How often do you get the chance to celebrate books, donate to a good cause and acquire a cool T-shirt – all at once? Not often, am I right?
So I was pleased to discover – via a Facebook share by Maggie Sullivan, aka AustenBlog – a Massachusetts-based company called Litographs.
Litographs sells T-shirts, tote bags and posters featuring illustrations designed to evoke 126 works of literature, from The Kama Sutra to The Secret Garden. For every item sold, they donate a book to the International Book Bank, which supplies books to charities in the developing world.
For my taste, Litograph’s designs vary in quality – I’m crazy about the Wuthering Heights; the Jane Eyre not so much – but the cool part is that all the images are constructed out of the words of the books themselves. With a magnifying glass, or a computer zoom, you can read the text.
Needless to say, Jane Austen is well-represented, with designs for Emma, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. My critique: the Emma is a bit bland and the P&P is downright weird (is it just me, or does that tree look like it has breasts?) But the S&S is mysterious and lovely, and the Persuasion downright breathtaking.
If your favorite book is not yet represented (calling all Northanger Abbey fans!) you can suggest it to the designers. Vote now, and it might be available by the holidays. . .