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Pattern Design

South African Amex Pattern Design

In creating this project I was inspired by different aspects of what  the “Vibrant African Market Place” could entail. Lines and shapes are inspired by traditional South African beaded jewellery, handmade objects, the intricate patterns and geometric shapes that form a part of traditional South African arts and crafts, pieces that are not only beautiful to look at but functional and important in daily life as well.


Inspiration comes from the black outlines on Ndebele houses, ShweShwe fabric patterns and designs, Wax print fabrics, Zulu and Xhosa beadwork and handwoven designs, as well as other South African and African cultures handmade designs and handwork but not limited to any particular design or culture - to truly bring together diversity and show the exuberant variety, design, colour and what is on offer in the African marketplace. And finally, also how beautifully and harmoniously people, culture and design collectively exist as a glorious tapestry of pattern and colour, together. THE MAIN PATTERN consists of different rows that flow into each other. From the more abstract geometric lines and shapes at the top, to the little “stalls,” each representing a different market, including food markets, fabrics, handmade goods, and more. The next geometric line with circles and radiating lines, to represent sharing and sending out the “gifts” the South African market has on offer, these are also represented by shapes to present boxes with lids (shapes that just as easily can become graphic elements). The next line has diamond shapes, again to play with geometry but also to play on the gold and diamonds, minerals that form a part of the African market, and play a significant role in the African economy today and historically. From there, it repeats, each market lending on, leaning on and flowing into the next. In addition to the main pattern, the patterns in the rows can each form their own meaning separately, and makes the overall pattern even more versatile in what it can convey and how the pattern can be applied and used.


This can be seen in the following pages, where various elements were taken from the main pattern, especially the tops of the stalls, to create and recreate new but cohesive patterns for use in alternate ways and designs.

January 2023

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