Wednesday, December 21, 2011


D.E.S.I.G.N. by Ewa Solarz and illustrated by Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielinski


No question, this book has visual impact. The quirky illustrations demand attention and promise to entertain. I knew I would enjoy a good look through D.E.S.I.G.N. for that reason alone, but I didn't expect to find it such a fascinating read.
D.E.S.I.G.N. highlights 69 of the most innovative household items from the past 150 years - from the classic to the crazy. Set out in chronological order these icons of design, from the most eminent designers in the world, are presented in a cute and witty way making for light yet informative reading. D.E.S.I.G.N could be considered a children's book, and it certainly deserves a place in a school library, but it's a damn good read for adults too and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Double page spread from D.E.S.I.G.N. by Ewa Solarz

Double page spread from D.E.S.I.G.N. by Ewa Solarz

You have to love the fun layout - crazy illustrations with visual keys indicating everything from what the object is made of, to the designer's country of origin, when the object was designed, and what function the object can perform.
 D.E.S.I.G.N. teaches the origins, aesthetics and form of objects that surround us, and teaches in the most entertaining and light-hearted way. Pick it up for flick through and I guarantee you will be compelled to read every page in all its detail. You can grab a copy at the Gecko Press website.

About the Author
Ewa Solarz studied Art History at Warsaw University in Poland. For many years she worked as a journalist for the Polish magazine, House & Interior (Dom&Wnętrze).
D.E.S.I.G.N. is her first book.

The Illustrators
Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielinski graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland in 2008. They have their own graphic design business called Hipopotam Studio. They wrote and illustrated H.O.U.S.E published by Gecko Press in 2010.

Published by Gecko Press, 4 November 2011
Ages 8 to infinity
205 x 205mm 168 pages
ISBN: 978-1-877467-83-7

A huge thanks to Gecko Press for allowing Kitty as a Picture Design Blog to feature this book. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

PEOPLE by Blexbolex

The second of three fantastic new books I have here from Gecko Press, PEOPLE is a must-have for graphic designers and something a little different for children. Every type of person you can imagine, real and mythical, is represented here in graphic form. My daughter and I enjoy browsing through PEOPLE - I love its intriguing illustrations, while my preschooler takes delight in trying to label the pictures.

Double page spread from PEOPLE by Blexbolex

Blexbolex is an award-winning French comic artist and illustrator. Born Bernard Granger in Aurillac, he studied screen printing at the School of Fine Arts in Angoulême.

Double-page spread from PEOPLE by Blexbolex

There is a charm about the graphics in PEOPLE that is impossible to capture with just a few images; you really need to see the whole collection to fully appreciate the beauty of this book. The illustrations vary from basic silhouette to complex scenes, using a limited palette and simplistic style that gives the book an old-school charm.

Double-page spread from PEOPLE by Blexbolex

Each figure is juxtaposed with another on the opposite page. The relationship between the figures is sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle, and makes for interesting discussion - be it at home or in the classroom. PEOPLE is an excellent source of inspiration for artists, and perhaps even a great trigger for ideas for the creative writer.

Double-page spread from PEOPLE by Blexbolex

 With a linen hardcover and a double-sided dust jacket, PEOPLE is for book-lovers. It is everything I have come to love about Gecko Press: unique, quirky, visually captivating, and more special than your average publication. PEOPLE won the Goldene Letter for Best Book Design in the World at the 2009 Leipzig Bookfair. It makes the perfect companion to the popular book SEASONS and is available for purchase through the Gecko Press website and at good bookstores throughout New Zealand.

PEOPLE by Blexbolex: Hardback IBSN 978-1-877467-78-3
Age 0 to infinity
200 pages  240 x180 mm
Published 18 November 2011

A huge thanks to Gecko Press for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to feature this book.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake

Imagine my surprise to find  book called Poo Bum in my letterbox! I hesitated - I have a two and half year old - should I read this to her, or will she start running around saying Poo Bum everywhere we go? (Note: recommended age is 3+) I braved it, and together we sat down to read Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake.

Poo Bum tells the story of a little rabbit who can only say one thing... Poo Bum. His loving family only ever get the same response from him no matter what question they ask. But little Poo Bum rabbit finds himself in a spot of bother when he meets a big bad wolf.

From here the story is delightfully unpredictable, quirky and amusing, finishing on a humorous note. The large type is perfect for kids learning to read, and the content is certain to amuse and make the book an all-time favourite. Some may hesitate as I did, but all that came from our reading is a whole bunch of giggles. Thankfully 'poo bum' has not become a large part of my daughters vocabulary; the book captured her attention and imagination more than most, and that surely can only be a good thing.

This is just one of three fabulous books I have lined up to show you from Gecko Press. Like all Gecko Press publications it has a unique look and feel, as well as quality printing and binding. The bright, bold illustrations are a good match for the story, and Poo Bum makes an excellent gift for those who enjoy a little bit of silly. I like it and am looking forward to seeing more in the series next year and the following.

About the author/illustrator

Stephanie Blake's passion for writing and illustrating began in childhood when she created books for her brothers and sisters as birthday presents. As a child, she also fell in love with the books of Dr. Seuss, Ludwig Bemelmans, and William Steig. After moving to France, she discovered other writers and artists whose work continued to inspire her stories and drawings. She is the author and illustrator of dozens of highly successful books in France, many of them children's favourites.

Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake
Ages 3+
32 pages 280 x 220mm
Available in hardback ISBN: 978-1-877467-96-7
and in paperback ISBN: 978-1-877467-97-4

A huge thanks to Gecko Press for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to feature this book.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ella Leach Christmas Cards

Sydney illustrator Ella Leach has released an impressive set of folk-inspired Christmas cards. The limited palette and crisp, detailed graphics make for striking design.

Bethlehem Christmas Card by Ella Leach

Away in a Manger Christmas Card by Ella Leach

Shepherd Christmas Card by Ella Leach

Angel Christmas Card by Ella Leach

Three Wise Men Christmas Card by Ella Leach

Donkey Christmas Card by Ella Leach

Bethlehem Christmas Card by Ella Leach
These stylish cards are available for sale at Lark, and for more information about the designer you can visit the Ella Leach Designs website. I can't wait to see what else this new designer has planned!

Many thanks to Lark for allowing Kitty as a Picture permission to feature items from their store.

Monday, October 31, 2011


The PAPINEE 'whimsical furnishings and magnificent accessories' are impossible for a surface-pattern enthusiast to look past.  A collaboration of designers from around the world, Papinee interests me not just for its rich detail and magical quality, but also for its clever presentation; from start to finish it is a brilliantly put together package.

Papinee Deer by Corralie Charriol


Papinee's ANIMALIA is a collection that celebrates animals from all over the world, drawing inspiration from each country's diverse and unique elements.

PAPINEE Turtle. Artist: Michele Kafer

PAPINEE Monkey. Artist: Simon Guindi

PAPINEE Owl. Artist: Claire Hobson

 PAPINEE Lion. Artists:  Brothers Ben and Guillaume Barras.

PAPINEE Deer. Artist: Corralie Charriol

PAPINEE Cat. Artist: Zam Yip

The PAPINEE Collection:
Toys, books, cushions, poufs, canvases, spheres, pouches and more.

It's a fascinating collection, unlike any other, and well worth a closer look. Visit the Papinee website to learn more about the individual designers, see more products, and be wowed by Papinee's impressive marketing and presentation.

A huge thanks to Kathy at Papinee for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to publish these images.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pop & Lolli Wall Art - New Designs

Here is a company I can happily declare a favourite of mine. Everything about Pop & Lolli is taste and style. Incredible, original design for kids - there is nothing quite like it - and an ongoing commitment to charity makes them a stand-out new company in the world of children's design. It makes me so happy to see they have reached their first anniversary having spread the Pop & Lolli style far and wide, and with the release of more fresh, new (and absolutely brilliant) designs.

Pop & Lolli 'Circus Train' Wall Stickers

Pop & Lolli 'Ahoy Matey' Wall Stickers

Pop & Lolli 'Bounty Beaches' Wall Stickers

Pop & Lolli Wall Stickers - Various

Pop & Lolli Wall Stickers - 'Bounty Beaches' and 'Ahoy Matey'

Pop & Lolli 'Chirpie Tree' Wall Stickers

Pop & Lolli Wall Stickers - 'Starry Sky Space Rockets' and 'Build-a-Bot'

Incorporating everything a child typically loves, with none of the usual clichés, Pop & Lolli continues to make an impact, and looks set to continue to WOW us with coolness for years to come. Long may it last! View all the fabulousness that is Pop & Lolli here.

With every set of Pop & Lolli chic ‘experience-design’ decals you purchase, (It’s) Chic 2 Change will provide educational materials and resources to positively influence a South African child in need. Read more here.

Many thanks to Mia at Pop & Lolli for allowing Kitty as Picture Kids' Design Blog permission to publish these images.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This and That

A mix of things today that caught my attention at some of the lovely shops I look at online...

Monsieur IV Sticker ; Poisson Bulle

Madame in the Rain; Poisson Bulle

Monsieur III Sticker; Poisson Bulle

Monsieur IV, Madame in the Rain, and Monsieur III are the creations of talented Madrid based graphic artist Blanca Gomez. Here is another fantastic idea for wall stickers:

Suitcases Wall Stickers. Find them at Ferm Living. 

Ferm Living have just released a new range of wall stickers too. Check out the new designs here.

Aren't these cushions adorable!

Mr Fox Cushion; Find it at Lapin and Me

Red Riding Hood Cushion; Find it at Lapin and Me

And some fabulous retro-style puzzles illustrated by Nathalie Lete:

Part of a set of 3 retro puzzles by Vilac. Artist is Nathalie Lete.
Find it at

Part of a set of 3 retro puzzles by Vilac. Artist is Nathalie Lete.
Find it at Nobodinoz.

I thought this a rather unique gift idea... 

First Aid Tin; Coming soon to Lapin and Me

More unique design from Nathalie Lete...

Dinner Set by Nathalie Lete. Find it at Lapin and Me.

Love these satchels illustrated by the fabulous Alain Gree. (Translations via Google)


Portfolio Path to Adventure; Illustrated by Alain Gree. 
Available at Nobodinoz.

Portfolio Capucine and Friends; Illustrated by Alain Gree.
Available at

Printed Image Portfolio; Illustrated by Alain Gree. 
Available at Nobodinoz.

And a great selection of children's prints at Cabbages and Kings Art:

The Animal Alphabet Series Print;
Find it on Etsy at
Cabbages and Kings Art

Animals and 123's Print;
Find it on Etsy at
Cabbages and Kings Art
Animals and ABC's Girl's Print; Animals and 123's Girl's Print;
Find them on Etsy at Cabbages and Kings Art.