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Mark making – design

Mark making mood board design trends Arnold & Bird

Obviously you’d be a fool to think it was easy to put ‘simple’ marks together… Hmm, well I have to admit I was a bit foolish but I’ll own up to it and hang my head in shame.

BUT, what I can also confess is making my mark making mood board really helped collate my thoughts on style, layout and colour which resulted in making the design process really enjoyable! My work is rather a ‘beautiful mess’ but I enjoyed creating both the painted and digital designs. My aim? Keep developing this style as I’d love it to evolve and feel really confident with it.

Mark making drawing and design process - Arnold & Bird trends

Mark making painted design - Arnold & Bird trends
Mark making digital design - Arnold & Bird trends

Crushing on these fashion designs that have hit the mark making nail on the head!

Mark making fashion Arnold & Bird trends

How would you use this in your work? Leave a comment below or tag your interpretation on social media with #ArnoldAndBirdTrends. I’ll be @arnoldandbird on Instagram and Facebook looking out for you!

Can’t wait to see!

Joanne Griffin signature

Fashion images sources, from left to right: 1. John Lewis 2. Bottega Veneta Resort 2014 collection


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The Unseen – Curiosity of the month

The Unseen - Air

The Unseen first popped into my world when I attended a trend briefing seminar at LS:N Global. They approach design by merging it with science to create something that not only looks beautiful but also reflects what is going on in the world around us.

Their piece ‘Air’ is an almost feather-like cape, made using wind reactive ink that changes colour and reflects the otherwise unseen turbulence that surrounds us as we go about our daily lives. It’s fascinating how they are awakening technology to create visual representations of how we are feeling. And pretty amazing too!

To me this piece seems more important than ever with the constant changes in today’s world. As we try and keep up, especially in the world of social media which can feel distancing at times, it’s great to see how we can express ourselves in new and visual ways.


Until next time,

Joanne Griffin signature

Image sources: The Unseen




Decorative feathers – design

Decorative feather trend design - Arnold & Bird

In the last post we dived into the feather trend for inspiration and started exploring how this theme can be applied in different ways.

Today I’m sharing a little bit of my interpretation – from initial sketches to final designs:

Feather drawings - Arnold & Bird

Moody blue feather surface pattern design repeat

Navajo feather circle repeat surface pattern design

Want to see more feathery designs? Hop over to my surface pattern portfolio!

So tell me… what’s your take on this theme and how would you interpret it into your work? Leave me a comment below or tag your interpretation on social media with #ArnoldAndBirdTrends. You can find me @arnoldandbird on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Can’t wait to see your feathered designs!

Joanne Griffin signature




After surfing it’s always a pasty


So I went surfing in Morocco (more on that soon). One thing we learnt quickly is that surfing is a very physical activity and we would always welcome the ice cream man, sweet pastry selling man or lunch that was provided for us everyday. And when i say that I mean welcome it with open arms and hungry stomachs.

So this mixed media picture by Norfolkboy from particularly rang true when I came home and saw it! I just love he colourful blocks and how the illustration is combined.

Image source: Norfolkboy via

New Designers 2013

Beth Lamont Tree Top Balloon3_905

As I said a year ago, I love the New Designers show. I thought this year was particularly good and a few exhibitors really caught my eye. The first was Beth Lamont – I loved her ceramic hot air balloons. The delicate nature of them with the silver works really well and I love the pattern on the balloon as well.

Chloe Emma Textiles  burnt feathers

Chloe Emma Textiles bones

I also loved the raw nature of these burnt feathers from Chloe Emma. The contrast between their delicate and rough nature and the white background is simple but beautiful. I also love these bones and how their are wound with thread as well. Not something I would normally go for but they are so interesting.

Image sources:

Beth Lamont

Chloe Emma Textiles

Design – Alice Fox, Gifts from the Pavement

Alice Fox - Gifts from the Pavement

Last weekend I went to the Saltaire arts trail in Yorkshire. I was there to see my friends new baby Martha Belle (could the name be any cuter?!)

It was great to spend some times going round the open houses and one of the exhibitions included Alice Fox’s Gifts from the Pavement. The image above doesn’t do the exhibition justice. The display included so many textured and marked papers from the pavements of Saltaire and they were beautiful.

So simple and the tactile quality that appeared was just amazing. All of the pieces worked so well with all of them surrounding the room in a great layout. It was just lovely to be in there surrounded by something so simple but interesting.

Image source:

Design – Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator

Original Design Art Deco Bauhaus A3 Poster Print Vintage 1930's Cat Fashion Vogue


Doelker Shoes

Harpers Bazaar

Coco Chanel art print - logo fashion poster

I have enrolled on the Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator course run by Brad Woodward on Skillshare which starts on Wednesday.

I am very excited (and nervous!) about leanrning more skills on Illustrator as currently all I know has been self taught.

The class is structured around recrearing a favourite print ad of yours. I have been pinning away and currently can’t choose. Torn between not making it too easy, too hard and choosing something I love.

These are my current faves, any thoughts on yours?

Image sources:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Curiosities of the week – Bread & Jam

Stuff I am likey to forget Bread and jam

Stay in touch correspondence kit Bread and Jam

Bread & Jam products are, by their own admission there ‘to put a smile on someone’s face’, and well they do just as they say!

Who doesn’t need a notebook with ‘Stuff I’m likely to forget’ on the cover? I know I do which is why it is currently in my basket waiting to be bought. I have seen a sample of one before and I can tell you the quality is brilliant, a really beautiful heavy sketchbook type notebook – one you don’t want to ruin by writing/doodling or drawing in – but I can’t wait to do just that.

Also these Stay in Touch correspondence cards are genius. My fave by far is the ‘Let’s run away and join a circus (bagsy juggling)’ – it is sure to bring a smile to anyones face, and make them consider seriously about doing just that as well.

I need to bring back more writing and posting letters in my life. It is the right thing to do to brighten up yours and the recipients day.

You can find their range through


Image sources

Notebook by Bread & Jam via

Notecards by Bread & Jam via


Style – Dip dyed tassel wall hanging


Continuing on from the dip dye theme of yesterday I found this dip dyed tassel wall hanging which I love as it is so big! Such a cool statement piece that is quite simple but really effective.

I love the different chunkiness of the tassels and how some of them are unravelled as well.

Image via The Six Week Boutique