Inspirations – Designs in Nature

written by David
March 26, 2021
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With Spring having now arrived, it seems only fitting to center this week’s InkWell entry around Nature – or more specifically, beautiful designs in Nature.

Natural designs take multiple forms, of course — a beautifully ordered geometric sequence, aligned stripes that accent a form, an attractive combination of colours to attract a mate, a pattern of swirls and whorls that offer camoflage to its wearer. All amazing, all satisfyingly beautiful and inspiring.

So let’s take a look at some of the elements in Nature’s design toolbox:

Symmetry

Our eyes are just naturally attracted to symmetrical designs and Nature certainly obliges. Bilateral symmetry, radial symmetry, crystallization all provide us with that order our eyes seek out. We are (generally) symmetrical after all and symmetrical features are often pleasing, so it’s not surprising that humans appreciate that symmetry in our surroundings.
Shell Symmetry
(Pexels)
Butterfly Symmetry
(Pexels)

Geometry

There’s something very satisfying about geometry! Again, the orderliness makes for pleasing designs and beautiful patterns. Many plants grow in orderly geometric patterns. Snowflakes and crystals also all into this category (though they could be placed in symmetry as well…) And bees, of course, have this pretty down pat as well!
Snowflakes by Elisabeth Lee
Photo by Elisabeth Lee (Pexels)
Beehive by Ion Ceban
Photo by Ion Ceban (Pexels)

Colour

Complementary colours are often found in Nature, and so are ones that are designed more to hide than to attract admirers (these aren’t used in branding that often for obvious reasons!) On the other side, contrasting colours will attract attention, usually for their boldness. Colour plays such and important part in what we like and dislike, and a brand’s unique colour story make up an important part of the wellbranding process. (By the way, colour is likely to feature in a number of InkWell articles going forward, so don’t be surprised when it pops up again…)
Flower Garden
Blue & Orange Bird by Erik Karits
Photo by Erik Karits (Pexels)

Patterns

 Like symmetry and geometry, our eyes are naturally drawn to repeating patterns. These can be very pleasing, but some can almost hurt our eyes (so. much. repetition…), but we generally can’t stop looking at their hypnotic allure! Patterns can certainly have a randomness to them as well. Spots, stripes and branching structures fit into this category.
Zebras by Frans Van Heerden
Photo by Frans Van Heerden (Pexels)
Peacock by Paul Carmona
Photo by Paul Carmona (Unsplash)

Linears

Lines often indicate direction and movement and to me, they differ from stripes in that they are more orderly – akin to a pattern or geometric design in that way. Lines can accent a form, indicate a direction to be followed or expand to create gradations and bands of colour.
Linear Leaves by Karolina Grabowska
Photo by Karolina Grabowska (Pexels)
Windswept Desert Rock
(Pexels)

As a personal example of design arising from Nature, I took the photo below of the incredible volcanic rock columns on Reynisfjara Beach in southern Iceland (a black sand beach, no less!).

Iceland Volcanic Rock
Reynisfjara Beach - Iceland

After this experience, Glynn & I started recognizing how often these types of repeating geometric patterns ended up appearing in graphic and architectural design elements there, from the unique & stunning Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, to sweater accents, to delicious Omnom chocolate bars.

Harpa Concert Hall- Reykjavik
Omnom Chocolate
Omnom Chocolate

It’s always amazed me how a well-executed design can provoke a visceral, emotional response from us. For me, it’s a sense of something just “feeling right”, an order that gives me an instant sense of calm, or it could be a design that possesses an inherent beauty that makes me catch my breath in awe. (And admittedly, there’s also a part of me that delights in chaos, but that’s for another article, perhaps…) 

The WellBrand is certainly inspired by Nature’s beauty and our Ayurvedic/elemental approach to branding means that Nature almost always plays a part in informing our designs.

We do hope you’re enjoying the beginnings of Spring wherever you are, and remember to take a little time to pause and appreciate the incredible natural designs we are constantly surrounded by. Until next time.

Namaste & Be Well,

David InkWell blog signature

PS

By the way, the photos used in this article came from both Pexel and Unsplash – both great resources for free photographs. The photos without accreditations were taken by yours truly. 🙂

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