Archive for September, 2013

Illustration Awards 2013 going up!

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

The gorgeous Terrace Rooms of Somerset House are once again the setting for the latest AOI annual competition exhibition


Featuring artwork selected from the Shortlist across the eight categories of the Illustration Awards, the show has been curated by AOI’s Events and Exhibitions Manager, Helen Thomas.


Work is being hung this week for the opening of the exhibition on 2 October 2013. The show then runs until 27 October.


Last year the exhibition was visited by over 16,000 people – proof that illustration is a major draw for the public.


Call for Entries – Serco Prize for Illustration 201

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The deadline for entries is Sunday 3 November 2013

The Association of Illustrators, in partnership with London Transport Museum, is now welcoming submissions for the Serco Prize for Illustration 2014.


This year the theme is London Stories and entrants are asked to capture a well-known or lesser known narrative in a single image; all stories, current or historical, real or fictional are welcome. Stories could be those seen in a film or play, heard in poetry or music, read in literature or an urban myth.

This is an exciting challenge for artists to depict a colourful, inspiring and vibrant, multi-layered London.

The competition is open to illustrators and students throughout the world.

The top 50 entries to impress the panel of judges are displayed at the famous London Transport Museum and have a chance of winning the top prize of £2000.

For more information and to enter visit

Image by Anne Wilson, winner Serco Prize for Illustration 2011

AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition 2013

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Image: L’Abbracio - Giulia Ghigini

A free contemporary illustration exhibition  Terrace Rooms, Somerset House, London 2 – 27 October 2013

Returning to Somerset House for a second year, the AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition presents highlights from this year’s shortlist of contemporary illustration, entered by emerging and established talent to the Association of Illustrators’ (AOI) annual competition.

For the first time in the competition’s 37-year history, the shortlist includes illustrators outside of the UK to recognise the exceptional work produced by illustrators internationally and promote illustration as an essential contributor to global visual culture. The exhibition will thus feature an extraordinary range of work from the UK to USA, and Australia to Israel, covering a wide breadth of practice, including advertising, books and editorial, to reflect the broad application of illustration.

Category winners include fantasy and children’s book illustrator, Levi Pinfold, 2013 BAFTA illustrator Jonathan Burton, Israeli illustrator Merav Salomon and Chinese illustrator and animator Jun Cen. A special Awards Edition of Varoom Magazine (Varoom 23, Afterwords) will be published to coincide with the exhibition. Afterwords will celebrate the AOI Illustration Awards at Somerset House and spotlight image-makers and work that has shaped the editorial and cultural agendas and won specialist awards in 2013.

Image: L’Abbracio – Giulia Ghigini

An Evening With Oliver Jeffers

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Yesterday evening the Southbank centre was packed full of people waiting to see New York based Oliver Jeffers talk about his prolific career as an illustrator, artist and storyteller. He certainly didn’t dissapoint, entertaining the audience with an insightful glimpse into the mind of someone making a brilliant career from the world of picture books and art. Oliver filled the foyer after the talk with people queuing to get his picture books signed.

A special evening with Oliver Jeffers at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre organised by Southbank Membership in partnership with the AOI and Harper Collins.

Oliver Jeffers posted a photo of his audience on instagram after the talk

Oliver Jeffers posted a photo of his audience on instagram after the talk


Consultation on a Voluntary Code of Practice for Creating and Retaining Metadata in Images

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

This consultation was launched by the Copyright Licensing Steering Group (CLSG), which was established to oversee delivery of the recommendations from Copyright Works (the report into simplifying copyright licensing).

Metadata is electronic information that identifies the creator, owner or licensor of the rights in an image, his/her relevant contact details and the date of creation of the image (or the closest possible approximation in the case of historic material). Ideally, licensing metadata also includes an authoritative identifier to enable unambiguous communication about the image in question.

The draft Code of Practice put forward by CLSG focuses on the use and preservation of licensing metadata in images, which can have benefits for both image creators and business users. It suggests a way forward to ensure that creators can get full recognition and, where applicable, compensation for their work and users of all types can be reassured that their use of an image does not infringe copyright.

The CLSG sate that the Code “should address the issue of the creation of metadata as well as its use and that it should be sufficiently sensitive to the diverse contexts of creation and use of digital images.”

Accurate metadata which is retained with an image will help prevent an image becoming an orphan work (where the creator/rights-holder of the work cannot be traced or identified), and make it easier to search for and provide useful information on the subject and licensing availability.

