Make this design motif Googlable to me.
October 14, 2008 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Is there a name for this visual design motif?

As seen in the top picture here, with all the vines and leaves in silhouette over the damask background.
posted by svolix to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by mandal at 1:42 PM on October 14, 2008

vector art

Look at for inspiration
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:42 PM on October 14, 2008

Not sure. Those vines and leaves, at least when they show up in print design, are often just vector graphics embedded in Photoshop brushes. Here is a site rounding up a bunch of repositories. Smashing Magazine also often links to free brush sets periodically. I know this doesn't directly cover your question but perhaps will be of some use anyway.
posted by refractal at 1:43 PM on October 14, 2008

posted by cowbellemoo at 1:43 PM on October 14, 2008

Previously (by me) from a few weeks ago, and here before that. Is this the same type of style you're asking about?

My focus was more on the digital side because I see more of that, but that's a perfect example of something similar in "real life".
posted by relucent at 1:45 PM on October 14, 2008

I see that all over the place and I wish it had a name, but previous AskMe posts didn't really come up with anything.
posted by delmoi at 2:03 PM on October 14, 2008

there is no formal name for it. fleurons can be used. so can just the generic "ornament."
posted by violetk at 2:16 PM on October 14, 2008

Personally, I'd call it:

iStock, circa 2007
posted by DarlingBri at 2:26 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

You aren't the only one who wants to know.
posted by theora55 at 2:44 PM on October 14, 2008

You aren't the only one who wants to know.

I don't think they're the same. Nick La's site is, as pointed out on MeCha, very much a Peter Max style. That's really very different than the ornamental grunge you see everywhere these days. I'm allowed to say this as I'm currently using it myself.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:11 PM on October 14, 2008

Are you looking for "damask" or "brocade?"
posted by cusack at 3:31 PM on October 14, 2008

Also rococo
posted by b33j at 3:40 PM on October 14, 2008

posted by exlotuseater at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2008

And again google image search.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:51 PM on October 14, 2008

Jessica Helfland of Design Observer coined the term "thornament" for this look, a couple of years ago -- and Urban Dictionary has embraced her coinage, as "graphic ornamentation consisting primarily of 'twisted and winding viney things'".

I've also seen it called ornamental, botanical, fleuron, grunge, as have been mentioned.

But none of these bring up a solid base of samples of the motif in Google, so it might just be that no common name for the term ever really caught on. The "arabesque" Google isn't bad though.

You can always find loads of it at iStockPhoto as DarlingBri pointed out; the place is lousy with it.

In your Google efforts, are you trying to find source files to use, or examples of sites where the motif is in use?

If the latter, I might gently urge a different direction, as the motif has really quite saturated the market at this point.
posted by pineapple at 6:00 PM on October 14, 2008

Those are silhouettes, but you probably knew that. These particular silhouettes give an impression quite similar to the backlit stick-puppet shows that accompany performances of Indonesian gamelan music, but I don't know a specific word for them.
posted by Forrest Greene at 9:39 PM on October 14, 2008

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