Tag Archives: optical illusions

A fore-edge trick


For as much as I love my Kindles, I admit they can’t do this trick. The painting on the foreedge remains hidden until the book is opened, and then it provides a sensory pleasure that goes beyond the words. This particular volume is Autumn, by Robert Mudie, and dates to 1937. The trick is far older than that; foreedge paintings go back to the tenth century, and the earliest known disappearing foreedge paintings to 1649.

To accomplish this early Easter egg, the book would have to be clamped into a slightly splayed position, painted, allowed to dry, and then gilted on the edge when closed. Not only that, but it would have to be painted with a medium that wouldn’t stick the pages together or damage them from moisture or solvents. Perhaps the artists among us have an idea. Watercolor in the hands of a master?

This is what an enhanced book looks like in print.

First you draw the shark

But sharks don’t look like that, you say? They do when you turn them just so.

This is an anamorphic illusion, which only looks right from certain angles, and then it’s perfect.

I feel like the girl in Jurassic Park now

Spooky, huh? And it’s what your brain gets for making assumptions about face-like objects. They aren’t all convex.

Illusion and video by Brusspup, who is a genius.

Positive and Negative, an optical illusion

twofacesTell me what you see when you look at this. Then look again: does it change?

Trompe l’oeil books


Created on seven walls of Ustroń Public Library, Poland, and taking over 500 square meters, the mural shows the interiors of the Trinity College Library in Dublin.

Two of my favorite things at once: optical illusions and books!