Pattern-based coloring books from the 70s
January 8, 2011 5:45 PM   Subscribe

As a kid in the 70s, I had a coloring book that had patterns instead of pictures. They were tesselations of some kind, maybe penrose tilings (I'm no expert) and filled the page. Coloring them in made different patterns more visible, etc. What was the book?

I remember it softcover, maybe 64pp, possibly square format maybe 9x9". Obvious searches on google come up short.

Anyone else have these and/or know what they were called?
posted by cloudscratcher to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Do some of these look like the pages you remember?
posted by oceanmorning at 5:55 PM on January 8, 2011

Best answer: Altair Designs!
posted by bink at 6:00 PM on January 8, 2011

I had Roger Burrows. Actually I still do, it's on my bookshelf two states and 20 years later.
posted by nat at 6:05 PM on January 8, 2011

(although it looks like Burrows wasn't published until the 90s, maybe it can help you search for the ones you remember)
posted by nat at 6:07 PM on January 8, 2011

Altair Designs ftw.
posted by jessamyn at 6:11 PM on January 8, 2011

Yup, Altair Designs. We had them when I was a kid as well.
posted by Lucinda at 6:19 PM on January 8, 2011

Altair! Just remembering that has made my inner 4th-grader very happy!
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:23 PM on January 8, 2011

Oh yes, Altair Designs! Ruth Heller also does a lot of these. Not only did I have them as a kid in the 70s, I managed to get a bunch of coworkers addicted to them in the 90s!
posted by clone boulevard at 6:26 PM on January 8, 2011

Altair! Some of them are hard to find now, and I've been stashing them ready for my kids. I loved those books, happy memories. Also from the same era, I had Polysymetrics, which is similar.
posted by Joh at 7:18 PM on January 8, 2011

I am having altair nostalgia RIGHT NOW.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:22 PM on January 8, 2011

OMG I miss my Altair design books. I had a 160-color marker set and could spend hours and hours with them. I wish they were still in general publication. Wow, a really visceral response to this memory. Huh.

(Re: the page: why would people buy used Altair design books? WTH?)
posted by tzikeh at 7:41 PM on January 8, 2011

similar and in print: Geometrical Design Coloring Book and Visual Illusions Coloring Book
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:06 PM on January 8, 2011

Response by poster: Altair designs indeed! Grateful to all of you. Teary-eyed, even!
posted by cloudscratcher at 1:07 AM on January 9, 2011

If you're willing to order from, they carry the originals, and deliver out-of-country.

**ordering now, damn you**
posted by tzikeh at 3:03 AM on January 9, 2011

Oh my god, Altair. I forgot they existed, but I LOVED them as a child. Thanks for asking this question.
posted by Paris Elk at 12:37 PM on January 9, 2011

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