Illustration Now! 5 – book review

Editor Julius Wiedemann

Published by Taschen ISBN 978-3836545280

Review by Flora Cox


In a vivid, beautifully illustrated (of course) paperback, Taschen brings us the ‘latest, groundbreaking work from the world’s most exciting illustrators’: Illustration Now! 5.

The heavy-duty publication is bursting with a vast collection of practising illustrators from across the globe, covering a multitude of styles, medium and applications. The text is written in three different languages which reflects the multicultural artwork that features.


The simple, consistent design of the layout compliments both the copy and images, guiding the reader pleasurably through the extensive list of creatives from A-Z. Whilst profiling each artist, the text also outlines clients, agents and commissioners giving the reader sufficient information without overwhelming it’s audience. At the end of the day the majority of us want to look at the pretty pictures, right? Well I know I do. A great example of a well executed DPS is the Noma Bar pages (p46/47). The print layout compliments the illustrations impeccably, an easily readable typeface working harmoniously with intelligent, inventive image making.


As well as the numerous featured illustrators, both Julius Weidemann and Steven Heller have each produced a short essay to lead you into the issue. Weidemann comments on the selection of artists, as a ‘powerful mixture’ and Heller explains the functions of illustration and its development over the years. A favourite part of the book for me has to be where Heller has analysed the trends and where he’s noticed connections between illustrators’ draftsmanship, ‘Goofy Simply, well goofy: Jon Burgerman, Jules Le Barazar’ and ‘Cleverosity Humorous juxtapositions that trigger double takes: Christopher Brown, David de Ramon’. I couldn’t help but flick through to compare one with another.

Combining new talents with more experienced artists, the publication highlights the popularity, diversity and competition that is continually developing within the illustration industry. Editor, Julius Wiedemann comments that ‘illustration is more used now than ever’. To be able engage people who are less interested in illustration is really some achievement. Wiedemann should be confident in the fact that Illustration Now! 5 is a beautiful format in which creatives and non creatives can access and appreciate the ever growing specialism.


Other book reviews you may like:

A Life In Illustration

Understanding Illustration

Illustration: meeting the brief


8th September 2014

World Illustration Awards 2023 – Longlist Announced!
Be part of #WIA2023 - a global celebration of great illustration. The Longlist will now be announced by category from 16th - 25th May 2023.
Issue 42 and Back issues available!
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