You may be surprised to learn three of Amazon’s top 10 bestselling books of 2015 were adult coloring books. Don’t believe me? Look it up! The three coloring books for adults that made the list are Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book; Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book; and Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns. They each sell for less than $10.00. That’s a fairly inexpensive way to relieve stress.
You might think that selling millions of adult coloring books means it’s a new trend, but you’d be wrong. Adult coloring books made The New York Times Bestsellers List in 1962, and Barbra Streisand was inspired to sing a song about them. The main difference is that adult coloring books in the 1960s had political messages, and today, adult coloring books promise relaxation and stress relief. The New Republic published an article a few months ago headlined, “The Radical History of 1960s Adult Coloring Books.”
Slate calls them more addictive than smartphones and traces the resurgence back to the Scottish illustrator of Secret Garden, Johanna Basford, who was originally approached in 2012 to illustrate a children’s coloring book.
Color Me Book lets you color images that mean something to you with personalized adult coloring books. The site allows you to upload photos or screen shots from Instagram, which are hand traced and turned into a coloring book.
Dover Publications has a series of fine art coloring books. According to Dover, the books allow you to add your own creative colors to masterpieces. Dover also issued a press release early this year citing the American Art Therapy Association’s support of adult coloring as beneficial to your mental health.
Crayola is also getting in on the retro trend. Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of a fresh box of Crayons. Late last year, Crayola introduced its first line of adult coloring books in its 112-year history. Appropriately named Color Escapes, Crayola’s line boasts detailed coloring pages specially designed for adults. These adult versions of the children’s classic tend to focus on a few themes such as nature and patterns.
Could this be a new creative outlet for engineers? After a quick Google search, no STEM versions of adult coloring books were found. Let us know what you think. Comment below and share this post on social media!