The adult coloring book movement has taken the publishing world by storm and many adult coloring books have landed on bestseller lists. Coloring books have grown in popularity for professionals as a way to decrease workplace stress, and it looks like the trend is here to stay. But, if a new iOS App launched this week called MyPingo has its way, adult coloring books are about to leave the printed page behind -- which is good news for consumers and the environment.
There are several things that make this App different from the competition and may predict its success. In the past, the biggest problem with coloring book Apps has been the lack of a physical pencil. However, with the introduction of the new Apple Pencil that works with devices like the iPad Pro, that barrier has been erased. Users can now get the same amount of control and sensory feedback that they would get with a box of colored pencils. While this may be disappointing news for the world's pencil manufacturers, who recently declared double-digit growth due to the color book phenomenon, it is good news for trees.
However, the reason I think this App is poised to succeed where other virtual coloring pages have not, is that they have partnered with the top coloring book imprint publisher Blue Star Coloring. Through this collaboration, MyPingo will be able to utilize 40 of Blue Star's top illustrators to feed content to their App and its users. This will allow users to enjoy the intricate drawings of some of the best-selling coloring book artists on the market.
The App promises to update its content library often with new illustrations from the artist community (unlike similar apps that utilize stock imagery and don't update regularly). "MyPingo provides illustrators and users a community to showcase their work in a new and exciting digital medium," said co-founder Kevin Bovee. "Unlike other Apps in this space that offer stock illustrations, MyPingo's content is sourced from the latest and most popular coloring books available in book stores today."
"We are also creating a living community connecting our users with the illustrators who actually created the line drawings we offer," says Bovee. To this end they encourage consumers to share their illustrations on social media and connect directly with the artists.
The App is free to download, but it only comes with basic options for tools and content. Users can purchase a ProKit for a one-time payment that gives them additional options for coloring. In-app purchases using Pings, MyPingo's virtual currency, allows users to purchase additional illustrations.
Like many forward-thinking startups, MyPingo has a social responsibility component as well. With an eye on bettering the arts community, the creators of MyPingo have pledged to donate 1% of sales or 10% of pre-tax profit -- whichever is greater -- to an independent charitable entity tasked with promoting Literacy through Art. Creativity grants will be awarded to selected artists annually starting in Spring 2017. More information about these endeavors is available at MyPingo.com.
Whether you enjoy coloring as a hobby or are intrigued by the much-touted therapeutic benefits, the MyPingo App allows you to color anywhere, anytime without getting paper cuts. The only question is, will you be willing to share it with your kids?