Looking for a cheerful antidote to minimalism? Along with the continued growth in popularity of bold colors on walls and clothes, we’re also seeing a fresh and more eclectic approach to the use of pattern and print in graphic design, photography, fashion and interiors.

Building on the maximalist mood in design right now, we’re anticipating that clashing pattern will continue to make waves right across the design board in 2019.

Read on to discover how designers are interpreting the pattern clash trend in fashion, print design, online and in interior design.

Warning: this is not a trend for shy and retiring types. 😉

1. Artistic Attitude in Illustration and Print Design

If you’re looking to channel the mixed patterne trend in your illustration or graphic design work, it’s time to dig out your school-time art supplies. Designers are mixing painterly textures, roughly-drawn sketches and different craft methods, such as screenprinting, charcoal and ink stamping, with vibrant color for a unique and eye-catching look.

Glaswegian-based studio Freytag Anderson have created a perfectly-pitched brand identity for confectionary brand COCO Chocolatier, which combines eclectic artistic methods with an unfailingly cheerful color palette of rainbow brights. Anchored with monochrome type, the result is achingly cool and bursting with tactile personality.

Brand identity by Freytag Anderson for COCO Chocolatier
Brand identity by Atelier Irradié for LFD

A slightly more sober but no less compelling approach to the pattern trend is taken by design agency Atelier Irradié for professional body LFD (Leather Fashion Design). Abstract geometric shapes are combined and layered with varying textures and a rich, Seventies-inspired palette to present a restrained and chic take on the trend.

Team two or three clashing patterns together on a poster layout or packaging, and pair with sober typography for an off-kilter mix. These retro-inspired patterns in attention-grabbing neon tones would make the perfect backdrop to elegant serif type.

Pack of background patterns by contributor Cienpies Design

2. African Inspiration in Photography and Fashion

With Pinterest singling out sustainable fashion as one of their top trends for 2019, prints inspired by the geographical sources of fairtrade textiles, such as India and Africa, are finding fresh relevance in high fashion.

While graphic designers might be looking to modernist abstract art for inspiration, fashion designers are seeking to highlight sustainably-sourced clothing through a choice selection of pattern. Inspired by the optimistic and colorful approach to fashion in West Africa, we’re seeing more photography that uses African-inspired prints as the focal point.

Photographs by Elena Iv-skaya for ‘Africa is Now’ magazine

Look to the work of photographer Elena Iv-skaya and stylist Carla Vermaak in these photos for Africa is Now magazine to find your sartorial inspiration.

Looking for the mixed pattern trend in action? Street style is an endless resource of print-clash inspiration.

The lesson to take from the FROW’s bloggers and influencers? Find a friend and clash collectively in related patterns for the ultimate style moment.

Image by contributor Luca Ponti
Image by contributor Oleksii Kipenko

3. Neon Clash in Digital Design

In app and website design, clashing prints and vibrant pattern can be a clever technique to attract and hold the attention of easily-distracted smartphone users.

With light-emitting screens able to maximise the impact of punchy neons, more digital designers are looking to acid and neon tones to create compelling user experiences.

The youthful, eye-popping identity for young talent competition Young Guns is a great example of the neon clash style in action. Layered type and fluid shapes are realised in bright, brash swatches for ultimate impact. Acid green and punchy pink are grounded by a deep cobalt blue, keeping the pattern balanced but still unfailingly fun.

In this case a simple neon-themed pattern is a natural fit for animated content, as well as being equally adaptable for simple and striking poster designs.

Brand identity for Young Guns 16 (YG16)

4. Maximalist Eccentricity in Interior Design

The lesson to take away from prints in interior design right now? More is more is more.

Forgot the sober white walls of yesteryear—2019 is all about an over-the-top, eccentric and bohemian approach to interiors.

With the once-neglected wallpaper industry now experiencing a rocketing resurgence, it’s clear that consumers are willing to be braver and more experimental with the design of their homes.

With some consumers are dipping a toe into maximalist styling through a bold wall mural or tapestry cushions, many interior designers are preaching an attitude of no restraint. Clash an eye-popping rug against mismatched tiling and cinematic wallpaper for the ultimate lesson in brave pattern-clashing.

An eccentric style influenced by Victorian bohemia and Art Nouveau is one of the most popular ways to currently clash patterns in interiors. Look to the styling of Divine Savages and Timorous Beasties to source eclectic inspiration.

Wallpaper and textiles by Divine Savages
Sofa design by Timorous Beasties for Pinch

The Mixed Pattern Trend in Action

Clashing patterns might not be in conventional good taste but the rules of taste seem to have been rewritten for 2019. With maximalism and eclectic styles currently dominating design, mixing and clashing patterns is an instant way to make your designs feel bang up-to-date.  

To tap into the trend you’ll need some cool and courageous patterns to get started. Discover a huge range of vibrant patterns and backgrounds in the 123RF library to start creating something exciting today.

Image by contributor Jacek Sopotnicki