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Looking Good

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Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good Looking Good

Winner: Design Observer/AIGA 50 Best Books 2016

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


I am the product of a Catholic education, but I would steal this clever little volume

Gail Anderson, jury member 2016 Designer Observer/AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers competition

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

Jane Garvey, BBC Woman's Hour

An unexpectedly groovy-looking book – it’s straight out of the studio of Charles and Ray Eames – this is the perfect stocking filler

Rachel Cooke, Shelf Life, The Observer

A very sweet and bijou book… a fascinating, insightful read

It’s Nice That

Full of interesting facts for a curious mind

Eye magazine

Designer-publishers sometimes do the darnedest things… [this] will doubtless trigger your curiosity as it did mine

Steven Heller, Print magazine

This chic little volume you can imagine young architects buying for each other

Catherine Nixey, The Times

A charming (and eccentric) new flick-through

The Monocle Minute

[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

AIGA Eye on Design

If you thought that nuns wear the same thing, then think again…


A marvellously strange little tome

Rob Alderson, WeTransfer

A beautifully illustrated infographic, but in book form

Catholic News Agency

Striking graphics… interspersed with quotes and stories

The Tablet

[An] outstanding and beautiful book… I loved it.

Giles Fraser

Creative Review

  • Standard format paperback
  • 110mm × 178mm
  • 264pp
  • Perfect bound
  • Full colour throughout
  • Cover 300gsm Olin Rough
  • Text 80gsm Olin Rough