Children’s books are often a singular entity as far as fiction is concerned; everybody remembers their favourite, but you’d be hard-pressed to explain why, for example, a caterpillar with an insatiable appetite appealed to millions of children. So you can only give an appreciative nod to the illustrators and designers looking to capture the ineffable in creating those much-loved tomes.
London-based designer and art director Charlotte Heal is one such creative; her portfolio is mainly populated with art, fashion and editorial projects for clients including Love magazine, V&A publishing and Random House among others, but in the mix is a children’s story called The Mushroom Picker by David Robinson which Charlotte designed. Using photo-sensitive images called luminograms, she created a visual counterpart to the story, which is based on a series of mushroom characters in an English wood. The result is a sweetly haunting and curious book which pairs contemporary design with a folk-inspired story in an utterly unique way. Designing for children’s books may not an easy genre to master, but Charlotte has done it exceptionally well.