REVIEW: Print & Pattern Nature

Front cover of the book Print & Pattern Nature by Bowie Style

I am always filled with excitement when a new Print & Pattern book is published;  Marie Perkins (of Bowie Style) does such a wonderful job of bringing together a great range of interesting designers. The books are always so chunky and bright, full of exciting marks, shapes and colour, and Print & Pattern: Nature, is no exception.

The book is filled with the work of 101 different designers, all coming from a variety of vocational backgrounds and geographical locations. Many of those featured have studied art and design in some capacity, but it is refreshing to see self-taught designers included in the mix too.

Image taken from Print & Pattern Nature showing Bird Tree by Mouni Feddag
Bird Tree by Mouni Feddag

The designers/design companies appear in alphbetical order and each is given either one or two double page spreads to showcase their work. We are given their website and email address as well as some information about them including, where they are based, where (if) they studied, how they describe their work, their influences and where they find inspiration, clients they have already worked with, and the types of work they are eager to take on in the future. As a majority of those featured are freelance designers, Marie encourages you to contact them for future work opportunities.

Image taken from Print & Pattern Nature showing Florals by Miss Capricho
Florals by Marie-Klara Gonzáles/Miss Capricho

In this edition in particular, I found it very easy to spot current popular trends, both in content and style. Although the subject of ‘nature’ has the potential to be very broad, there were a lot of flowers, butterflies, succulents and cacti, a good percentage of designers (although certainly not all) leaned towards palettes of dusky pink and blue mixed with muted grey and beige, many of them described their own work as whimsical, and were influenced by Scandinavian and Mid-century design and folk art. Not that there is anything wrong with being influenced by Scandinavian design, I love it myself, but I would be interested to see a second edition of the book in five years time to see how (if) trends have changed.

In terms of approach to design, there was a wonderful variety of work, from the digitally created (painted and vector), to hand-painted, to print and collage. I think the designers that stood out for me personally were those that created images that looked as though they had been created in a more traditional way (even if they hadn’t). I loved many of the vector pieces too, but sometimes, for me at least, pieces can seem too polished - I am a lover of the imperfection.

Image taken from Print & Pattern Nature showing Flowers by Mouni Feddag
Flowers by Mouni Feddag

One of my favourite designers was Mouni Feddag, her work, a mixture of hand drawn and digital editing, looks almost scribbled, yet is so detailed and bursting with colour that you can tell it has been carefully considered. The apparent urgency of her mark-making fills her images with energy and movement.

Image taken from Print & Pattern Nature showing Non-Edible Mushrooms Series No 2 by Susan Farrington
Non-Edible Mushrooms Series No 2 by Susan Farrington

I also loved the vibrancy of colour and the fluidity of paint created by Miss Capricho (Marie-Klara Gonzáles), the wonderful collages by both Susan Farrington and Laura Blythman, and the detail captured in the paintings of Michelle Morin. There really are so many wonderfully talented designers included that it is painful just to mention such a small number, all the works have their own merit and charm.

Image taken from Print & Pattern Nature showing Jungle Pop by Laura Blythman
Jungle Pop by Laura Blythman

I was a little surprised to see Liberty gracing the pages amongst all the freelancers and small companies, but then I thought ‘why not?’. Liberty are famed for their floral prints, so they have certainly earned their place in a book about nature based patterns.

As with Marie’s other books, Print & Pattern: Nature hasn’t disappointed. It is filled to the brim with colour, shape, marks and wonderful pattern, and it truly celebrates all that is great in the world surface design right now. I can’t wait to see what Print & Pattern subject Marie tackles next. 

Print & Pattern Nature by Bowie Style
Published by Laurence King 
RRP: £19.99

ISBN-10: 1780679157
ISBN-13: 978-178079150

All images copyright of Laurence King Publishing Ltd.