40 Brilliant Geometric Patterns (And How to Use Them in Your Designs)

40 Brilliant Geometric Patterns (And How to Use Them in Your Designs)
Kayla Darling

Written by:
Kayla Darling

Aug 25, 2017
An illustration of three people placing geometric shapes into a pattern on a project.

Geometric patterns are a collection of shapes, repeating or altered to create a cohesive design. While you have the shape meanings down, you might not know where to start. Here, we’ve listed 40 great examples to help jumpstart your design ideas, with tips on how to apply them.

Let's dive in!


The Psychology of Shapes

Different shapes can evoke different meanings. According to Siddanth Pillai, the most common shapes—rectangles, circles, triangles, rhombuses, and hexagons—can be broken down into something like this:

An infographic showcasing the psychology of shapes and what five different types of geometric shapes mean.
  • Rectangles/Squares: Balance and Tradition
  • Circles: Infinity, Protection, and Femininity
  • Triangles: Stability, Energy, and Aggression
  • Rhombus: Vibrant and Contemporary
  • Hexagon: Unity and Balance

Combining these shapes in different ways can create entirely new meanings. For example, creating something out of rectangles and triangles could emphasize a call to return to tradition.

But maybe you don’t want to do something complex; maybe you’d just like to use shapes here and there to give your site or product a little extra vitality, something that makes it stand out and look more professional. If so, geometric patterns might be for you.

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1 Use patterns to create images.

A colorful illustration with a variety of geometric shapes creating an abstract landscape.

Simple shapes, on their own, can be appealing; using a variety of shapes to create a whole image, however, can work even better. Liam Brazer’s Landshape illustrates this well, using various shapes to create a vibrant landscape. Keep in mind what kind of shapes will work well for your subject, and you can create something spectacular.


2 Play with asymmetry.

A green and white flyer using triangles to create patterns and designs on the page.

Not all geometric patterns have to be symmetrical; sometimes creating something where shapes and lines differ across the board can create a striking effect. This poster illustrates the concept well, including mismatched overlays and triangles across both sides to create something more unique.


3 Combine patterns with photos.

An illustration that incorporates things from nature like trees and animals inside of triangles.

Geometric patterns can be a great, creative way to spice up ordinary photos. For example, Sorry Colour takes a variety of photos and pastes them into shapes. The collage ultimately offers an entirely different, unique experience, giving the images more personality than if they were displayed alone.


4 Use lighting and shadows creatively.

An illustration with a black and white triangle overlapping three black and white circles.

Shadows and highlights can be used to enhance shapes—and sometimes create them, as shown by Seth Nickerson. Test what you can do with shadows in your own patterns, from making an almost 3D shape, to drawing attention to certain parts of the image.


5 Connect shapes in unique ways.

An illustration of a person working at a desk created with a variety of geometric shapes.

We’ve already explored how shapes can create images; exploring how those shapes connect can create new and interesting effects. For example, Work Hard uses a variety of geometric shapes, and creates a flowing image by connecting them in different ways—for example, connecting the edges of the title and the shape for the individual’s head.


6 Make a collage.

A website homepage with black and white photos inserted into a collage of angled squares.

Try making a collage out of different shapes—something that guides viewers and makes your pattern easier on the eyes. Neo Lab, for example, uses diamonds of varying sizes, connected by their sides.


7 Use diagonals.

A mixture of photos and solid colors creating a canvas of diagonal squares.

Diagonals create a clear path for the eye to follow, offering the bonus of a cohesive design. Finnish Summer is a wonderful example, using diagonal patterns to create a beautiful juxtaposition of images and colors.


8 Create isometric patterns.

An illustration that strategically utilizes geometric shapes to create a 3D effect on the page.

Isometric patterns—or patterns that appear to be three dimensional—can really make an image pop, if used correctly. Isometric Exhibition offers a great example, using hard colors to create the illusion that the shapes pop off the page. Used sparingly and creatively, this can draw attention to specific items or words.


9 Create patterns with font.

Two graphics with creative text that was designed by placing various geometric shapes together to create letters.

If you want to really stretch your creativity, try using the typeface itself to create your patterns. Next Level, for example, uses a variety of triangles and hard lines to create a jagged, edgy effect. Creating patterns this way can help with whatever tone you might like for your site or product.


10 Play with symmetry.

A symmetric geometric pattern that uses both triangles and semi-circles.
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While asymmetry creates a more free-flowing, fun look, symmetry can be used in geometric patterns to create something more elegant. ICP showcases this perfectly, especially on the cover, where the top half of the image perfectly mirrors the bottom.


11 Use patterns within patterns.

A variety of black and white geometric patterns created with lines, squares, circles, triangles and more.

If you want something more complex, including geometric patterns within already existing shapes can be the way to go. The top left and bottom right example on this page are great examples, one using squares to house patterns, the other using circles.


