Design Inspired by the Decorative Forms Of Adinkra Symbols

As we highlighted in a previous post Adinkra symbols are a much-referenced communication system that has endured to present day. Adinkra symbols carry within them centuries of wisdom and are among one of the African continent’s oldest writing systems. The symbols have inspired designers and artists the world over who have drawn on the distinctive graphic shapes to create anything from jewellery to patterned textiles. We introduce 5 contemporary African brands referencing the symbols in their designs, and in doing so giving them relevance in a modern day and age.

Divine Chocolate – Luxury Packaging



Majority owned by the cacao farmers cooperative, Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, gourmet chocolate brand Divine Chocolate chose to encase its luxury confectionery with elegant packaging covered in Adinkra symbols, each selected to communicate the social mission driving the brand.



AMWA by Chrissa Amuah – Textile Prints

AMWAD Kete Pa Good Bed Symbol Happy Marriage


AMWA creates textiles and interior textiles inspired by the wisdom and meaning found in the different Adinkra symbols and Ghanaian proverbs. The symbols are turned into decorative prints resulting in striking interior products such as cushions and table lamps.




Mary Jean – Jewellery Design

Mary Jean Adinkra Symbol Inspired jewellery


Mary Jean’s Adinkra Collection features handmade jewellery that combines West African culture and South African craftsmanship and is inspired by the beauty and simplicity of the bold, geometric patterns and meaning of Adinkra symbols.


YSWARA – Sankofa Teapot

YSWARA Sankofa tea set


Luxury tea brand YSWARA created a line of tea drinking accessories to complement the tea drinking experience, among their commissions was the majestic Akan tea set featuring a black earthenware teapot rimmed with gold detailing, its form representing the Sankofa, an Adinkra symbol of a bird with its head and neck gracefully curved backwards, and in the Twi language translates to mean ‘go back and get it.’



57 Chocolate – Adinkra bars

57 Chocolate Adinkra Bars Feature Shoko Press

Artisanal bean to bar chocolate brand handcrafted in Ghana 57 Chocolate’s product offering includes bite-sized Adinkra bars that as the names suggest are embossed with the symbols.


Who are some of your favourite brands referencing Adinka symbols in their work, do share in the comments.


– The Editorial Team


[Image credits: The images shown are sourced from/belong to in order of appearance; Fashion GhanaDivine Chocolate, AMWA Designs; Mary Jean, YSWARA, 57 Chocolate. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *