The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

This edition of The Fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm is a commemoration in honor of the tales’ 200th anniversary. Twenty-seven tales are inside, with artwork inspired over centuries by the stories. There’s an interesting review and perspective on this collection over at the publisher Taschen‘s site.

In addition to the stories, this collection holds biographies of the illustrators and an introduction about the art legacy left by these well known tales.

There once was a sweet young maiden who was adored by everyone who laid eyes on her.

-Little Red Riding Hood

In design, shape exists inside of closed line. It can be geometric, as familiar as triangles, squares, and circles. It can be organic or amorphous. Shape also is implied in the space in between other shapes, or the area that is left behind.

This art in this book celebrates shape on nearly every page, including the cover and the enpapers.

Even the rectangular pages are highlighted on a spread like this. One big white rectangle next to one big blue rectangle…it’s visually striking. And the castle, created of boldly colored shapes is simply beautiful.

Text, interrupted by an illustration constrained by a rectangle, also from Puss In Boots:

The same artist who created the castle in Puss in Boots, Herbert Leupin, created this lithograph for Sleeping Beauty‘s castle. It is possibly my favorite spread period. Ever. Anywhere. Leupin was a Swiss graphic designer with a keen eye for color and creating shapes with implied line.

Each tale is introduced with a gold title page, and one representative scene illustrated in positive and negative space.

And most times, in a circle:

This book is certainly no traditional picture book, but it is worth adding to your library. Or coffee table. Or couch, which is where mine has lived for the past two weeks. It’s definitely a keeper.

One Comment

  • MC
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    taschen is so good.