Design Trend Alert: Marble Everything

By on May 2, 2016 in Design Trends
Design Trend Alert: Marble Everything

We can all agree that marble is nothing new. Ancient Greeks were pretty much fascinated by it, and built majestic structures that stand to this day. I mean, let's just drool over this for a second, shall we?

The fact that modern graphic designers are bringing marble back is, however, quite fascinating. It's been around us for centuries, but now we're starting to see it being used as an inspiring texture in almost every single design field. Print design, web design, fashion design, interior design, product design...you name it.

Our goal with this guide is to give you the resources to start playing with this trend in your personal and client work. We will go over three different aspects:

  1. What the trend looks like
  2. How it's being used in various design fields
  3. How you can start using it today

Marble's Texture: Where Does It Come From?

To understand why marble's texture is so fascinating for designers, it's worth looking at the actual production process behind this material. Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone is subjected to heat and pressure. Want to learn more? This MarbleTV (yes, it's a thing!) video does a great job at explaining:

Now, you might be wondering what's responsible for those interesting "veins" in marble's texture. The swirls and veins that you can spot in colored marble are a result of impurities. Clay, sand, iron oxides and many other minerals are found in different layers of the Earth's crust and make their way through the marble's journey to the top.

The entire process is fascinating, and let's face it: emerging from unique patterns of heated crystalized rock makes marble a pretty badass texture.

The Marble Design Trend

This texture has started to pop up in everything from fashion to interior design pieces. Let's look at some inspiring examples from major design fields:

Marble in Graphic & Print Design

Designer Juliette Kim uses marble as a complementary texture in her personal branding scheme:

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Marble used in packaging, by Yael Safirstein for Hautbox — a luxury curated gift box:

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327 Creative Studio experimented with a pastel take on the traditional marble texture for this editorial design project:

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A marble Save the Date package, via designer Danny Jones.

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Marble in Fashion Design

Marble yoga pants by Beloved.

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Marble jewelry at Urban Outfitters

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Balenciaga came out with a clutch and bracelet:

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Marble in Web Design

While it's slightly more challenging to find good examples of marble used in web design, here are a couple that caught our eye. The first is LeuJ's for Hoppers:

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Sidebar buttons get a special marble treatment in this Squarespace template by GoLiveHQ:

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Marble in Interior Design

Marble Coffee Table at Crate&Barrel

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This duvet cover by Chelsea Victoria for DENY (available at Urban Outfitters) takes the marble addiction to a whole new level.

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Does anyone else really need to know how they made this candle?

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Marble in Product Design

Marble is popping up in stationery sets everywhere. Recreate it with this DIY project by The Lovely Drawer.

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Macbook users rejoice: there is now an Etsy shop fully dedicated to marble decals for your laptop.

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And, like with everything else these days, there's also a DIY tutorial by Passions for Fashion.

Marbled chairs anyone? Hop over to Design*Sponge to create these.

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How to Get Started Designing With Marble

The key to using marble's rich texture in design is subtlety. Since the material already imposes visual interest and draws the eye to those carefully crafted "veins", you need to be careful as you lay out any additional elements in your composition. Small, yet excessive, details can make your design go from brilliant to overkill.

Luckily, there are many shop owners creating wonderful graphic kits, styled shots and special add-ons to help you bring the marble look to life. While some of these are created using natural marble, others are digitized versions of its fascinating texture. Take a look at some of the resources available:

The key to using marble's rich texture in design is subtlety.

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12 Comments

  1. Cooled magma forms igneous rock, of which a particular case is granite (not "grand"). Whoever wrote this article needs to go back to junior high.

    • Staff

    @Daniel Secrieru while I believe that there is no need to be impolite to raise a point, I will honor your question and respond:

    Igneous rock, as you point out, is one of three main rock classifications. Marble is what we call a metamorphic rock, which is formed (as explained above) under pressure. While the video section we're commenting above references Granite, marble is formed from Limestone. Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when Limestone is subjected to the *heat and pressure* of metamorphism.

    Copy changes have been made to be more precise and avoid confusion. Thanks for pitching in.

  2. I was chary on the beginning, too when I saw marble frenzy, but later I decided to design mockup with marble texture for my shop and it was a good decision. I think some of the products listed above are really charming, for example The Lovely Drawer items or Save the Date package by Danny Jones. Great post @Laura Busche!

  3. I believe the reasoning is due to our current obsession with minimalism - and 'marble' can say a lot of things that happen to be on the cutting edge of that movement: simple, expensive/stately, cold, feminine. It'd be almost foolish to not wield a tool with that much expression regardless of how 'into it' you happen to be. It could be called the cool version of the 'gild everything' trend.

  4. Nice post!! Can I translate this great work into Chinese one? And I'll note the origin which is from you. Thank you and I love your article so much.

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