Always inspired by her surroundings, in 1961 Marimekko designer Maija Isola created the black and white Joonas pattern after a visit to the Mediterranean Sea. Awestruck by the shapes the sun made as it reflected off of the warm salt water, Isola created a pattern that was meant to be enjoyed on a massive scale. A departure from the highly detailed, intricate and small scale work of her 1960’s Ornamentti Series, Joonas leapt into modern design with oversized imagery.
Impressively graphic, the Joonas pattern uses bold black outlines of twirling wheels which float across a white background to create movement similar to swirling water. To re-enforce this water theme, Isola named this print Joonas or Jonah in English after the Old Testament story of the man who was swallowed by the whale. This beautiful print is a modern interpretation of the sea and was a true turning point for Maija Isola and for modern design.