Not New Niceties #6: Ancient Adult Colouring Book

2015 has, so far, been aaaallll about the adult colouring book. I've seen bloggers all over the place rave about how fun and theraputic they are and every bookshop I visit seems to have an entire section dedicated to them. The trend seems to have come out of nowhere and, having left 'colouring in' mostly behind in my childhood years, it's surprising to me how popular they are. I haven't bought one yet, but it's probably only a matter of time before I succumb. Or maybe not... because apparently I already have one...

Devo is currently back at college studying Graphic Design and, whilst rifling through our collection of art books for inspiration and references he found this:
It's a 1975 colouring book - for adults! 

I thought the grown-up colouring book was a very new trend - but it seems they've been around for decades. This 40-year-old colouring book was clearly way ahead of its time but I don't think it caught-on back in the 70's as there is not one single picture coloured in by hand in the whole book (the patterns with colour are 'suggestions' only) - despite being checked out of the Berkshire College of Art library a few times in the 1980's and early 1990's.
Jean Larcher, a French graphic designer with a special interest in optical phenomena designed this series of images to "give your imagination full play". As abstract patterns and shapes are free from any traditional colour associations (unlike objects in nature) there's a sense of 'anything goes' with colouring these designs.
That may well be so, but I don't think I have the heart to actually colour it in either. It's survived this long intact it almost seems a shame to deface it with my scribbles! 
I might just have to treat myself to a new one afterall...

Do you like colouring in? Have you got any recommendations for colouring books I might like? Will my children steal them from me? (They will, won't they....)

P.S. I've just spotted a copy of this very book for sale. See HERE (not an afilliate link)

P.P.S. If you're interested in finding out more about why adults like to colour - I enjoyed this article in The New Yorker: Why Adults are Buying Colouring Books (for themselves)


  1. Tiger have lovely ones, only a couple of euro

    1. Oh, you genius! You're right. That suits my pocket nicely :) Thanks!

  2. GASP. This is beautiful. No, seriously! I've found a lot of the adult colouring books can be a bit ... gaudy. But this. THOSE LINES. That's actual art! I'd colour that any day!

    p.s. You could photocopy the pages and then colour them to your hearts content? I too would be afraid to *actually* colour that book.

    1. Oh, I'm glad you've said it! I've leafed through a few recently and wasn't really taken with any of them. And you're right, this one is actual art. Can you imagine, in 1975, what it took to produce those images? They must have been hand-drawn... Or did computer graphics exist back then? (they couldn't have, right?)

      Photocopying is a great solution - HOW did I not think of that?!

  3. I got some lovely ones in Lidl for about €3, have a lovely hardback one too that is my favourite. Very therapeutic :)

    1. Oh good to know! I'll keep my eye out. Thanks for commenting x


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