From Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music to Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mother Teresa (now St Teresa of Calcutta), nuns occupy a special place in popular consciousness as figures of fondness, fun, strictness, purity and grace. Many of us identify nuns by their deceptively simple form of dress – few of us understand, however, that the habit is also a visual code.
A collaboration between GraphicDesign&, Cambridge theology graduate Veronica Bennett and graphic illustrator Ryan Todd, Looking Good: A visual guide to the nun’s habit identifies and illustrates the dress of more than 40 Catholic communities of nuns and sisters. It catalogues and compares this ‘extra ordinary’ religious clothing, explaining its components, significance and distinguishing identifiers. The accompanying text, incorporating visions and miracles, high drama and humble beginnings, persecution and insurrection, reveals how the story of the habit is also that of the struggle between the powerful and the poor; of politics, social care and the role of women; and of the interplay between culture, fashion and faith.
In Looking Good, graphic design and illustration are employed with clarity and charm to decipher this most enduring and evocative form of visual identity – and present it for fresh appreciation at a time when it appears to be in demise.
[GD&'s] latest title is perhaps their most weird, wonderful, and personal. The striking illustrations are accompanied by clever signage and thoughtfully compiled facts including each institution’s ethos, charisma, global reach and interesting asides
A fascinating work of reference on a subject to which you’ve almost certainly never paid much mind… The book itself, like the habits it analyzes, is a form of information design. Looking Good [is] an unexpectedly interesting graphic standards manual
A wonderful little book … a visual feast
An unexpectedly groovy-looking book – it’s straight out of the studio of Charles and Ray Eames – this is the perfect stocking filler
A very sweet and bijou book… a fascinating, insightful read
Full of interesting facts for a curious mind
Designer-publishers sometimes do the darnedest things… [this] will doubtless trigger your curiosity as it did mine
This chic little volume you can imagine young architects buying for each other
A charming (and eccentric) new flick-through
[GraphicDesign&] have upped the ante with its latest release […] It's probably the most accessible peek into that cloistered world as we’re likely to get
If you thought that nuns wear the same thing, then think again…
A marvellously strange little tome
A beautifully illustrated infographic, but in book form
Striking graphics… interspersed with quotes and stories
[An] outstanding and beautiful book… I loved it.
- Standard format paperback
- 110mm × 178mm
- Perfect bound
- Full colour throughout
- Cover 300gsm Olin Rough
- Text 80gsm Olin Rough