Myraid shades of colouring books!

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Perhaps the first books our children use are colouring books. Slowly but gradually, they learn to colour inside the graphic and can spend hours glued to the book with their colouring sets. With so many colouring books available in the market, Varsha Verma of ABP finds out the myriad shades of colouring books in India. Colouring books play a key role in developing a child’s imagination power. “They are familiarised with different colours,” shares Anuj Chawla, director, Dreamland Publications.

While, Karan Chawla, partner, Indian Book Depot, adds, “A child’s basics starts from colour recognition from the day they start seeing colours. We might forget what we read but we never forget what we saw and colours helps us to remember those visuals. So colouring books do help all individuals to first know about colours and then secondly use their motor skills to fill in the colours.”

“Colouring books enhance children imagination power, creativity and skill development,” adds Sawan Gupta, proprietor, Manoj Publications. They are an outlet for emotions and appreciation. They teach perspective in art work and terminology of art and craft,” shares Bharat Rai Mediratta, managing director of Jiwan Books International.

Books available…

There are lot of colouring books available in the market. “We have a variety of colouring books for every type of customer. Our range starts from Rs 15 and goes up till Rs 70. In some books we have colouring and activities clubbed together, in some we have copy colour and write along the name of the colours. The age group that we cater is one year till five years,” tells Karan Chawla of Indian Book Depot.

“We have more than 100 different types of colouring books in various formats. We cater the age group from three to seven years,” shares Anuj Chawla of Dreamland.

While, Sawan shares that they have 150 titles in educative and creative colouring books, catering to 2+ age group. Another publisher offering such books is Jiwan Books. “We offer Artography and colour craft series for classes one to five. Both the series have inbuilt colouring pages and craft activities. The colour craft series comes with a material sheet for craft activities. While, the Art expression series carries techniques for creative expression for the age group 10 to 14,” shares Bharat Rai.

Major USPs…

“The books offer a variety of activities in art/craft/origami/ model making, all under one title. Step by step procedure has been given for each. The craft and origami activities come with attractive pictures,” tells Bharat Rai.

“The USP of our colouring books is that we design the books keeping in mind the interest level of the child. We try to use the illustration which a child sees in their daily life and can relate to them. Apart from this we use special high quality paper in our books which makes the colouring easy,” tells Anuj.

While, Karan feels that the USP of their colouring books is the price and also that their designs are very clear and attractive and give enough space for children to move their hands and colour the figures as accurate as possible. “The USP of our colouring books is price, quality and lot of new ideas like mini colouring books (pocket size) which children can colour anywhere,” adds Sawan.

Choose the one you like…

So what makes one colouring book different from another? “The manner in which it is presented. The books are designed as per the age level of the children. For early learners we keep the images simple and attractive,” shares Anuj. Similar views were shared by Karan, who adds, “First thing that differentiate any colouring book from another is the designing of the figures/characters/scenes.” While, Sawan adds, “We create subject-based and concept-based colouring books like magic colour books, which are different from others.” While Bharat Rai adds, “The level of creativity, value creation and connect with the environment are the important factor distinguishing colouring books as learning by doing is the most ideal.”

Innovations/Add-ons…

Innovative ideas are always welcome. Even colouring books have seen their share of innovations, like Manoj Publications, which has launched 3D colouring books, which are unique and interesting. “This is first 3D colouring book in India,” adds Sawan.

While, Anuj puts it, “We have launched a series by the name of “Splashy Colouring Books”, a set of five books each having a different theme like Fairy Tales, Superhero etc. The main feature of this book is that we provide a set of colouring plate and brush free of cost along. By this, a parent need not to look for any special material for the child to use.”

While, IBD has recently launched fluorescent covers for their colouring books for attraction and inside they have used thick black outlines for figures so that the child can colour within the outlines easily. “Also, we launched two books in which we first teach the child to know about colours one by one and write the names of the colours they are using on every page then as they start completing the pages they get to use two colours together, then three colours and so on and by the end of send part, a child is well versed with the colours and combinations they used together which gives them the sense to match the colours in contrast,” adds Karan.

Paper used…

“The best kind of paper is offset paper. This provides enough roughness for the colours to easily spread on it. The thickness of the paper can vary as per the likings or the budget of the publisher,” tells Anuj as a matter of fact.

“Maplitho paper of a sufficient thickness (approx 115 gm) that should be able to withstand water colours as well serve good with pastels, should be used for such books,” adds Bharat Rai. While, Karan feels that at least a 90-100 gsm white paper is best suited for colouring books.

Average print runs…

“Our average print run for colouring books is 10,000 copies each title biannually,” tells Anuj. While, Karan shares that their average print run is 5,000 copies, and for Manoj Publications also it is 5,000-10,000 copies and 10,000 copies for Jiwan Books.

Adult colouring books…

Worldover, adult colouring books are in vogue. Do we have something like this in India as well? “Yes, this concept is now picking curiosity of people. We are launching a set of four books at the forthcoming Frankfurt Book Fair by the name of “Rejuvenate Yourself – Colouring book for Adults”. As per the current fast lifestyle, stress is playing a major role in harmful effects to the mind and body.

With these books an individual can de-stress themselves by simple colouring the pages. This new concept is helping people throughout the world and we try achieving the same with our series,” shares Anuj. Even Manoj Publications is coming up with a series for adults. “We are developing a ‘Dot to dot’ series, wherein we are increasing the number of dots to 1,500, so that adults can also colour it,” tells Sawan. While, Karan has a different perspective in this regard. “Recently I have come across a lot of queries for adult colouring books but personally I think it’s just a fad. It’s good for only BFA students or and designing students to improve their skills. Right know, we don’t see such books in India to my knowledge.”

Food for thought…

“Always keep in mind to use those colours in designs which a child can easily get in market. We don’t use any shaded colours or double tone colours,” shares Karan.

“As easy as colouring books may sound, they help in developing the cognitive skills of a child and should be designed keeping in mind the inquisitive mind of young learner,” concludes Anuj. Similar views were shared by Bharat Rai who says, “Colouring books should be designed keeping in mind the fine and gross motor skills of the learner. They should also be in tandem with the cognitive abilities of the child.”

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