Picture Book Month 2011 Trailer

You saw that amazing trailer first thing yesterday morning, right? The one that you woke up early to watch? And then proceeded to watch eight more times in rapid succession, until you could pry your eyes away from the action to tweet about it? The one that gave you chills and made your pulse race and want to re-read each book on your bookshelf?

No, not The Hunger Games trailer….this one!

I had the amazing opportunity to create this trailer for the very first Picture Book Month, and I kinda love it. I’ve been so interested in this movement this year, because duh, I love picture books, so I reached out to Dianne de Las Casas because I knew I could help spread the word.

Why did I make it look like that? Here are a few reasons why:


LINE: Obviously, a dotted line winds throughout the piece. My goal was to use that line to direct your eye from one moment to the next. But also, because this trailer highlights quotes from the Picture Book Month essays, I thought it would make sense to connect them together, almost blending one into the other. Each quoted champion stands alone as an ambassador for picture books, but together they are a mighty, mighty team, linked by a single mission. I debated between a solid line and a dotted one, and ultimately chose the dotted one because there was a bit more quirk to it; it felt more lively. I also liked the way the dots played off of the tiny stars as a similarly weighted graphic element.

TEXTURE: I wanted the background to have a rich, but subtle texture. Inspired by the texture and feeling of the printed page, I chose the look of heavy, pulpy paper.

SHAPE: Joyce Wan‘s sweet logo had a handful of bright and cheery stars, so I used those as a motif to anchor each quotation. By using these as recurring elements, the piece has a sense of unity.

COLOR: Why blue? I took this cue straight from the Picture Book Month website, in order to stay within their brand and already developed style. I feel like the shades of blue create a sense of calm and quietness, and because this is a a piece with a deep message, that color makes so much sense. And it’s pretty. But also, remember the end resolve with the logo and website address? The logo has warm reds, oranges, and browns, so I added text in those same colors. Overall, the piece finishes in a quasi-blue-orange-complementary color scheme. Because of the vibrancy in their contrast, colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel create bold color schemes when you want to signify something’s importance. Like here. Picture Book Month. So important.

TYPOGRAPHY: I used Gotham Thin juxtaposed with Gotham Bold. Gotham is currently enjoying somewhat of a trendiness in graphic design, but I don’t care. I love it. I think it’s beautiful, easy to read, and very pleasantly shaped and formed. AND! I didn’t realize this, but Gotham was inspired by architectural signage in New York City. This is fun to think of as NYC is one of the great homes to childrens’ book publishing. I love the idea that words are (duh) foundational to books, and the typeface to frame these particular words was inspired by something to guide and help people. A stretch? Sure, but I realized it after I picked it and it’s still cool, right?

Off to curl up with a picture book. Or ten.


  • Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Awesome, it looks fantastic and I like finding out your design approach.

    Get ready for the deluge of “can you make my trailer” questions. Tell them you’ll be busy making mine.

  • Posted November 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Jim! I’ve got my umbrella handy:)

  • Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Love the trailer Carter! Well done.

    And I love the Hunger Games trailer too! Ooh – I am so excited for that movie to come out :)

  • Posted November 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Abby! And pinky promises 4-eva. Teeheehee.

  • Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful and inspiring . . . captures the magic. Great job!

  • Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Carter, I love the videos you have created for Picture Book Month. The look, the music, the overall flow… it’s just amazing. Thank you for your hard work and your awe-inspiring talent. You are a true Picture Book Month Ambassador!

    Dianne de Las Casas
    Founder, Picture Book Month

  • Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Such a lovely trailer, and for such a wonderful event. :-)

  • Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carter,
    I’m visiting here by way of Julie Hedlund and your post on her blog. I wanted to see the other trailers you had done and I’m so glad I came to see this one.

    My love affair with children’s picture books began over 60 years ago…and has grown as the years passed and I became a kindergarten teacher. Now I have a book out there that encourages parents to read with their children on a daily basis.

    It’s wonderful to connect with someone who has such a love and appreciation of picture books and their crucial role in the childhood of every human being!

  • Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi Vivian!
    Thanks so much for coming by! I understand a love affair of picture books; you have certainly found a kindred here!

  • Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    hey, Carter Higgins . i see your some art. i like art . i also a little artist . you r nice to looking at same as your art.

One Trackback

  • By Liebster Award | Penny Klostermann on February 8, 2012 at 7:10 am

    […] Carter Higgins a motion graphics designer.  Check out her blog, Design of the Picture Book. To quote Carter, “I love pictures and words and how they can communicate. When picture books are framed by good design, my heart skips a beat.” Well my heart skipped a beat when I saw her amazing trailer for Picture Book Month. Such talent! You can view it here. […]