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  • Writer's pictureKate Taylor Design

The Evolution of Coloring Book Designs and Trends

Coloring books, originally designed for children, have expanded in their appeal and usage to adults over the years. With this expansion has come a fascinating evolution in designs and trends that cater to a diverse range of interests and skills. In this post, we'll delve into the history of coloring book designs and how they've evolved over time.

A collection of different coloring books from various eras
A collection of different coloring books from various eras

Early Beginnings: Educational Tools for Children

Coloring books have been a part of children's lives since the late 19th century. Initially, they were used as educational tools to teach children about various subjects. Early coloring book designs were simple and focused on animals, everyday objects, and fairy tales to foster children's learning and creativity.

Mid-20th Century: The Golden Age of Coloring Books

The mid-20th century marked the Golden Age of coloring books. During this period, coloring books became more detailed and intricate, featuring beloved cartoon characters and Disney princesses. These books were created to entertain children and to help them improve their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

The 21st Century: The Rise of Adult Coloring Books

In the 21st century, the coloring book industry saw a significant shift. The introduction of adult coloring books marked a new era in the coloring book design. These books featured complex patterns and designs, including mandalas, floral arrangements, and abstract patterns. The trend was driven by the therapeutic benefits of coloring, which promoted relaxation, stress relief, and mindfulness.

Present Day: Diversity and Inclusion

Today, coloring book designs have become more diverse and inclusive. They cater to a variety of interests, including travel, fashion, architecture, and even pop culture. More importantly, there's an increasing focus on representation, with coloring books featuring characters and themes from different cultures and backgrounds.

The Future: Digital Coloring Books

As technology continues to evolve, so do coloring book designs. The rise of digital coloring books is transforming the landscape of coloring book trends. These digital platforms offer interactive and customizable coloring experiences, allowing users to choose from a wide array of colors and effects.


From educational tools to therapeutic aids, coloring books have evolved dramatically over the years. The evolution of coloring book designs reflects the changing interests and needs of the society we live in. As we look forward to the future, it will be interesting to see how technology and cultural shifts will continue to shape the trends and designs of coloring books.


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