AOI recognises that identification of images and connected licensing information are very important to illustrators and responded to the questions set in the consultation.

The questions covered views on metadata and AOI agreed we would support metadata’s use and preservation and encourage our members to follow the Code. Many points are raised including the issue of technology supporting the creation and maintenance of metadata, and whether or not individuals and organisations have access to the software, e.g. are users able to find metadata and are creators familiar with including it with their images?

AOI agreed the Code of Practice should specify “reasonable steps” which should be taken to ensure consistent behaviour of use and application of metadata, and that it should consist of general principles which can refer to greater detail made available if required.

AOI said the Code should include a reference to the requirement to credit the creator (moral rights) for those who are not aware of this, as well as flagging up the requirement for permission to use the image from the rightsholder.

We believe that the benefits for the images industry of a Code would be that it would provide a clear framework for creators and users to apply to their own working/business practice; act to reduce the number of Orphan Works being created, which would benefit creators and it could ensure better protection for metadata.

We noted that could be costs involved to put the Code into practice, which could include the requirement to upgrade old or current software to include elements which would provide the requisite metadata insertion for individual creators and business which sign up to the Code.

The consultation asked whether the facility to include copyright and contact metadata should be provided with future versions of smartphones to simplify the process for inexperienced users. AOI agreed this would be useful for Smartphones as any process which promotes use of accurate and beneficial metadata should be encouraged. As such a high number of images are being created from phone cameras, which will include photographs of artworks, it is important that users are aware and can easily facilitate inclusion of metadata to protect and identify their images once downloaded from their phones.

We also agreed that an awareness campaign would be essential to raise awareness outside of those organisations or individuals who are involved in direct licensing and protection of images.

The Derwent Art Prize 2013

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, SW1

Monday 16 September to Saturday 21 September

Opening times 10am until 5pm

The Derwent Art Prize

01372 462190

Derwent art prize

The Derwent Prize, which is an open opportunity for international artists, aims to reward excellence through showcasing the very best international works created in pencil. 93 works by 80 international artists have been chosen for exhibition by a panel of selectors, from nearly 3600 entries.

An exhibition of works in charcoal, pastel, graphite, water-soluble and coloured pencils will be held at the Mall Galleries, London from 16-21 September 2013.
Following the London exhibition the show will tour to venues across the UK, including the Pencil Museum in Keswick, Cumbria.

Can You Draw?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
The Journal, June/July 2001 - Illustration Jonathan Davies

The Journal, June/July 2001 - Illustration Jonathan Davies

Our exploration into the AOI publications archive continues with the 2001 June/July edition of The Journal. For this issue over 1000 illustrators, art editors, buyers and designers were posed the questions ‘Can you draw?’ and ‘What is the value of drawing within contemporary illustration?’

Some of the responses to the questions posed

Some of the responses to the questions posed

The responses cover a wide range of opinions about drawing within the practice of illustration.

Back cover from The Journal, by Margaret Brooker

Back cover from The Journal, by Margaret Brooker

Keep your eyes peeled for more posts from old AOI publications. We are aiming to make some of these available in full in the future.

Poster Art 150

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

London Undergrounds Greatest Designs
London Transport Museum
Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BB
Until Sunday 5 January 2014
Opening times Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 10am until 6pm
Friday 11am until 6pm

London Transport Museum

Review by Beth Walrond

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the worlds first underground railway, the London Transport Museum are exhibiting 150 carefully chosen posters, from the Museum’s archive of over 3,300 designs. They pay homage to Underground art from the beginning of the 20th century and range from traditionally rendered picturesque countryside scenes, to avant-garde modernist pieces.

Poster Art 150 at the London Transport Museum

Poster Art 150 at the London Transport Museum

Poster Art 150 is organised into six themes, containing an eclectic set of reasons for people to travel under the capital city, rather than alternative surface methods of transport. These range from using the Underground to escape from the chaos of city life to the peaceful countryside, to keeping warm and dry during the winter months. A pair of posters that demonstrate this are Fredrick Charles Herrick’s bright designs ‘It is warmer below’ and ‘It is cooler below’ 1926, which through the use of simple pattern and bold colour show why the underground is the best way to travel no matter what the weather.

