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

Author(s): Jude Stewart

Graphic Design

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.


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Product Information

From the author and designer of ROY G. BIV, a delightful, fully illustrated new volume on patterns, from polka dots to plaid: their histories, cultural resonances, and hidden meanings.

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. -- Steven Heller 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

Jude Stewart writes about design and culture for Slate, the Believer, Fast Company, Design Observer and other publications. She is also a contributing editor at PRINT magazine. Her first book, ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color was published in six languages. Stewart lives in Chicago. Read more at or @joodstew.

General Fields

  • : 9781632861085
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic USA
  • : December 2015
  • : 184mm X 178mm
  • : United States
  • : October 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jude Stewart
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 745.4
  • : bl2015054340
  • : 160
  • : 4-color throughout