Understanding Illustration

Derek Brazell & Jo Davies Published by A&C Black/Bloomsbury

Understanding Illustration examines an eclectic and carefully selected set of fascinating images and projects that look at the function of illustrative imagery and the context in which it is created. Featuring an international range of top-of-their-game illustrators, the book celebrates the art and the thinking behind it.

From an illustrated lighthouse in northern Norway to an Australian beer bottle label, Understanding Illustration takes in the huge sweep that illustration covers.

Covering four sections: Documentary, Off the Printed Page, Traditional Uses and Message the book covers projects as diverse as an interactive microsite for Adobe; elephant reportage from India; following the footsteps of USA presidents; giant monsters for Mulberry; The Thousand Nights fairy tales and African American history.

From two dimensional work for books from Shaun Tan and Audrey Niffenegger to imagery from Kristjana S Williams used interactively by the public at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and through to three dimensional models created by Red Nose Studio for the USA Postal service and Nathan Jurevicius’s Scary Girl vinyl figures.

Understanding Illustration confirms that: Illustration continues to be powerful, culturally, politically, commercially;

That the individual is still important and valued in the creation of imagery;

That it contributes to other fields of knowledge working as it does with science, history, conservation;

And that it is a vast and evolving subject , constantly re-defining itself.

The authors deliver a fascinating view of what is happening with illustration at this time internationally.

Contents include:

Section 01 Traditional uses

Jane Austen book covers: Audrey Niffenegger

Eric – Tales From Outer Suburbia: Shaun Tan

The Dirties: Asaf and Tomer Hanuka

The Thousand Nights and One Night: Jan Pieńkowski

The Onion’s Great Escape: Sara Fanelli

Heart and Soul: Kadir Nelson

Feelings – Kleenex campaign: Gail Armstrong

Turning the Tables editorial: George Hardie

Nelson Beer packaging: WeBuyYourKids

Section 02 Documentary

Afghanistan: Richard Johnson

Tara the Elephant, India: George Butler

Coal and Fish Fictional Future: Anne Howeson

New Orleans, Ninth Ward project: Veronica Lawler

And The Pursuit of Happiness: Maira Kalman

The Mandarins: Christopher Corr

Scientific and Medical: Craig Foster

The Battle of Hastings: Victor Ambrus

Laing poster: Peter Grundy

Section 03 Message

Nuclear power and the Greens: Daniel Pudles

Biosphere Congress film: Steve Brodner

The Washington Spectator: Edel Rodriguez

Seattle Gay Pride: Evan Turk

Social Justice portfolio: Luba Lukova

Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition: Edu Fuentes

The Enemy: Serge Bloch

Water- UNESCO poster: Carlo Stanga

A Monster Calls: Jim Kay

Section 04 Off the printed page

Obrestad Lighthouse: Lucy McLauchlan

Garden Detectives exhibition: Jill Calder

Mulberry Monster campaign: Emma Houlston

Dievas Dunny figure: Nathan Jurevicius

Tickled Pink T-Shirts: Barbara Hulanicki

V & A Museum interactive print journey: Kristjana Williams

Adobe Creative Suite interactive website: Alex Jenkins

Deliver online magazine: Red Nose Studio

I Didn’t See It Coming video: Lesley Barnes

To purchase in the UK go here ISBN: 9781408171790

Available in the USA through Bloomsbury Academic Visual Art   ISBN-10: 1408171791 ISBN-13: 978-1408171790

The dancing star bear gracing the cover is by Lesley Barnes from the Belle and Sebastian video featured in Understanding Illustration.

“As with the authors’ other output, we can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a real piece of eye candy, which let’s admit it, we all like but more importantly, it’s crammed with insight and understanding as well as work not from ‘trend’ based illustrators but from successful current practitioners and real legends or the art such as Victor Ambrus and Ronald Searle – why their like aren’t in every other illustration book produced, we’ll never know.” –  Grillust

Book design by Simon Sharville

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