• 09.20.12

See the Elements Of The Periodic Table Drawn As People

Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji wrote a new book about the periodic table, unlike any you’ve ever seen before. (That goes for you too, chemistry nerds.)

Oh, the things you can accomplish with a working knowledge of chemistry besides creating a mobile meth lab!


Bunpei Ginza, the company run by Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji, has released a book that personifies the elements of the periodic table. In Wonderful Life with the Elements, each of the 118 known elements is represented by distinct characters, who have some factual basis. Whether its Helium, who’s depicted riding a zeppelin, or Boron, whose hair exhibits the cockroach-killing properties we’ve come to know and love from the element, each character is based on either chemical properties of the element in question, or historical data from the time it was discovered. The drawings are rendered in a style similar to the one Yorifuji employed in 2009’s subway etiquette ads in Tokyo.

It’s the science book you wish you had as a kid, and should probably still be thankful to have now.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.