The Two Best


By Guest Comment


This was probably one of the topics of discussion around the design firm watercoolers yesterday (the watercoolers, of course, are most likely much cooler than need be, and far more expensive than necessary): The Flickr photoset showing the changes between the 1963 version and the 1991 version of Richard Scarry’s “Best Word Book Ever.” Granted, this is probably more of a discussion that allies itself with sociology more than design, as there really hasn’t been much changed in Scarry’s original art. But with all design, the copy always affects the visual, and this is perhaps the best observation of that, given how simple the statements are. Think of the effect in the illustration above, where the child is, in 1961, ordered to come to breakfast, versus in 1991 where the child comes of his own volition. The drawing does not change, but clearly it does in your head. I’m not stating anything revolutionary here, it’s just interesting to see a firm example of that interchange between the two. Plus, I’ve got to stick up for my writers here and there, eh?