Friday, 15 July 2016

PICTURA (Templar) my review of this new product editions 1 - 8 reloaded

This is an innovative new product that hopes to extend the historic interest of colouring in and creating artwork through technical drawing. Unlike the plethora of anonymous or basic drawings found in mainstream children’s colouring books PICTURA attempts to offer something that will extend this past time and encourage a more focussed development of craft skills using the work of artists who have distinctive styles and technical approaches.

Appeal – Who will enjoy this? I think this product will find a market with 8- 12 years old Children who might work on PICTURA with assistance from their parents. Teenagers working on them independently or in a group. In addition it might find an audience with:
• Students – Who already know the artists and like their work
• Adults – Fans of the artists and those that want to help their children with the  
   colouring, drawing and research
There may be a possible gender split for some of the editions. Anne Yvonne Gilbert’s work may appeal to young females. Levi Pinfold’s work may appeal more to young males. The natural history PICTURA will appeal to all genders. John Howe’s Dragon and Niroot Puttapipat’s Fairies have possible crossover potential. Shaun Tan’s work is more abstract than the others and might appeal to the more adventurous visual communicators. Tomislav Tomic’s Paris 1900 has great mass appeal. He should create a PICTURA for every major world city in the footsteps of Maurice Sasek.

Quality The artwork has been created by award winning artists, some with global reputations. Good high quality paper stock is used that can take a lot of punishment especially from those working with colour crayon and watercolours. The packaging is well designed, durable. The lovely embossed border on the covers evokes a feeling of class and quality. There is a strong Brand identity that makes the product easy to recognise. This is helpful for collectability and for positioning in retail outlets.

Functionality Sequential like its Mayan Hieroglyphic precursor PICTURA main artwork is printed banner width. The concertina fold (double-sided) format means you will need plenty of space to work on your PICTURA and this might present problems for those with limited space. However the upside would be it teaches users that you will need to use space carefully to be able to complete the exercises.
This straightforward no nonsense activity can help develop their interest and art working skills.

Collectability Some people will want to collect them all. Younger people might wish to collect the whole set, as objects in there own right. There is definite opportunity to market PICTURA as something special to collect. There are a lot of fans out there for the artists like John Howe and Shaun Tan these should be exploited to raise awareness of this product through fan base networks and social media.

Would I use this product? I would buy this for my God sons and young cousin (all boys). They are all under 10 so I would probably work with them and guide them closely. I would also introduce it to my students and get them to push the possibilities of working with colour theory and to remake the objects. The works by Helen Ward and Ian Andrew being based in the botanical world will encourage the user to investigate the science behind the images. The online world will be crucial to help users to connect with each other promoting a competitive spirit and an artistic community. The chance to review the work of others will help the continued interest in the product.

Templar Publishing have designed and developed a perennial favourite the colouring in book and taken it to a new level. This sophisticated product doesn’t present any barriers to the user. Anyone who encounters them will be charmed and might even decide that they wish to explore further the world of illustration and image production.

Karl Foster - Tuesday 4 February 2014

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