D is for...


So much can be said about design, it define periods in time, fashions, interiors, architecture and the way we live; it is ever changing. Here are some thoughts on what design is:

'Design and art are independent coordinates that provide their greatest satisfactions when experienced simultaneously.' -– Milton Glaser

'Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.' -– Massimo Vignelli

'To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry.' -– Paul Rand

Today’s project is a fun and simple one, with the scope to expand much more.

All twenty six letters of the alphabet will be treated in the same way to start it off, repeated in a clockwise pattern, to become new designs, suitable for repeat patterns. Use the template if you like, or create your own grid pattern and follow the process to create new patterns and designs. See the video for more information.

You can add more lines and forms to the basic repeat design and make it more complex, or keep it simplistic, it is up to you.

Once you have created a selection of letter patterns, apply it as decoration on dinnerware. What will you create? Something simple or evolved, if you like, add colours. Has your designs become more floral or remaining geometric? Play and see what you discover.

Creative Process

Use a fineliner or pencil in the first instance to create the shapes, move the paper around to keep the letters authentic. Once you have made a selection of pattern drawings, try it out in different media if you like. To create the dinnerware designs use pen or create crockery shapes on watercolour paper or in your sketchbook and use watercolour or High Flow ink to create patterned dinnerware. The templates are here and here.


Continuing the exploration of letter shapes and patterns in a different format and composition. Applying designs on dinnerware require one to make selections and work out what will be most suitable in repeat.

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour