Friday, July 30, 2010

Illustration Ltd featured in Design Week

Out there | Features | Design Week
Illustration agencies are beating the downturn by looking outside their traditional client base and taking their artists to the people, using everything from social media to exhibitions and murals. Garrick Webster reports
Harry Lyon-Smith is smiling. He runs Illustration Ltd and the first six months of 2010 have been some of the best in the agency’s history.
espite the economic downturn, the much-predicted ’death of print’, the increase in the use of stock imagery, the rise of digital photography and everything else the illustration market has faced in recent years, there’s still plenty of opportunity.
Agencies have changed their approach, with the focus shifting to creating fan bases for their artists. A good example is Illustration Ltd’s weekly Scrapbook e-mail. Each one offers a short-but-sweet interview with an illustrator, a look inside their studio, and some personal work. ’We are individualising things more, making them into personalities and heroes. Perhaps it helps to understand the person behind the great work. That dovetails with a whole lot of Twitter, Facebook, blogging and Linked in,’ explains Lyon-Smith.
Social media activity is being wonderfully exploited by Central Illustration Agency too. Before the recession it invested in an online shop, selling affordable prints to fans of its artists. ’The CIA Shop launch strategy was the catalyst that moved the agency into the world of PR, social media, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Without the need to push an online shop I think we would still be catching up with the times,’ says agency manager Alicja McCarthy.
Selling prints was just the beginning. Generating a market for illustration among the public at large is now just as important as appealing to art directors in the traditional markets of advertising, publishing and editorial. CIA now co-ordinates projects like the Pop-Up Pirates Bar in Hoxton. The illustration collective Pirates refitted and hand-decorated an entire pub in colourful type for the Mothership Group. For McCarthy, the future looks exciting. ’We hope to start working with hotels on interior design projects, continue to collaborate with companies and institutions, to give talks, to develop the shop items and to put on some great shows and parties,’ she says.
Another agency striving to get illustration seen in the real world is Higginson Hurst. It’s much smaller than CIA or Illustration Ltd and, according to one of its two co-founders, James Hurst, this keeps overheads low, making the agency cost-effective for recession-strapped clients. Alongside winning commercial briefs, it takes full advantage of events such as Pick Me Up, the applied arts show held at London’s Somerset House in April.
Representing eight artists, Hurst and co-founder Kate Newbold-Higginson use their other ventures to gain exposure for their illustrators and incubate new talent. Newbold-Higginson is director of Print Club London, a screen-printing studio used by numerous artists. When Print Club runs an exhibition, Higginson Hurst illustrators can very easily get involved.
Meanwhile, Hurst runs Cure Studio which specialises in curating art shows and events. Some of the talent comes from the Higginson Hurst stable, collaborating with other artists. Projects include The Big Antidote, a pass-the-pen project where 100 creatives each draw panels of a comic book story, and the Hoxton Hoarding Project, currently displaying work by various illustrators on Old Street in London.
Reaching the illustration consumer is what it’s all about. ’It’s vital that the final buyer is actually engaging with the work of our illustrators,’ says Newbold-Higginson. ’An ad agency may well employ one of my guys, but it’s Joe Bloggs who buys our prints at Print Club, and who also responds to, for example, a brand that has used our illustrator for a big campaign. So, it’s integral that the consumer on every level is familiar with their work.’
According to Pocko founder Nicola Schwartz, his company just had one of its best years yet. Part-publishing company, part-online community and part-creative consultancy, Pocko initiates projects where clients benefit from illustration in more indirect ways, and are seen to foster creativity. It recently set up an ’artists foundation’ for Italian energy giant Eni which involved Eduardo Recife, Joey HiFi, Nomoco, Hennie Haworth and Staffan Larsson. The artists worked on corporate material, riffed on the company logo and provided online imagery.
The Museum of Small Things saw Pocko artists create a museum within Selfridges’ London store, filling it with handmade objects to engage consumers with the department store’s brand, and with creativity. More out-and-about projects are on the way, including a photographic exhibition called Light Still Works. ’In the near future, we are planning to produce a variety of on-site work, from in-store displays to public installations,’ says Schwartz.
Today’s best illustration agencies are doing a lot more than schmoozing art directors, updating portfolios and booking space in the regular directories. It’s now all about getting illustration out there, so watch out for the iPhone app coming from Higginson Hurst, and Illustration TV at the Illustration Ltd website. ’We’re being found by people who aren’t yet commissioning, but in the fullness of time they might be,’ Lyon-Smith says. ’Hopefully, it helps us build the association of quality with this brand and with all the artists within it. We’ve definitely had work from our Facebook group, which is quite exciting.’

