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.



  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Please tell me you’re giving away this book! And that the only way to enter is to be named Tara Lazar! LOL!!!!

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Oh wait, I ran thru so quickly….this is TWO books. WANT!!! BOTH!!!! Me revert to cavewoman talk!

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink


  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Oooh! Haven’t seen that Alexander Girard one! Amazing. Do you know about the time my mom brought us a bunch of library sale rejects, and one of them was the rare Charley Harper biology book?

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Don’t let that one out into the Little Free Library! Be stingy.

  • Julie Falatko
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I don’t even let anyone breathe on it, never mind let it leave the house.

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Yes, these books are stunning, but I want to LIVE in Girard’s village!

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Oh, yes. We could be neighbors. (Your art is very Harper-ish, you know. Love.)

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Can you imagine what our village potlucks would look like?!

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    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!

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Shutta! I’m glad you’re here. I forgot the pub info again! These are both by Ammo Books:

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I thought I was the only person that used the word droolworthy! I should have known you’d find a reason to bring it into general usage. I’m with Shutta–I love the cardinal.

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    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.

  • Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Ha, thanks for the clarification, Jacque! I’ll check it out.

  • Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Absolutely beautiful

  • Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Drooling!!!! Love them both, but Colors has me double-drooling….super-slobbering. I will probably have to wear a bib when I read it in its entirety :•)

  • Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Love that…double-drooling, super-slobbering. You and your words, Penny!

  • Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    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!

  • Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Ha, thank you!

  • Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    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.

  • Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I love that!

  • Posted May 19, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Kintal.