Latest Issue

Sam Leith explores the art of the nappy

By Tom Chatfield  

Baby with generic animal on nappy

In this month’s Cultural Notes column, now free to read online, Sam Leith addresses that most troubling of modern semiotic issues: the meaning of the ornamentations  on nappies. Given that babies’ experiences date back, by definition, almost exactly no time at all, why are the images on their nappies and toys so relentlessly retro? Given that they must be intended solely for the eyes of parents, why are winsome animals considered so integral to the business…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect