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.