The Wonderful World of Ed Emberley

Much loved the world over, Ed Emberley has been inspiring illustrators, young and old, since the 1970s. Either with crayon and a coloring book, or a more formal artistic approach, his incredible influence is clear.


The schematic for doodling Ed’s characters is so utterly basic you don’t even need to be able to read to understand how, yet the it produces a character with so much style and heart you can’t help but be captivated. As a kid, I remember sitting at the kitchen table with one of Emberly’s drawing books checked out from the library and I drew every single one of the illustrations in the book. Paper everywhere in disarray filled with marker doodles, I practiced and practiced.

Ed’s still quite active today, and if you’re lucky enough to be near Culver City, CA you can see an exhibition dedicated to his work at the Scion Installation until Aug 7th. The show features Ed’s original mock-ups as well as work from six artists who were influenced by his books as children too.

Here’s a few more of my illustrators whose work echos that of the great Mr. Ed (person, not horse, that is.)

The wooooonderful Christopher David Ryan.

The work of Japanese illustrator Toru Fukuda feels familiar too, even channeling the Mr. Men series.

And finally Jim Datz’simmense body of work definitely rocks this vibe with equal parts stunning color and typography.

Images sourced from Google, Contrarymary and Grickily’s photostreams, and My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses.

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Author: PitchDesign
Margot Harrington is a graphic designer, art junkie, and all-around collaborator captivated by all forms of making and doing. Her friends include oldstyle numerals, antique books and dusty suitcases, bike rides and old wacky electronics. When not designing, she does odd jobs and documents art & design on the internet at