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An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage, & Other Graphic Patterns

Jude Stewart


List Price: 25.00*
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We wake up in the morning and put on our striped socks and our plaid shirts, sit down to breakfast at a gingham tablecloth, perhaps eyeing the wallpaper with its fleur-de-lis. Patterns are everywhere--yet they can go unnoticed. In fact, every pattern is a story, a surprisingly deep trove of historical information and cultural associations.

Jude Stewart, author of ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color, brings her same sprightly sense of humor, sparkling personality, and roving curiosity to this cultural history of patterns. From camouflage to keffiyeh, plaid to paisley, slipping out of the Carmelites' scandalously striped mantle and into an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini, Patternalia plumbs the backstories of individual patterns, the surprising kinks in how each developed, the parallels between patterns natural and invented, and the curious personalities these patterns accrue over time. Boldly designed by Oliver Munday and cleverly cross-referenced, Patternalia is pure pattern pleasure: a beautiful object and a dazzling read that will appeal to anyone interested in design, fashion, and the cultural history buzzing all around us.

Praise For Patternalia: An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage, & Other Graphic Patterns

“A whole spectrum of mythbusting and knowledge around color comes to light in the new book ROY G. BIV.” —Fast Company Co.Design on ROY G. BIV

“A rabbit hole of a good read . . . Color infuses meaning; meaning infuses color. Stewart has made it all the more vibrant by exploring its interpretations.” —Chicago Tribune Printers Row Journal on ROY G. BIV

“A deep, sometimes feisty look at all the things that color can do and mean.” —The Atlantic on ROY G. BIV

“Stewart is a color expert without a hint of elitism . . . What makes her an appealing guide is that she is having fun; she drifts from words like 'felicity' and 'literaria' to endearing quotes from, of all people, Eminem.” —SmartPlanet on ROY G. BIV

“Stewart's well-designed book is visually stimulating and surprising, reminding readers that colors are still as fascinating and fun as they were in grade school.” —Publishers Weekly on ROY G. BIV

Bloomsbury USA, 9781632861085, 160pp.

Publication Date: October 13, 2015

About the Author

Jude Stewart writes about design and culture for Slate, Believer, Fast Company, Good and I.D. among others. She also writes a blog about colour for Print. She lives in Chicago. / @joodstew