Illustration Nation


The capital city is in the spotlight this year with the London 2012 Olympics. London has a number of iconic landmarks and motifs including the Beefeater, the Red London Bus and Big Ben, but as a city at the cutting edge of art and design, its visual identity is often in flux. Tradition and modernity have always co-existed in London and the city's diverse identity is represented on these covers.
  • London Night and Day

    Post-war London made great head way in dispelling the gloom and austerity of the 1940s through bright colourful design and stylised, comical illustrations. This cover, from 1951, features lively depictions of London’s attractions. The designer has divided the cover diagonally, showing London Night and Day in light and shade. The sky blue background and simple but bright colour scheme add to the books optimism and exuberance.

  • New Sights of London

    A new, stylish, 1960s London is represented here. Contemporary architecture and modern sculpture feature on this cover alongside a cool, new typeface and bold colours. This cover is all about Britain creating a positive, progressive vision of the future. The illustration of a crane on the left hand side of this cover shows that this new Britain is not static, but is part of an on-going process of growth.

  • The Street Markets of London

    London is not all about being modern and this depiction from 1936 shows one of its oldest traditions: the street market. The photographs in this book are by the famous Hungarian artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and as such they offer a fresh, outsiders look at this important part of London life. The cover image used here portrays the bustling, sociable nature of the market and the street market link is enhanced by the use of a yellow triangle, like a price tag, to display the title.

  • n Encyclopaedia of London

    The idea of London old and new is captured in this book cover. New London, in the form of the BT Tower, is viewed through a section of an old London wall. The simple but clever composition of this photograph shows these two disparate parts of London rubbing along side by side, summing up the ever changing nature of the city.

  • Instead of Cars

    Featuring the iconic red London bus, this book discusses alternatives to the car as a mode of transport. Using the red of the bus, this book has continued with red highlights on a black and white photograph to draw attention to important areas. Selectively colouring images can be a good way to select specific ideas or areas within a picture.

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