Fredrick Charles Herrick - It is cooler below

Fredrick Charles Herrick - 'It Is Cooler Below'

John Hassall - 'No Need to ask a P'liceman', the first poster to be comissioned by Frank Pick in 1908

John Hassall - 'No Need to ask a P'liceman', the first poster to be comissioned by Frank Pick in 1908

The exhibition does not focus on a particular decade or style of poster but instead spans across the century, from the first poster comissioned by Frank Pick in 1908, to the numerous designs by prolific 1920’s artist Edward McKnight Kauffer. Fashion focused posters by Dora M Batty are not far from the surreal photographic imagery in Zoo Choice by Michael Read, 1970. The variety and stylistic range of artwork created over a period of time for this single client is fascinating; not only from an artistic perspective, but also in the way that it reflects the change in Britain’s society over the past 100 years.

Edward McKnight Kauffer - 'Power - The Nerve Centre of London's Underground'

Edward McKnight Kauffer - 'Power - The Nerve Centre of London's Underground'

Dora M Batty - 'There is Still the Country'

Dora M Batty - 'There is Still the Country'

Michael Reid - 'Zoo Choice; Flamingo'

Michael Reid - 'Zoo Choice; Flamingo'

A striking feature noticeable from even this small snippet of Underground posters is the artistic freedom given to the creators over their designs. From the style and typefaces, to the aesthetics and incorporation of the Underground logo, the posters were often the entire creation of each artist commissioned. An example of this is ‘The Quickest Way To The Dogs’ by Alfred Leete, 1927 where the Underground logo is used as a muzzle on the greyhound, and then in the twin posters produced by Man Ray, 1938 where it appears orbiting a planet. Compared to the uniformity of the adverts that line the walls of tube stations today, this sense of individuality is a refreshing insight into a world before design as we currently know it.

Alfred Leete - 'The Quickest Way to the Dogs'

Alfred Leete - 'The Quickest Way to the Dogs'

Man Ray - 'London Transport - Keeps London Going'

Man Ray - 'London Transport - Keeps London Going'

Despite the fantastic aesthetics and variety of the posters on display, one small let down of the exhibition is the viewing space in which the posters are displayed. It is not possible to step back and view each poster individually, as they are packed in wall to wall, with very little other than a corridor left in which to view them. You are left feeling slightly overwhelmed at the mass of posters, and information that accompanies each design. It could be argued that this simulates the viewing experience of a London Underground passenger, on equally cramped stations and train carriages.

The exhibition space in which the posters are displayed are reminiscent of tightly packed stations and train carriages

The exhibition space in which the posters are displayed are reminiscent of tightly packed stations and train carriages

The exhibition ends with Paul Catherall’s now iconic lino print image of the riverside Tate Modern Gallery building from 2003. This leaves visitors with a final reminder of the importance of the London Underground as a platform for introducing the public to new art movements and artists, as well as illustrators and artists to the industry, an ever strengthening relationship which has now spanned for over a centaury.

Paul Catherall - 'Tate Modern'

Paul Catherall - 'Tate Modern'

The Poster Art 150 Exhibition has been extended until 5th January 2014, because of popular demand.

Pop – An exhibition of prints by Peter Blake

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Hang Up Gallery, 56 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7PB

Until Friday 27 September 2013

Opening times Wednesday to Sunday 12pm to 6pm

Hang-up Gallery

020 3667 4552

Peter Blake

Peter Blake

The exhibition will showcase a collection of rare prints and canvas editions that the British icon has produced over the decades. From pop-inspired pin-up posters to his alphabet series, the show will highlight how Sir Peter’s earlier works continue to inspire his current practice.

The Seymour & Milton Posters Show

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Kemistry Gallery, 43 Charlotte Road, London, EC2A 3PD

Thursday 19 September – Saturday 2 November 2013

Opening times Monday to Saturday 10am until 6pm

Kemistry Gallery

020 7729 3636

The Seymour & Milton Poster Show

The Seymour & Milton Poster Show

For the first time in over 40 years, the work of Push pin studio will be on show in London. Push pin Studios were a graphic design and illustration studio formed in New York City in 1954. For twenty years Glaser and Chwast directed Push pin, becoming one the most well respected studios in the world of graphic design.

The bi-monthly publication The Push Pin Graphic was a product of their collaboration, a selection of these will be on display during the show, alongside a series of posters and rarely seen sketches from the early days of Pushpin as well as more recent work.

Push pin has gone on to become a guiding reference in the world of graphic design. Today, Chwast is principal of The Push pin Group Inc, while Milton runs his own studio in New York.

A selection of prints and posters will be available to purchase at the gallery and online, each print will be limited, signed and numbered. A poster designed by Milton & Seymour especially for the exhibition will also be available.