We’ve not written a book review in AGES and this one’s just a little bit different to our usual fare.
Home Sweet Home is a children’s book – recommended for ages 5+. However, even as adults, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it… and, as regular readers will know, we appreciate and collect iconic children’s books!
Published earlier this month (October 2017), it was written by Mia Cassany and beautifully illustrated by Paula Blumen.
Throughout the 40 pages, you’re shown around various interiors & exteriors from around the world – guided by the pets-in-residence.
There’s Eva the St Bernard in Iceland, Coco the cat in Brooklyn… there’s even a tortoise named Taiki who lives in Kyoto, Japan!
This book is a really fun way for kids (and grown-ups!) to find out about other parts of the world. It teaches facts such as San Francisco is very hilly, Giethoorn in the Netherlands is car-free and that houses in Ibiza are painted white to reflect the light and keep them cool.
It’s a book that warrants plenty of return visits.
It’s such a charming read…
…and the illustrations are full of lovely detail that reveal something new every time you flick through the pages.
This book is a fantastic Christmas or birthday present for any pet-loving, budding interior decorator!
Home Sweet Home is available from the publishers in UK/Europe & US/Canada and from Amazon, The Book Depository and Waterstones.
[Many thanks to Ellen at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the review copy]
We tend to feature vintage and mid-century modern artists and designers in our Designer Desire series. However, the work of Sara Tyson stopped me in my tracks. Tyson is an award-winning Canadian graphic designer and illustrator with over 30 years’ experience. Her work has graced the pages of periodicals such as Harvard Business Review, National Endowment for the Humanities, Smithsonian Magazine and The Washington Post.
She says she’s inspired by early Christian and Byzantine art and I think she has a similarity in style to one of my favourite artists, Stanley Spencer – especially Shipbuilding. A selection of her work is available to purchase from the i Spot website (link below). I’d really like copies of her ’12 Days of Christmas’ series of holiday greeting cards; they’re beautiful!
Additional image credits:
Behance | Creative Finder | i Spot
We often feature a Scandinavian designer whose heyday was the 50s to the 70s in our weekly Designer Desire series. Surprise, surprise – this week we’ve chosen a young, contemporary, award-winning, British illustrator, Owen Davey!
Owen trained at Falmouth University and is currently based in Leicester. He has a long list of prestigious and diverse clients including Facebook, Google, Sony, AirBnB, Transport for London, Lego, The Guardian, New York Times, National Geographic, the BBC, GQ, Stella Artois, EasyJet, Virgin, Jamie Oliver, Microsoft and Unilever.
Owen describes his style as, “Stylised. Friendly. Retro. Colourful. Narrative” and is inspired by, “Life, nature and aesthetics”.
He has designed the graphics for the TwoDots puzzle game and even finds the time to be in a band!
He has work available to buy in his shop. His illustrated children’s books can be found on Amazon.
Have a look at this amazing time-lapse video below of his work process creating his beautiful Dungeness crab.
You can see more of his work on his Instagram feed
or you can follow him on Twitter
Count Renato Zavagli-Riccardelli, better known as René Gruau (1909-2004), was born in Rimini, Italy. He was probably the most well known fashion illustrator of his time – at least, his works are. Prolific in his output during his lengthy career, his work graced the covers and pages of fashion magazines such as Marie-Claire, Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar. He produced illustrations for a string of haute couture fashion houses; most famously Dior, but also Givenchy, Lanvin, Balmain, Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli and Elizabeth Arden. He also designed advertising posters and other material for brands such as Air France, Martini, Cinzano, Du Maurier, Rodier, Blizzand and Fellini’s film, La Dolce Vita.
His work is widely available online, from original artwork and prints on Artnet and 1st Dibs to reproduction items on eBay and Etsy. A handful of books have been published about the man and his designs – available on Amazon.
Additional image credits:
Christies | Gruau Collection
Having not grown up in the UK, Jan Pieńkowski unfortunately passed me by until recently. Luckily, I’ve discovered his wonderful, award-winning illustrations as an adult.
Today’s kids will know him as the co-creator (with Helen Nicoll) of Meg and Mog. People of my age, will know his earlier graphic work from his time working on the BBC’s Watch children’s programme in the early 70s – where he first met Nicoll.
We just have to share the the Jessie Gertrude Townsend’s limerick that accompanied his illustration in their Annie, Bridget and Charlie collaboration… you’ll know why!
H is for Horrid young Hannah,
Who has the most shocking bad manner.
She went out to dine
With a party of nine
And she ate every single banana.
His illustrated children’s books (many of which are still in publication) are readily available on WHSmith, Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Click here to see some more of our Designer Desire series.
Alan Fletcher (1931-2006) was one of the true giants of 20th century graphic design. He is the legend that designed the logos of news agency, Reuters and the V&A museum.
He designed book & magazine covers and illustrations for publishers such as Penguin, Time, Life and Fortune. He designed advertising material for brands such as Pirelli, Olivetti and Cunard. He even designed the cover artwork for Pulp’s 2001 album, We Love Life.
Fletcher was one of the five original founders of Pentagram, today the world’s largest independent design consultancy. He was an art college contemporary of, amongst others, David Gentleman, Terence Conran, Peter Blake and Peter Firmin.
There are examples of his Mebel clam ashtrays, books, postcards and limited-edition prints available on eBay and Etsy.