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Issue Date: December 2012

Fine Lines

Jeremy Smith's new Cleveland architecture coloring book makes you want to reach for a 64-count box of Crayolas.
Elisabeth Geisse

Designer Jeremy Smith always found city guidebooks stuffy. So, he created a much more fun way to discover our architectural landmarks — tour by crayon.

His Cleveland Architecture Coloring Book features more than 30 buildings, including the Terminal Tower. Smith initially wanted simply to connect young people with architecture, but soon realized the project was much more.

"It became apparent that it could act as a playful companion, an architectural catalogue and a city guide," he says.

Smith, a 2007 graduate of Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, had created the colorable images as a side project while working at URS Cleveland, when the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects contacted him about making a coloring book.

Alex Nosse, owner of Joy Machines, says the book quickly disappeared from his store's shelves. "Everyone seems really excited about the concept," he says. "Even those who don't buy them ... page through it."

Smith is now focused on his own company, designbelt, which recently released a second edition of the Cleveland Architecture Coloring Book. He's also working on a coloring book for Robert Maschke Architects. Smith says he knew it was a hit when he gave Maschke's 6-year-old daughter a picture of one of her father's buildings.

"The next day I had something on my wall," he laughs. "She colored the page for me as soon as she got it."

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