Fifty Years of Illustration – Book Review

By Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts

Published by Laurence King ISBN 9781780672793

Review by Sarah Gordon

Fifty Years Cover

Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegan and Caroline Roberts, explores the changes the discipline has gone through over time and highlights the context in which this form of communication has functioned.

Fifty Years Hendrix Intro

Beginning with the 1960s and progressing through the decades, this insight into the industry is both educational and visually inspiring. By selecting a variety of key individuals that have made their own distinct mark in Illustration history, this book provides a celebration to the ever evolving industry.

Fifty Years 70 Chapter Header

Despite that fact that on first glance, it seems impossible that fifty years could fit into such a book, Iʼm pleasantly surprised at how well the layout and design has ensured clarity through the varying eras. A page or spread is dedicated to each featured Illustrator, after the opening of the decade and chapter. Each Illustrator has a summary that includes details on their education and career highlights.

Fifty Years LOTR Spread

I like that this is small, yet detailed enough that you can dip in and out of the fifty years and make comparisons between the varying styles, mediums and contexts that have altered over time. Alongside this summary, each Illustrator has a full or quarter page image as an example of their work.

Fifty Years Faces Spread

OK, so there are some whom I’d consider to be key players in Illustration missing throughout the book, but providing a historical and contextual overview of the discipline, it does do extremely well. Therefore if youʼre interested in getting an engaging insight into Illustration, with plenty of wonderful visuals, combined with a collection of short essays and historical details, this book should be a positive new addition to your bookshelf.

Fifty Years Fashion Spread

Other book reviews you may like:

Understanding Illustration

A Life In Illustration

Becoming A Successful Illustrator


6th October 2014
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