Harry Lyon-Smith notes: very nice to have the first and last word on a great article. Thank you Garrick and Design Week

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Robert Carter's Scrapbook

Ontario based artist Robert Carter tells of how Norman Rockwell was, and still is his biggest influence in regards to illustration.

Robert Carter's Scrapbook

Publicis posts 28% profit and Levy calls 'end of economic crisis'

We like seeing news like this:

Publicis posts 28% profit and Levy calls 'end of economic crisis'

Publicis Group, owner of Starcom MediaVest, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, has said that profit for the first half of the year leapt by 27.5% to €213m (£178m) and that it is upbeat about growth in the next two years.
Maurice Levy: chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe Maurice Levy: chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe
The rise in profit came on the back of an increase in revenue of 14.9% to €2.5bn. In Europe, revenue rose by 3.1% to €805m.
In an ebullient mood, Maurice Levy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, said the move into digital had given the company a decisive lead over competitors, along with its investment in emerging markets.
He said: "Without lapsing into the euphoria that these half­-year results for our group might warrant, I remain firmly convinced that Publicis Groupe will succeed in outperforming the market in terms of both growth and margin."
Levy said forecasts published for 2011 and 2012 by Publicis' media agency ZenithOptimedia "boded well for growth".

Publicis said new business wins for the six months totalled over $2bn (£1.3bn). Accounts it picked up include: the Nokia and French Connection global creative briefs, awarded to Fallon; the Kraft/Cadbury global media account, which went to Starcom MediaVest; and the UK Blackberry brief, now handled by Leo Burnett.
It is the second upbeat set of figures released by Publicis this year. The first-quarter results showed a rise in revenue of 8.1% to €1.2bn.

Levy, in a press conference, said: "The growth came from both new business and existing clients raising their ad spending.
"We really have the feeling of being at the end of economic crisis, or even having put it completely behind us."

Harry Lyon-Smith comments that when a lot of illustrators work comes from the Ad agency world, news like this not only confirms Illustration Ltd's experience, but is good news for all illustrators and creative suppliers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

John Walsom's Scrapbook

Introducing architectural artist John Walsom. Capturing quintessential London, here he shares some of his creative inspiration John Walsom's Scrapbook

Rebel Trouser

Alan Baker is the artist behind this magnetic film, one of a trilogy of "Trouser" films which are humourous and dark movie shorts.

The project sees Alan mix a variety of art mediums with Super 8 film, such as bleaching, paint and airbrush thus pushing the creative limitations of the Super 8 cartridge. This installment entitled "Rebel Trouser" mixes horror with humour and the absurd.

Tallon Brightens Next

Ben Tallon once again wows us with his raw and urban illustrations.

This time he turns his talented hand at brightening up the High Street with this image, it's one of two which are currently gracing the walls of the new Next Store recently opened on Bond Street. These bold images will soon be used in various stores across the country.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Intelligent Life Portrait

This lively portrait was illustrated by the wonderful Kathryn Rathke who has been a regular contributor to the superb Intelligent Life Magazine.

The new summer issue contains two illustrations by Kathryn; a portrait of the author Graham Greene, and this one of Jil Sanders, head designer of Uniqlo. Here we see how Jil Sanders's profession is highlighted with the simplest of touches using the tape and cloth swatch.

Edgy Fashion Style

Keep your eyes peeled this month for this gorgeous image completed by Miminne as a series of four illustrations for Company Magazine.

