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Geometric Patterns: A Colourful History

Geometric Patterns

Bold shapes, often accompanied by bright colours. Repeating patterns and motifs. Angular structures. It is a design feature loved by artists, architects and creators of all kinds, geometric patterns have been a part of the world around us for eons. This even extends to the natural world, where geometry and symmetry occur organically.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Going back to ancient Greece and Morocco, there is a prevalence of this styling throughout their buildings and interiors.

Taking cues from many cultures like these and its own internal philosophies, Islamic art and architecture has developed a deep and long-standing association with a certain style of patterns and motifs featuring geometric designs.

Blog - Geometric Patterns Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

It was also a big feature in the development of the Art Deco design movement, which was highly popular between the 1920s and 1940s. This can be seen particularly in the certain parts of the US, where cities like New York and Miami retain beautiful examples of the style, from the Chrysler Build and New Yorker Hotel to the Art Deco District in Miami's South Beach area, which is the first 20th Century neighbourhood to be recognised by the National Register of Historic Places.

Buildings Image attribution: Click Images / (left); meunierd / (right).

Within the art world, Cubism, one of Pablo Picasso's favoured art forms, is dominated by the principles of the geometry in how the art is created and the form of it. Whilst artist Piet Mondrian's famous neoplasticism-styled creations are perfect examples of bold geometric design.

Image attribution: Stefano Tinti / Image attribution: Stefano Tinti /

Almost every season, Bold geometric prints show up on fashion runways around the world. The height of popularity was in the 1960s when Mods favoured clothes with simple, striking shapes in bright colours.

Blog - geometric fashion Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

And it’s only natural that this enduring style of design would move from architecture to interiors and furniture design. The likes of Isamu Noguchi and the co-founders of Nova Obiecta, Axel Chay and Marouane Sadki, make great use of the shapes and patterns.

It is also popular for wallpaper, rugs and tiles, where geometric motifs can often stand out to maximum effect.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

It is a fundamental part of our human nature, our innate love of symmetry and finding patterns in things that, at least in part, explains why the use of geometric design recurs throughout history and will continue to be used long into the future.


Post written by Julie Fisher.