A new international trend
Color me happy
Julie Loyer
May 12, 2016

A new international trend

Coloring books for adults are now as popular a hobby as reading, crossword puzzles and sudoku! This new global trend has been growing for the last four years. Whether it is used for stress relief, entertainment, or just for fun, this fashionable phenomenon breathes new life into an industry that seeks to renew itself.

If you go into a bookstore you will now find a specific section for adult coloring books that includes every subject imaginable: from natural landscapes to abstract designs, people and even mandalas. For the world of paper and publishing, this is an unexpected growth opportunity. According to Publishers Weekly, adult coloring book sales are still one of the hottest segments in the industry. With millions of copies sold globally, this coloring book phenomenon is as popular in Europe and Canada as it is in the USA.

To our delight, these coloring books are mainly printed on quality recycled paper, which allows coloring enthusiasts to practice their art with the tools and wide range of colors that suit them. Some books even have detachable pages made of thicker paper so users can keep their best work.

This simple activity may seem childish, but actually has several benefits. Who would have thought that a notebook filled with drawings and colorful crayons was all it took to create a moment of happiness…

Coloring is multi-everything: multicultural, multilingual, multigenerational, and even multifunctional! Since it is extremely accessible and no talent or proficiency is required, it transcends all walks of life. Although it is worth noting that women show more of an interest in coloring. Whether you take minutes or hours, it is surprising how quickly time flies when you’re coloring!

The main benefit of coloring is its stress-relieving effect. Coloring is a moment for yourself, a little break for your well-being. One study suggests that coloring complex geometric shapes can silence your “inner dialogue” (Nancy Curry and Tim Kasser, Professors of Psychology, Knox College, Illinois 2004). By focusing on the patterns, users quietly let go of negative thoughts and emotions. Coloring a predetermined detailed drawing allows you to organize your internal chaos, similar to the effect of meditation.

Coloring also allows us to get immersed in the pleasure of creation. Each color, each stroke of the pen creates a unique and personal work of art. While at first this was considered a solitary hobby, there are now coloring groups that are organized between friends or within the community for people who wish to share the enjoyment of this activity.

A world away from our digital era, coloring allows us to spend quality time away from electronic gadgets. Since nothing totally escapes the omnipresence of the World Wide Web, many coloring enthusiasts choose to share their art and have it critiqued on social media. What a wonderful way to combine the enjoyment of traditional paper with the Web!