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Monday, 4 October 2010

V&A Visit Part 2 - Illustration Awards

One of the main reasons for my visit to the V and A Museum was to see the winners of the Annual V&A Illustrations awards. Held yearly, they are to highlight the best book and editorial illustration published in the UK. One of the best things about the competition is that it is free to enter, as many of the best competitions do come with a hefty entry fee, and if you are not as established as you want it does seem like a high price to pay.
There are four categories to enter:

Student Illustrator Award

This years winner is Hanshen Gu, with three pieces entitled 'How does transport kill my life?'


Holding a degree in Graphic Design, he is currently studying for an MA in Communication Design at Central Saint Martins.
He explores the uneasy but dependent relationship we have with the machines we use to transport us everyday. 'Most parts of my work are chosen from my sketchbook. There are many illustrations in it relating to public transport … I try to express my feelings and emotions when I spend too much time on it.'



Editorial Award Winner

My favourite winner, Matthew Richardson's Illustration 'Phantom Space Storm' won the editorial award.


The illustration accompanies a New Scientist article which explores the effects that storms in outer space have on the weather patterns within the Earth's atmosphere.
Matthew Richardson studied Graphic Design at Middlesex University (wooo!), Illustration at Central Saint Martins and more recently gained an MA in Fine Art at UWIC, Cardiff. He exhibits his work nationally and has won several awards from the Association of Illustrators. The artist is regularly asked to contribute editorial illustrations to the New Scientist for scientific concepts.

Book Cover Award Winner

Marion Deuchars produced a range of cover illustrations for Penguin's recently republished series of George Orwell titles and it was her cover design for Burmese Days that really won the judges.


The artist creates the cover's identity through a combination of collage and hand-painted elements. The large, imposing panel of predesigned typography that runs through the whole Penguin Modern Classics series is cleverly interwoven into the overall cover design. The cover also contains delicate elements such as the photo printed in pink to create the feel of a Burmese sunset.


 I also really like these covers, they seem so delicate yet strikingly eye catching at the same time.

The Illustrated Book Award and Overall Winner

The overall winner this year was Susan Carr with her innovative use of letterpress printing to form the illustrations for her book 'How to Drink'.



Using only two colours throughout, I loved her simple illustrations and her page layouts.



Carr took inspiration from the work of the Dutch artist and typographer H.N. Werkman: 'I tried to create images by abstracting the letterforms. The textured quality achieved in woodblock printing gives character and warmth to the print, which helps the illustrations feel lively and animated.'

arr graduated with a BA Honours degree in Graphic Design from Kingston University in 2003. She currently works within a small team of multi-disciplinary designers at Here Design agency based in east London. She has worked for a variety of design studios dealing with clients such as Waitrose, Green & Black's, Fortnum & Mason, Nude, and We Are What We Do.

The winning work is on display until January, so you have plenty of time to go check them out, although be warned it is a trek to find them in the museum, they are located on the 3rd floor!

Entry for next years awards is open until December, which I'm considering entering . . .

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