Miminne who has recently joined Illustration Ltd, was the ideal choice with her edgy fashion style. She created these images to run alongside a four page feature of short stories written by celebrities.

Masha Karpushina's Scrapbook

Russian born, London-based illustrator Masha Karpushina shares the inspiration and influences in her "magically unpredictable" world.

Masha Karpushina's Scrapbook

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tianyin Wang for Stylist: How Cycling Got Chic

Tianyin has just completed this illustration for Stylist Magazine which was out yesterday. Some handy tips on dressing, accessorizing, choosing a bicycle and where to use it!

To read this week's Stylist click here
Tianyin's work is featured on pages 34 & 35

See Tianyin's full portfolio here

Karpushina’s Collaboration

"I think this is the beginning of a really great relationship" are Masha Karpushina words of her collaboration with the very talented photographer Mili Malinovic.

The two creators got together through lexposure and decided to “see where the forces took them”. Another exciting element is the collaboration of a third talented young man, that being Masha’s son who’s nursery drawings are skilfully included. The images are being pubished in Open Lab Magazine.

Pennie The Postie Stamps

The magnificent Keith Robinson has produced yet another set of stamps for Guernsey Post, celebrating the theme of Children’s books.

Keith created a children’s character called Pennie the Postie for the commission aswell as a fully illustrated book which he has also written. Says Keith "The intention was to create an image that works as a whole but contains within it the images for the three stamps." The stamps are for sale now and the book is out soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Music For Summer

Constructed by our paper sculptress Gail Armstrong, these album covers are compilations on a theme for KPM.

Currently working on a third cover, Gail has already completed "Music for Restaurants" and "Music for Summer", summing up the genre with an image you just want to immerse yourself in.

Shailesh’s Sanctuary

Shailesh Khandeparkar has produced these magnificent illustrations uniting beautiful imagery with a serious cause for Sanctuary.

Commissioned by Mudra Communications Shailesh conceived, designed and created the illustrations with the humourous line ‘only idiots cut down trees’. They were worked in a reverse style with the result being almost mosaic like. Such exquisite creations.

Christian David Moore's Scrapbook

An exciting new talent in the world of fashion illustration, click here to view Christian David Moore's filmed interview for Scrapbook.

Christian David Moore's Scrapbook

George Steinbrenner: A Portrait

This is Kathryn Rathke's portrait of George Steinbrenner, a well-known, loved character and the owner of the Yankees baseball team, he died yesterday.

This portrait will appear on the cover of the NY Observer today, 14th July 2010.

See the rest of Kathryn's portfolio here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Delighted to see that Global ad spend rises 12.5% in Q1 as reported by BrandRepublic

Global advertising spend grew 12.5% to $110bn (£73.2bn) in the first quarter and has "turned the corner", according to Nielsen's latest Global AdView Pulse report.
Ad spend: global figures suggest improving climate for media 
brands Ad spend: global figures suggest improving climate for media brands
The report suggests an improving climate for media brands around the world, with all regions registering year-on-year increases in adspend, according to the report.

Its positive findings contrast with the UK's Bellwether Report for the same period, which yesterday predicted marketing spend would increase at a slower rate than expected during 2010.
Today’s Nielsen report noted that the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the run-up to the World Cup aided the uplift in advertising spend.

Yet Nielsen cautioned that year-on-year rises were against weak comparisons and were not actual revenue.

Michele Strazzera, deputy managing director of Nielsen Global AdView, said: "After 18 consecutive tough months for advertising, we’ve finally hit positive territory and turned the corner, but these growth numbers are coming off a very weak base and are mostly based on rate card figures."

Growth in the UK at 8% lagged behind France, which recorded the biggest ad spend growth in Europe at 11%. Spain, however, continued to struggle and posted a decline of 3%.

Advertising spend in the US, the world's largest advertising market, increased 4% on the year. Latin America witnessed the biggest uplift, ballooning 48% over the same period.

Across categories, television attracted the largest share of advertising, up 16% globally on the year.

Nielsen noted that advertisers returned to TV as their main medium, once ad spend was on the way back.

