Patternalia : An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage, & Other Graphic Patterns
Whether it be simple patterns—such as dots, squares, checks and florals or the more elaborate seersucker, gingham, tartan, and fleur-de-lis—patterns are everywhere, and each one has a fascinating backstory. Patternalia: An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage, & Other Graphic Patterns delves into the deep trove of history and culture unique to each pattern.
Jude Stewart, the author of ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color brings her exceptional sense of humor, unique personality, and curiosity to the cultural history of decorative designs. How did the itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini come into fashion? Why do we always think of prisoners wearing striped uniforms? Why is June 21st known as “Seersucker Thursday” to many old patricians? Patternalia delves into the backstories of individual patterns, the surprising ways they developed, the parallels between patterns—natural and invented—and the multitude of quirky personalities these patterns gain over time.
Designed boldly by Oliver Munday and cleverly cross-referenced, Patternalia is pure pattern pleasure. Patternalia's aim is simple: to tantalize and inform your eye, to reveal with sudden clarity the universe of meanings inside the patterns you see daily.
Patternalia is guided by whimsy yet grounded by a mission: to train an unexpected new lens on the world, the quietly revelatory one of pattern.
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. She is the author of ROY G. BIV and Patternalia. Stewart lives in Chicago.