Section 22-1  Patterns  (Page 1)

The purpose of these pages is to provide visual examples for patterns on buttons as defined in Section 22-1 of the Blue Book1.  The examples are grouped and labeled in accordance with the Blue Book Section 22-1 outline. In some cases, more than one example of a type is shown. Since face design is the focus of this section, the backs of the buttons are not shown. 

22-1.1 All-over patterns  (formally diaper and wallpaper) - Repeating single or combined motif(s) extending to, or over, the edge of the button or to a frame or border. Pattern may consist of uniformly repeating small geometric figures, lines, dots, etc., or a portion of a larger repeating pictorial motif. Pictorial motifs may also be used in appropriate pictorial sections.

22-1.1.1  Plaid - Multiple lines/bands crossing at right angles, spaced to create a distinctive pattern.

22-1.2 Curvilinear designs (loops, scrolls, vermiform, wavy lines) - Designs based on curved lines. Includes listed examples and subclasses. Loops: a curved line crossing itself repeatedly to form multiple teardrop shapes. Need not be interlaced. Scrolls: C-scroll is an arc with ends curled inward, one or both ends having bulbous or pointed ends. S-Scroll is similar but S-shaped. Vermiform: one or more meandering lines/paths resembling worm tracks. Wavy lines: nested undulating lines.

Wavy Lines

22-1.2.1  Filigree - A delicate lace-like design of actual intertwined wire or a molded, stamped or cut imitation. Openwork not required for this class.

22-1.2.2  Fleur-de-lis - A stylized representation of a 3-petaled lily. Typically, mirror-images C-scrolls curve outward from either side of a tall pointed central "petal." These are tied together with a horizontal band or other simple device, below which may be short extensions of these "petals/stems" or nothing at all.

22-1.2.3  Heart - Symmetrical or distorted motif with 2 lobes on top converging to a point at the bottom. The lobes and points need not join.

22-1.2.4  Paisley - Typically a comma- or curved teardrop- shaped motif usually containing and/or surrounded by some amount of decoration, which may include  stylized or identifiable plant forms. These reflect the origins in the traditional ornate Indian, later Scotch, paisley design. Unadorned motifs are also acceptable. A yin-yang is not appropriate here; it is a turn-around.

22-1.2.5  Spiral/coil - A continuous curved line/band revolving outward from a fixed point.

22-1.2.6  Stylized plant forms - Design suggestive of plant life rather than true to nature.


22-1.3  Geometric designs - Patterns adapted from basic plane geometry forms. With the exceptions of Circle and Quilt-like, all geometric designs must have straight sides unless stated in award.  Basic contour shapes, such as cubes and pyramids are considered to be poor choices for squares and triangles.  However, contour shaped buttons may be enhanced with additional patterns created through working methods such as faceting or the addition of other material embellishment (OME) and decorative finish (DF).

22-1.3.1  Circle (Includes circle segments and crescent) - A figure enclosed by a single curved line with is equidistant from a central point. Circle Segments: an arc, semi-circle, crescent, pie shape or other section of a circle.


Circle Segments (including crescents)

22-1.3.2  Three sided figure (triangle) - A 3-sided figure with straight sides. Angles need not be equal.

22-1.3.3  Four sided figures (diamond, square, rectangle) - Diamond: 4-sided figure with equal sides and 2 obtuse and 2 acute angles. Rectangle: 4-sided figure with right angles. Square: 4-sided figure with 4 equal sides/angles.

The proposed classification information used for the update of this section came from an article published in the May 2009 issue of the National Button Bulletin. It was subsequently updated to comply with reference 1. Special thanks to Barbara Barrans, Judy Stopke and Louella Yeargain for collaborating in the development and update of this section. Potential labeling issues or suggested improvements should be directed to the Button Country team at Contact Us.

(1) National Button Society Blue Book - Official NBS Classification and Competition Guidelines