12 Keep it simple.

Greeting card designs created only by using a handful of different shapes.

Conversely, not everything has to be complex—simple shapes can be just as appealing. Astrobrights Thank You Cards are great examples, using only a few shapes and lines to create appealing images.


13 Think about different ways to use lines.

Two creative illustrations made only by strategically using lines.

Lines are the most basic elements of any shape; using them creatively can help create new effects, and can create a nice flow between images and information.

Europa is one great example, using simple lines to create a candle—including the melting wax! Planetary Folklore is another, creating a circle within the lines. Experiment with simple lines, and see what you might be able to create.


14 Create a theme.

A geometric pattern created with only white lines overtop a photo with an orange color overlay.

Patterns on their own are great; patterns used to connect images are even better, especially when those patterns all relate to one another.

Take ADMCi, for example; the images all have a connection through similar colors and patterns that line their borders. Choosing a pattern, and applying it appropriately, can make formerly disparate subjects connected, and can identify products as “yours.”


15 Use gradients.

Two illustrations created through shapes and gradient colors.

Everyone loves a good color scheme; geometric gradients can enhance that, making a gradient background or image pop.

Carnival, for example, uses simple gradients between shapes, in some cases making the shapes almost blend together, and in others making them stand out even more.


16 Create characters.

Two illustrations showcasing superhero characters created with only geometric shapes.

If geometric patterns can create images, then why not take it a step further and actually create a character with them?

Cubist Superheroes uses patterns to form already-familiar individuals, but you’re not required to stick to existing characters. Why not try making a mascot from simple geometric shapes, and creating a simple guide from them, and see where it takes you?


17 Combine several different images.

Two illustrations using triangle cutouts of photos to create a graphic.

Shapes can be used to combine several different images together—in ways to may both be expected and unexpected.

For example, Jelle Martens combines several different landscapes to create interesting collages. Experiment with what images might work well together—and how they might change the image as a whole—and use different shapes to make it all come together.


18 Emulate an effect with shapes.

An graphic with photos broken up by geometric shapes.

Shapes can be incredibly effective if used to resemble certain actions or consequences. For example, Triangle uses a bunch of—you guessed it—triangles to replicate the effect of shattered glass. Using shapes like this can add meaning and vibrancy to images; at the very least, it creates a startling picture.


19 Create a background.

A colorful geometric background created with different colored triangles.

If you want something a little more subtle, try sticking to a simple geometric background, such as the one found here. These can add a little excitement to a website or presentation, without being too obvious and distracting.


20 Create overlapping shapes.

A geometric logo created with gold foil hexagons overlapping each other.
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Sometimes, all it takes is a simple trick to create complexity—for example, overlapping two shapes, illustrated with Wanderlust. The image only includes two hexagons, but the overlap makes it look more complex and refined. Experiment with how different shapes overlap, and see what might work for you.


21 Relate patterns to the subject.

An illustration created with leaves surrounding a lemon.

Try to give your pattern a purpose by relating it directly to the subject. For example, La Fete du Citron a Menton uses a leaf pattern to surround a lemon, reflecting the subject matter.


22 Use patterns in the letters.

ABC with geometric patterns inside the letters.

You can create patterns within the letters, if creating patterns with the letters themselves is too busy for you.

For example, including simple lines on the letter’s side. A simple tutorial for use with Adobe Illustrator can be found here.


23 Use a pattern to alter images.

Two images with a single triangle holding an inverted section of the image in the center.

You can use patterns to alter parts of an already existing image. Geometric Photography, for example, uses shapes to shift around where certain pieces of the image are. Shifting different parts of an image can create a different effect, and can create something quite original.


24 Choose colors that work together.

A geometric background created with yellow and green squares overlapping each other.

Whenever using colors with geometric patterns, you’ll want to make sure you have ones that work well together—especially if they happen to be on shapes that border each other.

The second background on this page is a great example, combining deep green and orange for a serious, professional look. Poor color choice can be distracting, so brush up on color theory and test how different colored shapes look against each other.


25 Use shapes that enhance the experience.

A web page with a photo fit into a geometric shape.

Find shapes that fit and flow well together, and that create a more seamless whole, rather than something that seems thrown together. Ultra’s a wonderful example, with each shape connecting to one another as you scroll down the page.


26 Create unique effects.

An illustration of animals under the sea created with unique geometric shapes.

You can use a lot of different styles and shapes to create something completely your own. For example, you can use shapes that create the illusion of a reflection, such as in this case. Combining different shapes, lighting, and colors can produce different effects and illusions, and gives you a lot of material to work with.


27 Create a border.

A border comprised of lines, angles and curves surrounding a logo.

A border is a good way to enhance an image with shapes, without it being too distracting. Take Zeppe, for example, which uses a geometric pattern to focus on its name.


28 Add simple animation.

A photo with alternating black and white lines overtop it creating an animated effect.

