Along a Long Road

This book is such a stylistic and visual wonder.  It is so refined and yet loud!  I just love it.

Frank Viva’s site for Along A Long Road

Along a long road

Going up

Around  a small town and down

There is so much to be excited about in this book.

From the front flap,

to the back…

the entire story is connected by one long yellow line.  Frank Viva’s art is actually one 35 foot (!) piece of art.  One long, connected image.  If you are LUCKY enough to live near Amherst, MA, you can head over to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and see it on display from September 23 – October 23, 2011.  If you go, send me a picture…and a plane ticket.  Sounds amazing.


Similar to the line spacing in Princess Hyacinth, line in this book is used to direct the reader’s eye and createspace.  Because the yellow line seamlessly flows from page to page,  we are led through the story by it’s graphic design.  It’s the anchor of this book.  All of Frank Viva’s words are placed beneath the road, while the action occurs over it.  The line has created distinct spaces for pictures and words, while continually being almost a character in the story.  I love how the cyclist is long and lean and lithe and mimics this line.  He’s lunging forward, urging each page turn to follow this path he’s on.  And even on the pages where both the cyclist and the road are in the dark tunnel, we know they are there and can still feel the line’s presence without it’s visibility.

Frank Viva, welcome to the world of picture books!  I hear you loud and clear, and could talk about your book forever…I hope you have another one in the works.  Til then, I’m sure I will revisit this one.  I’m looking at you, crazy beautiful color palette (of FIVE colors only) and you, varying matte/glossy finishes adding texture on the printed page…

I’ll be along this road again.

5 Trackbacks

  • […] bold, black box for text + a literal dotted line that feels animated + active white space + a momma and her baby kangaroo at a dynamic crash point? […]

  • By Black and White « Design of the Picture Book on October 7, 2011 at 8:46 am

    […] of graphic design are at play in the layout of this book. I particularly love the complex lines that both constrain and connect the four quadrants. {The gutter serves as one of the lines. So […]

  • By Freight Train « Design of the Picture Book on October 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

    […] lines have direction. They can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or rounded/oblique. Generally, […]

  • By Follow The Line « Design of the Picture Book on October 17, 2011 at 7:56 am

    […] ‘F’ on the cover, a singular line swoops and straightens through each page. Much like Along A Road, the line continues on each page where it left off on the […]

  • By A Long Way Away « Design of the Picture Book on July 29, 2013 at 8:49 am

    […] you remember Frank Viva’s Along a Long Road? I love it so much that I wrote about it here and for Design Mom. It’s a favorite. This weekend I picked up his latest, A Long Way Away, […]