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The Legendary Abbott Miller Unveils Wallpaper Drawn With Dripping Ink

Pentagram designer Abbott Miller creates luscious graphic wallcoverings for KnollTextiles out of dripping ink.

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The “easiest”-looking designs are often the most challenging to actually produce, so before you look at Abbott Miller’s new ink-drip wallpaper designs for KnollTextiles and say, “my kid could do that!”, stop and consider the technique and graphic awareness hiding behind those supposedly haphazard patterns. Also consider that Abbott Miller is no art-school dropout off the street, but a partner at the design-rockstar firm Pentagram and a legend in graphic design.

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Starting with single drops of ink, he created hundreds of unique patterns to base his final three designs on, aptly titled Drip, Drop, and Run.

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Drip playfully combines the chaotic, Pollock-esque ink drippings with the tightly controlled forms of typography into “a series of organic, interconnected letters, created by steering wet ink into letterforms,” says Pentagram. The result is whimsical enough for a kid’s bedroom, yet somehow classy and modernist enough for a design firm’s conference room, too, especially in the white-on-dark version.

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The Drop and Run patterns are less representational — circular blots of ink and tree-like patterns, respectively — but Miller gave all three a clever digital twist. After creating those hundreds of studies with actual ink and paper, he scanned his favorites into a computer and carefully arranged them, Escher-like, into a grander interlocking and overlapping design. The three patterns, collectively called (of course) Ink, “create[s] unique interiors that combine the free-flowing nature of the liquid line with the straight lines of architecture.”

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KnollTextiles intends Ink to be used in hotels, schools, and other commercial/institutional settings, but Miller’s patterns might also work in a certain kind of design-savvy residence.

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets

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