Update: Now available in the OS Shop
It’s been almost a year since we created a series of downloadable colouring-in maps, and we’re thrilled to be able to tell you that there’s a book of OS maps to colour being released this autumn. We teamed up with Laurence King Publishing to work on the new book, The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain.
The book will take you on an immersive colouring-in journey around Great Britain, from the coasts and forests to our towns and countryside. Expect to see iconic cities, recognisable tourist spots and historical locations across England, Scotland and Wales via the 55 illustrations. The Great British Colouring Map also includes a stunning gatefold of London. We can’t wait to share it with you – it will be on shelves in October.
When I blogged last week about adult colouring in and made a selection of British city maps available for download to be coloured in – I didn’t expect to create such a stir! I’ve been thrilled to see so many of you eagerly printing the maps out and sharing your colouring in with me at OS. I’ve heard from geography teachers who are excited that their map geekery is becoming mainstream, students who are finding it the perfect break from their dissertations and map lovers across the world from Canada to Australia.
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the early part of 2015, you’ll probably be aware of the latest craze, adult colouring in. It’s possible that, like me, you’ve jumped on the craze and discovered the unexpected relaxation benefits of gradually colouring in a detailed drawing. It isn’t just a UK craze, it’s sweeping the world, as The Guardian reported: “Five of Amazon’s top 10 last week were adult colouring-in books, as were six of Brazil’s top 10 non-fiction list. Last year in France, the combined colouring-in industry sold 3.5m books.”
With the growth in technology and social media meaning we are all available 24/7 and spending increasing hours of the day looking at screens, some time out spent colouring in can be hugely beneficial. There does seem to be some science behind the trend with numerous psychologists admitting that when it comes to relaxation, colouring has surprisingly scientific results.
When we’re running around at work or home making decisions and solving problems, we use beta brainwaves, which take up a lot of mental energy. The brain can’t sustain this mode, it would be like keeping up the speed of a 100m sprint for a prolonged period. We need to slow down to a mental jog and use alpha brainwaves instead. Some people find it hard to slow down, but activities like colouring can actually help put the brain into alpha mode. It gives the brain something simple to focus on.