More than the spot space in your weekend paper, illustration is the device for visual comment and narrative, with an exciting, process-driven, amalgamating power for new and old technology. Zeitgeist motifs have popped up and classics have persisted and all the time illustrators are drawing figuratively, literally, referentially, and with originality. Here are the It’s Nice That stand-out illustrators of 2011…
A couple honourable mentions firstly to children’s book stalwart Quentin Blake who was awarded the Prince Philip Designers Prize, Atelier Olschinsky whose Cities series achieved some of our most excitable illustration stats of the year, and David Sparshott who, having worked on both It’s Nice That and New Studio London projects, has proven himself a go-to guy for sharp reportage illustration.
After being selected as our May Student of the Month, Sophy Hollington then went on to complete some notable commissions from the British Craft Council and the cover of the New York Times Sunday Review. She was also part of our new-look It’s Nice That magazine, her pull-out comic titled Nice fulfilling everything and more about what we expect people to look like if they were to pull ectoplasm out of their eyes.
Noma Bar has been a real fixture on many platforms for illustration during 2011. Unsurprisingly for us it was the double-take covers of the Don DeLillo collection that we art directed which shone, admittedly because it won the Brand/Series Identity category at the British Book Design and Production Awards 2011 (hip hip). But also his brilliant laser-cut installation exhibition Cut It Out at Outline Editions, and a mighty campaign for ITV Drama made it a belting year for Bar. Sterling stuff.
Sarah Maycock was selected as one of our The Graduates 2011 showcase (which had something to do with a massive bear) and her quick painterly, style of reportage and character-based illustration has clearly attracted more people than us this year. An Imogen Heap music video and some serious editorial spreads for a David Attenborough article cemented her applicability to the world, and finally, she created a Granimator pack for the It’s Nice That collection with Ustwo. Sweet!
- Casper Balslev shows ballerinas wielding AK-47s in his ad for the Royal Danish Theatre
- An unusual custom typeface and great layouts for new print mag Migrant
- Bold, minimal-leaning graphic design from hot new studio Vrints-Kolsteren
- Daniel Savage’s monochrome animation plays with geometry and space
- Waverly Labs launches an earpiece that translates languages in real time
- Why London studio Julia is off to Brazil, to see a mid-century magazine through modern eyes
- Anna Ginsburg explores sex and female orgasms in this hilarious animation (NSFW)
- Arne Svenson’s portraits of his New York neighbours taken through apartment windows
- Milton Glaser: we talk drawing, ethics, Shakespeare and Trump with the graphic design legend
- The Co-op returns to its old “clover leaf” logo from the 1960s
- Strange posters and superb typography from Venetian studio Tankboys
- Should designers specialise early, or have a “portfolio career”?