Ken Garland has long been one of our creative heroes here at It’s Nice That – he’a man who combines talent and charm with effervescent energy. So imagine our excitement when we found out that Pudkin Books – the publishers he started with wife Wanda in 2008 – were finally available online. The overarching theme of the series is “A Close Look At…” and most of them showcase Ken’s own photography, with subjects ranging from pebbles to street graphics, Mexican windows to Berlin’s Buddy Bears. But others feature John Laing’s watercolours, Lana Durovic’s photographs and most intriguing of all, utterly charming illustrations produced by Ken’s daughter Ruth when she was just a teenager (A Close Look At Playing Out).
These drawings had their genesis in Ken’s work as consultant designer for Galt Toys. Ruth’s creations adorned catalogues, stationery and signage and as Ken explains in the foreword: “It is a matter of some embarrassment to me that she was never paid for these; perhaps a mitigating factor is that she therefore retains the copyright.”
Designer Joseph Marshall and writer Sarah Snaith worked on the online launch (previously you could only order the books via handwritten paper forms) which coincided with a new website for Ken himself. At long last these charming titles should get the audience they deserve.