Color + Colors

I have no children. I have board books. Is this weird? Maybe. But these in particular are little graphic design studies. I will not literally try to chew them, but they are definitely droolworthy.

Do you know Alexander Girard? He was a midcentury designer, specializing in color and textiles. I’m crazy about the Nativity set at that link. And while most people have heard of Herman Miller, Girard was the designer that sizzled up their furniture line with his palettes. He said this, which made me fall in love a little: “People got fainting fits if they saw bright, pure color.” 

He did it anyway.

So this little book is a huge celebration of his style, color, and desire to make you faint and fall in it.

How about Charley Harper? He took a vibrant love of color from the natural world, and distilled that into his pictures. I adore that on first glance, whimsy and delight dances around, but a longer gaze reveals storytelling ingenuity. He said, “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see feathers, fur, scapulars, or tail coverts—none of that. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior, and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.”

And this tiny treasure explodes with his search for endless possibilities. And it’s lovely.

Was I right about that whole droolworthy thing? I know.


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22 thoughts on “Color + Colors

  1. Love these! . . . esp. that cardinal…like a jazzy musician with a beard! Thank you so much. I do want to frame them, but then that would mean taking the books apart…and they are so beautiful all together. I wish there was some way to display all the pages at once. Thanks!

  2. Hi Carter,
    I always enjoy reading your blog. Both of those books are gorgeous.
    As a lover of colour and design I would like to recommend a grown-ups book for you to have a look at. I puchased a ‘flipbook’ version (pocket sized grown-up board book) It is called ‘Shades of Grey’ by Jasper Fforde and has nothing to do with 50 Shades, promise. I think you will love the format and the words.

  3. First of all, the beginning of this post is hilarious. Secondly, I loved his quote “People got fainting fits if they saw bright, pure color.” And then that he “did it anyway.” Great post & awesome illustrations – thanks!

  4. I have always loved board books, and children books, too. Now that I have a son, we both get to enjoy them. Thanks for taking the time to show what wonderful pieces of art these books are.

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