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favorite things . Ferns

I’m always so intrigued by the ways designers derive inspiration from nature. The natural world provides a wealth of examples for pattern, texture and color combinations. These examples are often immediately pleasing to our eyes, and we can easily recognize them as “well-designed” because we see them “naturally” in the environment all around us.

In marketing and image development, natural forms like plants or leaves can be used even in unrelated industries and business types to provide a more organic presence for disciplines that might otherwise be less people-friendly. Using imagery, patterns and textures from nature often provides immediate positive associations for the audience when used in promotional or marketing pieces.

The repeating patterns of leaves have always been a great source of design inspiration for me. And, I’m not alone. This week, I’m inspired by FERNS, in particular, and by these great designers who’ve used them to produce some outstanding and well-designed products.

Palace Papers: You may have already read of my love of the Palace Papers line of wallpaper and fabric patterns. I think “herringbone” is my favorite pattern of all time. I love menswear styles anyway, and the added serendipity of seeing the fern fronds forming the texture just knocked my socks off from the moment I saw it.

Flock Home: I love this shop filled with hand-printed linens including pillows, cocktail napkins, cloth napkins and this fabulous fern-inspired tea towel. The simplicity of Gina’s custom designs showcase the very essence of the flora and fauna inspiring her.

Honeybee: Amy Moore describes her jewelry line as “wearable sculpture inspired by the natural world,” and it’s an apt phrase. Her sterling silver creations are simply outstanding. Just look at how delicate the fern fronds in this ring design are! The textures she’s created in her designs are subtle, but stunning.

Appetite: The bags, wallets and scarfs created by Erin Albin are made with her custom-designed and hand silk-screened materials. Screen printing is near and dear to my heart, so I love products that are well-designed and use this time-honored technique. The gentle curl of this hobo bag fern pattern give it a nice delicacy that contrasts with the canvas fabric.

[Pond Notes: Etsy.com is one of my favorite places to find inspiring design work. Sometimes I type in a random word or object in the search feature to start the process of discovery. Give it try! You are sure to be inspired as well.]

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