About Holotype's Shop

Profile photo

The Biomimicry Center, ASU

Visit my Threadless Profile

Holotype (n): the single type specimen used to describe a new species.

Cover photo
Holotype (n): the single type specimen used to describe a new species.

Holotype is a collaborative project that translates biodiversity into textile design. The most common animal prints used in textiles come from large mammals (think leopard print or zebra stripes), but we wanted to change that. Our labs worked with textile designer Meredith West to create a line of fabric prints based on animals that are rarely thought of as beautiful—ants.

At a glance, an ant doesn’t look like much more than a black speck crawling across the pavement. But if you take that same ant and look at it under a microscope, an incredible amount of detail is revealed. We combed through online database imagery to find species that had dynamic facial textures and patterns. We then translated these images into pattern repeats that could be used for textile design.

Your support for this project will help raise awareness about biodiversity while also benefitting research on these incredible insects. The function of ant cuticle patterns is still largely unknown, so 100% of the proceeds will be used to support further research on the species that inspired these prints in the first place.

Holotype is run by Clint Penick through the Biomimicry Center at Arizona State, and the research was developed in the labs of Adrian Smith at NC Museum of Natural Sciences and Rob Dunn at NC State University.

For more information about this project, visit:


To see more work by Meredith, visit: