Style: not just for copywriters anymore

Maira Kalman's version of the Strunk & White classic is now a source of comfort and joy for both halves of the creative team!

Word nerds everywhere are familiar with Strunk and White, the English grammar Bible – but American illustrator Maira Kalman’s illustrated version transforms the old tome into a fresh new work of art. Kalman found a copy of the book at a yard sale and “instantly knew that [she] would want to do an illustrated version.” She also made a video with her son to promote the book.

Maira Kalman is an author/illustrator living in NY. Her online illustrated column for the New York Times is now happily a book called The Principles of Uncertainty published by Penguin Press. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for stimulant:

How did you get involved in the project?
I found a copy of the book in a yard sale at the beach. I began to read it and instantly knew that I would want to do an illustrated version.

Were you familiar with the book beforehand?
Though I was familiar with the book, I had never actually used it. I avoid manuals of all kinds.

Any thoughts on taking such a book as a starting point for visual illustrations? What was the creative process like for you?
The writing is so full of visual humor and lyricism and elegance, that it was very easy to envision. The hard part was narrowing down the choices.

I knew I would illustrate the examples. I could have done all of them.