Last week we showed you a lovely Animalium book and promised that there are two. As you might already know or at least expect, the other one deals with the exciting world of plants and is called Botanicum. Having already enjoyed the one about animals, we were delighted to get the second part for last Christmas.
Just like the one about animals, Botanicum presents various families and groups of plants with gorgeous illustrations reminiscent of old encyclopedias. It’s both decorative and inspiring scientific interest.
Elaeis guineensis (says Google Translate).
Palms and cycads. (We love the little ideas, e.g. how one-color illustrations begin to form an ornamental pattern while in full color they are informative.)
Trees. The pattern again and also this typeface works really well in this design.
Today we want to share with you the first one of two lovely books from our bookshelf. We got it a little bit by accident and really loved it. It’s illustrated by Katie Scott and called Animalium because, you know, it’s about animals. (Also, we got it in Polish so look at the margins for the translation of the spreads’ titles but you can easily get in it English.)
The book recreates a natural history museum and present all sorts of animals in an educational (and lovely) way. On the cover you can even see a golden hotstamped ticket (in the top right-hand corner), which says “Animal Museum Ticket” (it says “Welcome to the Museum / Admit All” in the original version but I like the Polish version better, I think? by a narrow margin) and this little detail sets the tone for the whole book.
Welcome to Animalium. Introduction
Inside you will find illustrations and descriptions of all kinds of creatures from across the whole animal kingdom, arranged according to clear criteria. There are so many things to love about the book:
- Illustrations. They are obviously inspired by old scientific encyclopedic etchings, only more colorful and partly modernized
- Title typeface, a pretty one by Hipopotam Studio
- Lushness. The book is just full of gorgeous details and, as the ticket on the cover suggests, has a certain luxurious quality to it (also because it’s really big, format-wise)
- No age limit. It can be exciting both for kids and adults. Our son loved Animalium even if he was technically too little for books
- Educational value, no duh
Cnidaria (admittedly, not a word I knew before)
Natural environment: woods
In case you want it, here’s a 3-day promo link for free shipping in our Society6 store.
In the middle of winter (well, hopefully, at the end of it), we’re sharing a vaguely spring design we did last year. We created a catalog for an exhibition called Planting Seeds that happened in the Łaźnia Art Center. This was an event by Irwin group from Slovenia.
The exhibition was promoted with the photo of the artists who were, well, planting seeds and we needed to use it on the cover. At first, we planned to cut it into four parts, with different covers having different parts of the photo but it was necessary to use the whole photo in the end. So we arranged it in such a way that you can combine two covers to see all of it.
Inside we used a bright pink color for one language version of the text and as a strong visual element. As a decorative motif we created a grid of dots to symbolize seeds and used them throughout the publication.
Title page with dots and pink.
Close-up of the contents pages.
Introduction to the catalog.
As Irwin art is rather conceptual the catalog contains more texts than images so it was important to find a good layout for the articles.
Catalogs – always one of the best kinds of job.
You might remember our previous posts of literary primers by Jennifer Adams with art by Alison Oliver. Or if you don’t, here’s Dracula and here’s the gem of Pride and Prejudice. As we were visiting our friends, Z&A, we spotted on their bookshelf another book from the series: this time a weather primer based on Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. So, of course, we immediately borrowed it (thanks guys!) to share it with you.
This primer introduces weather-related adjectives with rather idyllic scenes from around Wuthering Heights.
A short introduction.
The doctor travelling through the mists.
Sometimes “sunny” is a word you need to teach your child.
But these days this feels like a more useful description.
As you may or may not remember, we are big fans of the illustrator Emilia Dziubak and her detailed, colored style, which plays with flat design but goes far beyond it. But her book that we’re sharing with you today, Rok w lesie (A Year in the Woods) is even more than we would have any right to expect. It combines pretty much everything that we love in children’s illustration: details, narration, humor and forest animals.
Each spread of the book shows the same woodland scene with the same animals doing things appropriate for every month. You can see not only the changes in the weather and plants but, most importantly, the different activities in which animals are involved. A huge level of detail means that one can return to the book many, many times, each time finding something new and delightful. The things animals do combine the educational aspect with a lot of good humor. And being very much woods-loving people who try to go for a walk there at least every two days, we find the depiction of the woods charming.
Except for the names of the months, most of the book is wordless, which makes it accessible to younger children (ones who will be able to follow the details, though). The last spread has a list of various animals with a character quirk for each so that one can look for those in the book. It’s actually quite fun to browse through the book multiple times, each time focusing on just one animal and their story.
Spread for January, more appropriate now that we’ve got some snow.
April and December
The introduction to individual animals.
And now for some highlights from the lady fox’s story of love and family:
Featuring the cutest baby foxes.
And the badger’s story of eating and sleeping.
So yes, we’re still swamped but it’s high time for a proper post. This time we wanted to share one of our relatively recent book acquisitions, a picture book Here is the Baby by Polly Kanevsky, illustrated by Taeeyun Yoo.
The book tells a very simple story of a baby boy on his day with his family (and especially his dad) as he goes through the routine of meals, a walk, a bath, play and sleep. The very simplicity of the text underscores the actual experience of taking care of a baby, while giving it a touching, sweet quality (we saw online some people didn’t like the text but we find it both honest and poetic with the rhythm and no rhymes).
The illustrations have a classic, deceptively simple character but manage to gorgeously capture the everyday warmth of family life. They almost shine with domestic light. If there’s one expression to describe the book heart-warming would be the closest. And yep, we probably wouldn’t have cared for it all that much before we had our own baby but now we not only admire the illustrations but find so much truth in the mood of this book. (Though, admittedly, it does not cover teething. Ugh, teething.)
The illustrations are somewhat old-school, reminding us of really old children books we used to have in childhood.
We have to admit though that this book might be more interesting to parents than babies. Our son always picks Walk this World over anything.
(And as an unrelated sidenote, there are promotions all week long over on Society6, where you can buy our posters and some other gadgets.)
Today we’re sharing a classic from our library, Saul Bass’s Henri’s Walk to Paris. You probably know Saul Bass from either his logo designs, movie posters or his iconic title sequences he created with his wife, Elaine. Those sequences remain a lasting legacy and have been revered, pastiched and parodied. As can be expected, we’re huge fans of Bass and of his bon mot “Design is thinking made visual.” It sure should be.
The book we’re showing today is a slightly less known work: Bass’s only children’s book. Bass’s illustration style, well-known from his posters, is quite recognizable with its vivid, flat colors and cutout shapes. This style is also quite remarkable for how it seems to anticipate the prevalent style of today’s vector illustrations with their, you guessed it, flat colors and geometric shapes.
But Henri’s Walk is truly a designer’s work, rather than just an illustrator’s (lovely as the illustrations are). It makes a smart use of page layout and typography in a way which is intriguing and playful (see e.g. the ingenious ideas on how not to show the characters’ faces to make the story more general). Both images and the text itself tells a story that delights and makes you wonder. And, of course, the colors are simply gorgeous.
Henri’s little house in his little town. The town of Reboul seems lovely.
The park with five trees and one squirrel.
Most of the people of Reboul plus one cow.