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!
- The effortlessly lovely hand-drawn illustrations of Paula Bulling
- Kii Monroe Arens' delicious gig posters
- Alex Paulus’ textured are full of misshapen characters in odd situations
- Taiwanese graphic designer Wang Zhi-Hong’s sublime cover designs
- Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris disect the album covers of calypso singer Mighty Sparrow
- Robots, rules and corporate identity: inside issue three of Japanese football magazine Shukyu
- Wes Anderson directs H&M Christmas advert starring Adrien Brody
- The New Look: Looking back at Roundel’s 1980s identity design for British Rail’s Railfreight
- Discussing cinema with Laura Marling on her directorial debut, Soothing
- London’s first crisp restaurant, Hipchips, launches with branding by Ragged Edge
- Richard Sandler’s street photography conveys the intricacies of city life
- A "stress opus" from cartoonist Nadine Redlich