Browsing Category


Moody tropical – design

Tropical feather repeat surface pattern print design by Arnold & Bird - product development consultancy and design

Following on from the moody tropical research last week I’ve produced a few designs and paintings to reflect this trend.

The deep hues on the feather print is one of my favourite surface pattern designs. I love the colour combination of the dark teal with pops of yellow alongside the simple repeat. I would definitely want this printed onto any stationery products!

Tropical palm leaf painting with exotic animal print by Arnold & Bird - product development consultancy and design

Personally I love the idea of using animal skins as the patterns within other tropical motifs. When you think an illustration should be designed a certain way, you can create a totally different look by adding in a unique pattern to what is expected or accepted.

I’ve added snake scales to this tropical leaf to add texture and a point of difference. More definition on the pattern would be good to develop this further and create something with more impact.

Making a paper leaf bouquet that has pops of animal print in would an an unexpected twist to wedding styling, plus add a fun element to the day.

Tropical bird illustration painting by Arnold & Bird - product development consultancy and design

To add character and a new take on this trend I love the idea of using exotic animals mixed with leaves, tropical undergrowth and sunsets. It would be super cute for kiddos and tweens if the animals had a bit of personality. Plus it also works well for fashion and home accessories too.

This is my bird of paradise with swishy, bright feathers looking to nest somewhere pretty!

What’s your interpretation of this trend and would you use it? Let me know using #ArnoldandBird on Instagram.

Joanne Griffin signature


Photos and designs by Joanne Griffin.



Greenery – Pantone Colour of the Year 2017 – design

Greenery Pantone Colour of the Year 2017 leaf wreath painting by Arnold & Bird

As discussed last week, my recent designs have a direct link to the Pantone Colour of the Year – hence the mood board on this Greenery trend.

To be really honest when it came to painting I’ve struggled and had my ups and downs over the last few months. You know those times when sometimes it seems ok and at other points it feels like all your creativity has wandered off never to return? Yep, I was there.

So I ordered some decent new paints and sat down (after a little frustrated cry) for five hours, took my time and just painted. And you know what…I loved it again.

The painting above is my initial attempt to ease myself in. The snippet below is the piece I’m really happy with. I’m actually planning on using this in a product so I’m keeping it under wraps for now. Sorry there’s no full reveal yet!

Greenery Pantone Colour of the Year 2017 leaf wreath painting snippet by Arnold & Bird

Does anyone else follow the Pantone Colour of the Year, and if so does it influence your work? I’d love to hear!

Joanne Griffin signature





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