Inspiration and Imagination


To showcase the richness and versatility of the designs held at The National Archives, we asked designers to choose one print from our collection and use it as a source of inspiration for their own work. 


Miranda Bene

BT 43/342/374970

This print, which dates back to the 1800s, was chosen by graphic designer Miranda Bene. Miranda was drawn to its modern, psychedelic qualities and the movement within the print, which suggested that it could be transformed into a typeface and animation. She has explored how this one point of reference can be translated into different design disciplines.


Artwork by Miranda BeneArtwork by Miranda BeneArtwork by Miranda Bene

Fozia Akalo

BT-52-132-20096Artwork by Fozia Akalo

Melbourne-based fashion designer Fozia Akalo chose this floral print from the period 1900-1919 because she liked the bold, contrasting colours and the whimsical elements of the design. She abstracted these elements using digital media to create her own print design for her label. 

Tan Trieu

BT-52-132-20167Artwork by Tan Trieu

This geometric minimal print was chosen by London-based fashion designer Tan Trieu. Tan chose the design, which is from 1900-1919, as he wanted to create a subtle play on scale and shadows for an editorial campaign, using collage as his medium of exploration.

Tanya Rapaic

Tanya Rapaic, a fashion and graphic designer currently working at The National Archives on the Design Collection, used different prints to create new fashion, interior and textile designs. 


This print dates back to 1900-1919, and demonstrates how traditional wallpaper patterns could be utilised in modern interior design.

Artwork by Tanya Rapaic


This design was chosen for its textural qualities. Using digital illustration as a way to reconceptualise these heritage prints, Tanya was inspired to create a wool stripe cloth and floral print shirt, a fresh take on traditional menswear garments. 

Artwork by Tanya Rapaic

Patterns used in this lookbook:

BT 43/342/374970BT 52/132/20096BT 42/14/48BT 52/143/22144BT 52/132/20167