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Living in a Roy Lichtenstein room could never be disorderly.

But it could be dramatic.

Keith Haring drew dramatic images with simple lines on walls, floors, ceilings, and his own body.

The people who make colouring books are not usually well known. The above is a coloring book depicting scenes and activities in Aspen Colorado. Artwork done by three sisters; Pauli Hayes, Elli Hayes Ford, and Jess Bates while they were each in High School. Image from here.

Even less likely to be acknowledged are those who drew and still draw the images for instruction manuals. Picture above is from a 1922 booklet called Dancing Made Easy. Looks easy.

But even the simple drawings of instruction manuals have their admirers. Two perceptive design scholars from Holland, Piet Westendorp & Paul Mijksenaar produced a book on “the Art of Instructional Design” called OPEN HERE.


Pencils are inexpensive and expressive tools for marks on paper–or nice white walls, so I’ve found. Above image from Wikipedia.

Lots of people love them. The above are from Pencil Talk, one of many blogsites devoted to pencils and pens. And while these humble, wireless tools might seem to be disappearing from the workplace and the home, they are still there, somewhere. Because nothing else can do what a pencil can do, especially in the hand of someone who loves it and knows what to do with it.

Eero Saarinen sketch for an ice arena at Yale University.

Sol LeWitt colored pencil drawing: ”Wall Drawing #85”, June 1971,
The drawing is appearing in Sweden until June 6, 2010--reproduced on a wall, drawn by others according to his instructions.

Robert “Bob” McKimson, Sr. (American, 1910 – 1976), “Bugs Bunny as Little Red Riding Hood”, c. 1950

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, child in a chair, from here.

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1958, pencil on paper from here.

500 coloured pencils, from Japan, can be shipped from here.

Mr Harry Beck thought that riders of the London Underground needed a map that showed only what they needed to know. It was a revolutionary concept. As described on the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) website for a 2006 exhibition: MODERNISM–DESIGNING A NEW WORLD 1919 – 1939: The iconic London Underground map, which has been in use continuously since 1933, is in fact a diagram of the network. It shows relationships rather than distances to scale and uses only vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, with different colours for each of the Tube lines. The map has become a design classic, implicitly demonstrating the importance of simplicity, economy and utility – all key values promoted by Modernist design. Yet it was devised and produced by an engineering draughtsman, Harry Beck, after he had been made temporarily redundant by London Underground.

Since then (and before then), creative people aiming at showing people where they are and where they might want to go have produced some beautiful maps. For e.g. the image of Manhattan shown above posted on a blog called Aardvaarks (“burrowing through the world of images”, active until July 30, 2008)
Quoted from Strange Maps. The work is credited to Alexander Cheek, Assistant Professor of Design, Carnegie Mellon, and is called Neighborhoods of Manhattan.

And then there are the mapmakers who go beyond the limits of physical geography. Saul Steinberg, a New Yorker from Romania, via Italy, was the artist who, over and over, showed us what we already knew but had never seen.
These examples from Accuracy and Aesthetics.

There have always been artists among us who have achieved immediate, strong, and lasting impact with just a few strokes, well placed. Anyone who thinks this is easy should try drawing a cow from memory. Only small children and geniuses can pull this off convincingly.

Cave Paintings of Lascaux, France

Pablo Picasso

Henri Matisse

Saul Steinberg, Family of Man



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