Radio and newspaper ad spends rebounded with 10% and 9% growth respectively. But magazine advertising remained flat on a global basis.

FMCG brands continued to be the largest spenders in the first quarter, ahead of automotive, financial services and durables.
This article was first published on

Harry Lyon-Smith notes that this again reflects the the activity that we have seen from around the world of media companies commissioning illustrators and animators

Monday, July 12, 2010

IPA Bellwether Report paints a gloomy picture

The latest IPA/BDO Bellwether Report makes for gloomy reading with the trade body predicting that marketing spends will increase at a slower rate than expected during 2010.

Rory Sutherland: a less optimistic picture than previously thought.

Rory Sutherland: a less optimistic picture than previously thoughtIts findings suggest that during the second quarter of the year total marketing spend fell by 4.6 per cent, against a 4.5 per cent rise in the first quarter.

The IPA said that media budgets were revised down while sales promotion budgets also fell. However, direct marketing and internet budgets increased during the period.

Some 20 per cent of clients participating in the survey reported a decrease in marketing spend against 15 per cent who reported an increase.

The report concluded: "Whilst marketing spend is still set to increase for 2010, it is unlikely to rise at the pace expected at the start of the year, and the latest findings suggest that the UK economy is now entering a phase of slower growth."

Rory Sutherland, the IPA president and vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, said "Though this indicates a less optimistic picture than previously thought for this year, marketing spend is still set to increase."

The Bellwether Report features data from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals.

Harry Lyon-Smith comments that this sort of feels the same in the illustration market, however our business in the US and Europe has been very robust this year, and apart from January and Feb in the UK the year has been positive compared to last years figures.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jacqueline Bissett's Scrapbook

Fashion illustrator Jacqueline Bissett shares how her childhood passion of designing clothes for her Sindy doll inspired her career.

Jacqueline Bissett's Scrapbook

Karpushina’s Collaboration

"I think this is the beginning of a really great relationship" are Masha Karpushina’s words of her collaboration with the very talented photographer Mili Malinovic.

The two creators got together through lexposure and decided to “see where the forces took them”. Another exciting element is the collaboration of a third talented young man, that being Masha’s son who’s nursery drawings are skilfully included. The images are being pubished in Open Lab Magazine.

Colin Elgie's Scrapbook

Influenced by the Art Deco movement & modernist designers, illustrator Colin Elgie's greatest inspiration came from his Father.

Colin Elgie's Scrapbook

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rowland’s Asian Map

Combining passions of travel, lettering and illustration Ruth Rowland relished in this commission from Wall Street Journal Asia.

Involving a fair amount of research Ruth was asked to produce an illustrated map for their latest City Walk article for the colourful city of Mumbai. Luckily help was on hand from journalists in the city who answered questions and sent images of anything Ruth couldn’t find online. Says Ruth "This is a relatively new area of work for me and something I'm enjoying immensely".

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hotel Skeletons

A clever illustration this month from Ian Naylor for a large mailing campaign in Canada.

The hotel skeletons are printed on acetate inside what looks like an X-Ray envelope, it’s a smart use of Ian’s talents for a smart promotion, commissioned by Carpedia International.

Quenched Music

Ben Tallon quenches our thirst this month with this refreshing illustration for his latest project Quenched Music.

Ben explains, "Quenched has been set up by myself and Danni Skerritt as a site which offers services to new musical talent. As Designer and Creative Director I have branded and provided illustrations for the whole project." An online magazine is currently in the pipeline, click here to see what it’s all about.

Mark Watkinson's Scrapbook

Graphic Illustrator Mark Watkinson tells of his passion for cars, pubs and music. And illustrating of course!

Mark Watkinson's Scrapbook
Mark Watkinson's Portfolio

Vigla's Fable

This entertaining and witty illustration by Vincent Vigla graced the front cover of Global Reinsurance Magazine last month.

Vincent was commissioned by Clayton Crabtree to create an illustration based on an Aesop fable, the goal was to depict the race between Munich Re and Swiss Re. Vincent explains "This was a great commission for an international business magazine, a lovely subject."