The other day I was strolling around Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and came across several large Charley Harper posters hanging in the window of a framing and gift shop. Harper originally created the series, which highlights the ecosystems of different national parks, for the U.S. Department of Interiors.Ever since a friend got me a copy of Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life
(by Todd Oldham) for my birthday, I've been totally hooked on Harper's highly stylized depictions of wildlife, which are simple in shape yet outrageously vibrant in color and composition. I'm especially fond of the illustrator's many books for children -- what better way for my nieces and nephews to learn their ABC's? I love the idea of introducing children to good design as early as possible.
Harper passed away in 2007, but you can still find original work and reproductions at the estate-managed Charley Harper Gallery.
Images: Charley Harper Gallery