Looking at Things

This arrived in the post the other day.

Looking At Things BBC Schools Brochure Barbara Jones back cover

How fantastic is that?  I can’t decide which of the three I like best.   Although that is in fact the rear view – this is the front.

Looking at things BBC Schools Brochure Barbara Jones

As it explains for itself, this is a leaflet for a BBC Schools programme called Looking at Things, and it’s by Barbara Jones.

One of the unfortunate side-effects of blogging is that we actually end up buying even more stuff than we would have done otherwise; I had no idea that these brochures even existed until I wrote about Barbara Jones last week.  But now I do, and from there it’s only a short step to Abebooks, ephemera and even more stuff around the place.

But this is a particular gem.  It’s worth far more than the £2 it cost for the cover alone, but inside is also Barbara Jones explaining how a book cover is designed and printed, using our friends above as the examples.

Looking at things Barbara Jones designing book cover BBC schools

And there is also a spread about lettering and signs, which could have come from one of her own, grown up, books.

Looking at things BBC booklet signs Barbara Jones

Barbara Jones looking at things BBC schools booklet inside signs

The aim of the programme – which had noted industrial designer Milner Gray as a consultant – was “to awaken the child’s interest in the shape and colour of things around him,” and “to look at the things around you with a ‘seeing’ eye.”

I don’t suppose anything as random and purposeless but yet important as this is taught in schools these days.  Although please feel free to tell me that I’m wrong.  And now I must go and look for some more booklets to educate my eye.

  • This is such a coincidence as I recent;y came across Barbara Jones myself after finding a old telegram in a family photo album. I instantly fell in love with her bird illustrations and as the telegram was credited with her name I checked her out online and found lots of lovely illustrator books. I will definitely look out for her work in the future!

  • The telegram sounds lovely – would you be able to send over a photo or a scan for the blog? She’s such a great designer, and definitely under-rated.

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