Ultimate Guide to Coloring Books

The ONE place for you to know everything about coloring books

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Why We Wrote This Guide

Coloring has been around for some time and let’s face it, there are now more resources for coloring than you can think of.

However, few spend the time to provide a quality resources and reference guide for you to use.

Especially since there are thousands of products.

From Adult Coloring Books, to Colored Pencils to Markers to Sharpers.

Thinking about all the coloring books and comparing all of them will not only make your head spin, but it will also make you spend a lot of money.

So we did the work of helping you know more about different coloring books to make it easy for you.

Click on any of the sections below to get started or simply select the guide that’s right for you.

We hope you enjoy it and share it with others

History of Coloring Books

Paint books and coloring books started in the United States as part of the “democratization of art” process, inspired by a series of lectures by British artist Joshua Reynolds, and the works of Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and his student Friedrich Fröbel.

Many educators found that regardless of background, students stood to benefit from art education as a means of enhancing their conceptual understanding of the tangible, developing their cognitive abilities, and improving skills that would be useful in finding a profession, as well as for the children’s spiritual edification.

The McLoughlin Brothers are credited as the inventors of the coloring book we know today, when, in the 1880s, they produced The Little Folks’ Painting Book, in collaboration with Kate Greenaway. They continued to publish coloring books until the 1920s, when the McLoughlin Brothers became part of the Milton Bradley Company.

Another pioneer in the genre was Richard F. Outcault. He authored Buster’s Paint Book in 1907, featuring the character of Buster Brown, which he had invented in 1902. It was published by the Stokes Company. This launched a trend to use coloring books to advertise a wide variety of products, including coffee and pianos.

It was until the 1930s, that the books were designed with the intent for them to be painted instead of colored. Even when crayons came into wide use in the 1930s, books were still designed so that they could be painted or colored.

Levels of Coloring Books

You know about Coloring Books now and most likely you’ve colored before. When I say before, it’s most likely when you were younger.

But the Coloring Pages are different for kids than they are for adults.

So here are the different levels of coloring:

kids coloring books

Kids

There are Coloring Books made for kids. Children Coloring Books are often simple and with a lot of wide open areas to color. It also has thicker lines so it’s easier to stay within the lines. The Coloring Books often have illustrations of children’s cartoons like Disney, or Animals or Toys.

Adults

As you know, there’s been a surge of coloring books for adults around 2015. The Adult Coloring Books contain pages that are a bit more complicated than children’s coloring pages and come in a variety of designs and patterns.

advanced coloring books

Advanced

At the end of the list is the advanced coloring books. These are the books that are more detailed and have complicated illustrations Whether it’s mandalas or a scene, the advanced coloring pages allow for the artist to spend more time with the page.

Types of Coloring Books

When you’re choosing coloring books, there are many ways to go around it. At the very basic level, it is the paper quality.

Bond Paper

Bond Paper is pretty much printer paper. A lot of kids, beginner and lower quality coloring books are printed on bond paper. These types of paper mean the pages are lighter and therefore cheaper when you buy the books.

These paper is largely for colored pencils and crayons.

Card Stock

The next level up from bond paper is card stock. Card Stock paper is more thicker than regular paper. Depending on the different types of stock (thickness) it starts at 90lb. The Monthly Coloring Club card stock is made with 110lb card stock.

The benefit of card stock is that you can use colored pencils, crayons, markers and for some even watercolor.

Online & Digital Downloads

Often when you color, you get the books either in person or through online. Sometimes if you want a custom design, therapeutic designs or different design that what’s locally available, you can get digital coloring pages online in a jpeg or PDF format.

These coloring pages allow you to download it to your computer and print it on any paper you prefer.

One Sided

An important consideration when selecting coloring books are whether or not the pages are one sided. This means there’s illustration on only one side of the pages. While it does depend on the paper, having a one sided coloring books allow you to color with markers without it bleeding onto the next page.

Spiral Bound

If you color often you’ll know that coloring at the fold of the book (where the book folds) is difficult. This is true especially if there are a lot of important details there.

When coloring in that area in an average coloring book you’ll know the books don’t lay flat, making it more difficult to color.

That’s why having a spiral bound or cerlox bound books like Monthly Coloring Club coloring books allow the coloring pages to lay flat while coloring.

Other Forms of Coloring

You know about Coloring Books now and most likely you’ve colored before. But there are more things to color than just books.

So here are the different forms of coloring:

Coloring Books

Books

From individual coloring pages to full coloring books. These coloring books have a lot of options with different types of paper.

Coloring Poster

Posters

Coloring Posters are pretty much a large coloring page. These posters can be as little as twice the size of a coloring book to a giant coloring mural.

Coloring Cards

Cards

Coloring Cards are simple forms of coloring with a message. Often these cards have the coloring area on the front. The greeting cards come in many shapes and sizes.

coloring calendar

Calendars

Coloring Calendars are a great way to color often. They have coloring by the day, week or month. These coloring calendars also vary in shapes and sizes.

Choose Your Adventure

What do you want to discover more about

Best Coloring Books

See the updated list of the best coloring books from around the world

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New Coloring Books

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Types of Coloring Books

See the different types of coloring books based on your preference

Card Stock
One Sided
digital / online
Spiral bound
For Gift
For markers

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Coloring Page Designs

Explore different coloring page designs and themes from different artists

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Coloring Book Artists

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Coloring for your health instead?

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