view of the exhibition – the museum is a great space.

Oops can’t remember who this one is. If you know, comment below!

Lucienne Day

Lucienne Day

Patterns 2 – a family affair

Some more of my work from the ABSPD course.
The starting point for this collection was a quick sketch of a jug, made by my Granny, Marianne de Trey. She has spent her life making beautiful ceramics, and is a talented pattern-maker! She actually started by designing fabric at the Royal College of Art, and moved onto ceramics when she met my grandfather Sam. You can see some of her work here. There are some of both their pots in the V&A museum in London in the lovely ceramics gallery on the top floor.

So, I have a bit to live up to!

The original sketch turned into a repeat pattern, with a strong 50s influence and muted tones.

Some cups to go with the jugs – you need something to drink out of after all! I like the dark background on this one.

Bringing the original hand-drawn motifs together with some abstract shapes with a retro, bright colour scheme.

And here’s all the designs together in a collection, with a couple of simple coordinating elements to go with them. A nice range of kitchenware one day I hope…

Patterns 1

This is a selection of my work, mainly in response to briefs from the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design course.

By the way, if you want to know more about the course you can read all about it here

These first three are self-initiated work with a 50s feel and a strong colour scheme with summery shades and acid brights.

50s inspired organic shapes

Some more alien life-forms with an acid-bright colour scheme

A third pattern from the collection

Celebration scarf

Celebration scarf

My name up in lights!

Very pleased to have my work featured on the Rachael Taylor Designs blog – she is showcasing some work from module 1 of the course I am currently taking, The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design.

This piece was in response to a brief to design a scarf inspired by the theme of celebration – hopefully it makes you think of flags & bunting fluttering in the wind at a street party, or wedding, or garden party, or festival, or anywhere you might feel like celebrating!

A beginning

Welcome readers!
I’m Anna Dent, a designer and crafter, alongside a day job – for now…
I’ll be sharing some of my work here, as I explore the gorgeous world of surface pattern design, some things that inspire me and maybe the odd bit of idiocy, especially when Percy the cat sits on the keyboard.

I’d welcome your feedback and comments on my work.