Surface Pattern Types and Styles

Surface patterns can be found all around us in various fields. Fields like textiles, ceramics, architecture, and graphic design. Surface patterns range in style – from geometric to experimental.


Patterns are always on trend in some form; whether loud or subtle, abstract or organized, they’re consistently being used in art and design. Below are just a handful of styles used in the world.

Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns consist of repetitive shapes such as lines, circles, squares, triangles, or polygons. They can be simple or complex, and often create a sense of order and symmetry.


Floral Patterns

Floral Pattern ExampleFloral patterns feature motifs inspired by flowers, plants, and foliage. These patterns can range from realistic depictions to stylized or abstract representations of botanical elements.


Striped Patterns

Stripped ExampleStriped patterns consist of parallel lines of equal width running across a surface. They can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, and the width and spacing of the stripes can vary.


Paisley Patterns

Paisley patterns originated in Persian and Indian cultures and are characterized by intricate and curved teardrop shapes. These patterns often have a decorative and ornamental appearance.


Polka Dot Patterns

Polka dot patterns consist of regularly spaced, evenly sized circles or dots. They can be small or large, and the dots can be solid or hollow.


Animal Prints

Animal prints mimic the patterns found on the skin or fur of animals. Popular animal prints include leopard, zebra, cheetah, and snake patterns.


Abstract Patterns

Abstract patterns are non-representational and often characterized by random or irregular shapes, lines, and colors. They can evoke a sense of creativity and artistic expression.


Chevron Patterns

Chevron Tile Example
Chevron patterns consist of repeated V-shapes or zigzag patterns. These patterns can be bold and dynamic, adding a sense of movement and energy to a design.


Damask Patterns

Damask patterns are intricate and often feature a reversible design. They typically consist of elaborate motifs and are commonly used in textiles and wallpaper.


Plaid Patterns

Plaid patterns are characterized by crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands of various colors. Usually 2 or more colors are used in a design.


Nature Patterns

Slightly different than animal prints and florals, nature patterns can resemble wood grain, water, rock and other nature-based textures forming a pattern.


These are just a few examples of surface patterns, and there are countless variations and combinations within each category. In art and design, it’s good to know what each category is by name in case it’s needed in a project down the road.

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