With technology, we have the benefit of enhancing various geometric patterns for the internet—like, for example, adding simple, alternating animation between two geometric patterns.

Noir is a great example, as it uses a simple GIF to switch between one set of lines and another, creating the illusion of motion.


29 Make it subtle.

A screenshot of a website using subtle geometric shapes.

Not everything has to be obvious; subtle shapes can be just as effective, as illustrated by Itaú Internacional, which has shapes that nearly blend into the background. This flow makes for a more professional look, while still adding some creativity.


30 Use patterns to segment information.

Two web pages using geometric shapes to segment information.

Patterns are a great way to separate and categorize information, making it easier for viewers to find.

Renováveis, for example, places each block of information between diagonal lines. Nasty Creatures takes a slightly different approach, with each link being found in a separate blob of the “monster.”

decorate your designs with geometric shapes with visme


31 Create hand-drawn patterns.

Three hand-drawn black and white patterns.

Traditional art appeals to nostalgia, and allows you to create something a bit more personal, such as with these black-and-white vectors.


32 Use patterns to highlight certain elements.

A screenshot of a website with a large triangle in the corner of the page.

Patterns and lines are quite effective at drawing the eye to certain elements. Oli Lisher, for example, uses lines to draw attention to the word “portfolio” and then boxes in word examples. Think about what elements in your work you’d like to highlight, and use shapes to lead the eye to them.


33 Combine several patterns.

An illustration of a man's face utilizing different geometric shapes.

You don’t have to stick to one pattern—using multiple makes the image more engaging. Showreel is a great example, using a variety of circles, splatters, and other shapes throughout their site.


34 Choose uncommonly used shapes.

A website with circles, oblong shapes, curved lines and more.

No one says you have to stick to the standard circles, squares, and triangles; in fact, a design might work better using less traditional shapes.

Fenix Music, for example, uses speech bubbles and lightning bolts to highlight certain elements, a design which works better due to the connection to the subject matter.


35 Create a “web” between shapes.

A web page with geometric lines connecting elements across the page.

Lines are great at drawing the eye to elements; why not use them to create a web between different subjects, like Kikk Festival does? Use it to make connections between several subjects, make a more appealing design, or something else entirely.


36 Limit complex patterns.

A mixture of complex patterns with simple geometric shapes on business cards and gift bags.

Complex patterns are great, but too many can be overwhelming. Fiore provides an interesting example: They use highly-detailed plants as their pattern, with some of the more appealing designs being limited to small spaces. Know how and where to use your pattern, and you’ll be more likely to keep your viewers’ attention.


37 Make it good in black and white.

Boxes covered in black and white lines and geometric shapes.

Not every pattern needs color; keeping it black and white can be just as appealing, and can make a pattern more widely applicable. Look at Helvetimartthe pattern looks great without color, making the latter unnecessary.


38 Incorporate real-life elements.

A website using geometric illustrations and photos in their design.

If you want something that screams “personal,” try including geometric patterns that you see in your everyday workplace. Take Yamaha, for example; the pattern on their website matches the pattern on their building.


39 Accent other material.

Branding materials with different geometric patterns on each.

You don’t have to leave the pattern on certain subjects—you can branch across various products, like Amie Bakery does, to make the pattern more recognizable.


40 Use patterns sparingly.

Small pieces of geometric patterns surrounding text on a web page.

Probably the simplest tip, but one of the easiest to forget: less is more. Geometric patterns don’t need to be plastered all over your page.

The Tea Factory is a great example of geometric patterns done well, keeping them limited to their header. Limit use to avoid overwhelming a viewer and to give the patterns more impact.


Start Using Your Own Geometric Patterns

What are some awesome geometric patterns you’ve seen? Some ideas for your own? You can easily create them right in Visme! Sign up for your free account to get started creating and using geometric patterns in your own designs.

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    About the Author

    Kayla Darling is a writer from Rome, Pennsylvania who has been writing and posting stories online for years. She graduated from Lycoming College with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Psychology. She has a passion for community service and storytelling, and probably spends an inordinate amount of time doing both.

    7 responses to “40 Brilliant Geometric Patterns (And How to Use Them in Your Designs)”

    1. tuboh bree says:

      awesome insight…Thank you so much.

    2. Goering Rose says:

      Nice and interesting post you shared. I like the content published on your blog.

    3. Marie! says:

      Kayla, so thoughtfully inspired and insightful. Yes, the psychology of shapes. This is a book; for the creative student, the school library, the office, and our coffee tables! Looking forward to seeing more from you! Thank you, Marie!

    4. Dali Wu says:

      It’s truly awesome as tutoring! I get so many inspirations after reading your article. Thank you very much for gathering and sharing! Please keep it up!

    5. Jewel Ahmed says:

      Thank you for sharing.

    6. Muhammed Naji says:

      GREAT JOB!

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