We have launched a new website and are reviewing this page. Find out more
Open daily 10.00 to 17.45 Admission free Menu

Supported by the Enid Linder Foundation

The V&A Illustration Awards celebrate the best illustration published over the last year. Original artwork from the best illustrated book, book cover, Newspaper, Magazine and Comic illustration and student illustrator of the year are recognised.

Published Category

The 2007 Published Category judges were Dave Gibbons, comics writer and artist; Mark Gouldie from ITV Creative; Mark Jones, Director of the V&A and Kate Mulvey, journalist and writer.

Editorial Illustration Award and Overall Winner

Brett Ryder, illustration to 'Looking for the Next Fix’ by Alex Kuczynski, Daily Telegraph Magazine, 24 February 2007.

Brett Ryder, illustration to 'Looking for the Next Fix’ by Alex Kuczynski, Daily Telegraph Magazine, 24 February 2007.

Brett Ryder, illustration to ‘Looking for the Next Fix’ by Alex Kuczynski

Daily Telegraph Magazine, 24 February 2007

After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts with a degree in Illustration and Design, Brett Ryder began his career as an illustrator working mainly in pen, ink and collage. He describes discovering the computer as an artist's tool as a 'revelation' and now predominantly creates his final artwork by digitally manipulating his collages and drawings. His regular work comes from creating editorial pieces for the Guardian, the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, Los Angeles Times and New Scientist, but his quirky illustrations have also been commissioned by a wide variety of clients, including Dr Stuart's Herbal Teas, Penguin Books and Vodaphone.

Ryder admires the work of graphic designers Milton Glaser and Abram Games, and enjoys the wit and energy of illustrator Gerard Hoffnung. He says he has enjoyed drawing from an early age and used to buy old comic books and 'Spectator' annuals from car boot sales purely for the illustrations. He is still the proud owner of a collection of Ladybird children's books.

Visit Brett Ryder's website


Paul Blow, illustration to ‘Well Swung’ by Ewan Morrison, The Independent Magazine, 31 March 2007.

Paul Blow, illustration to ‘Well Swung’ by Ewan Morrison, The Independent Magazine, 31 March 2007.

Editorial Illustration Award Runner-Up

Paul Blow, illustration to ‘Well Swung’ by Ewan Morrison

The Independent Magazine, 31 March 2007

Paul Blow gained an MA in Narrative Illustration from the University of Brighton and in 2006 was presented with the gold award for editorial illustration by the Association of Illustrators. Much of his commissioned work is editorial and he finds creating complex, compelling imagery within a narrative context to be immensely rewarding. His initial artwork is drawn by hand, but he works mainly on computer, appreciating its ability to allow him to change his mind about a colour scheme quickly.

Blow has worked for a range of clients including the Guardian, BBC Worldwide, Saatchi and Saatchi, Time magazine, and Harvard Business Review. Of  'Well Swung' he says,

'The article itself was risqué and I could have been quite rude, but I think a more humorous approach was suitable. If you look closely at the image you'll see a list of names, including my wife Suzanna and I, and a selection of our friends, who were surprisingly pleased to have their names included on such a risqué image.'

Visit Paul Blow's website


Lionel Le Néouanic, 'Little Smudge', published by Boxer Books Ltd, London, 2006.

Lionel Le Néouanic, 'Little Smudge', published by Boxer Books Ltd, London, 2006.

Book Illustration Award Winner

Lionel Le Neouanic, illustrations to 'Little Smudge' by Lionel Le Neouanic

Published by Boxer Books Ltd, London, 2006

Lionel Le Néouanic studied at The Estienne School in his native France. He works as a writer, illustrator, sculptor and painter and has published many children's books, a number of which have been translated into a variety of languages, including English.

'Little Smudge' is the story of a small black stain and its triumph over loneliness and exclusion. The illustrations cleverly incorporate shapes from well-known paintings, creating a charming tale that at the same time offers children a gentle introduction to art education.


Andrzej Klimowski, illustration to 'Horace Dorlan' by Andrzej Klimowski, published by Faber and Faber, London, 2007.

Andrzej Klimowski, illustration to 'Horace Dorlan' by Andrzej Klimowski, published by Faber and Faber, London, 2007.

Book Illustration Award Runner-Up

Andrzej Klimowski, illustrations to 'Horace Dorlan' by Andrzej Klimowski

Published by Faber and Faber, London, 2007

Andrzej Klimowski lives in London. He works in a range of artistic fields and is internationally renowned as a poster and book cover designer. He is also Head of Illustration at the Royal College of Art. Klimowski trained at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design before spending time studying and working in Warsaw.

Klimowski has published two other graphic works, 'The Depository' and 'The Secret', but 'Horace Dorlan' is his first book to combine lino-cut drawings with chapters of text. His inspiration for the work came one day in South Kensington when he noticed an elegant woman who resembled a praying mantis.

Intrigued, he had a closer look at the building into which she had disappeared to find that it was the International Institute of Entomology. The result of this encounter is a book that draws on a range of influences, including film noir, surrealism and thrillers, to create an eerie, dream-like world.


Paul Bower, cover to 'Barcelona Plates' by Alexei Sayle, published by Hodder & Stoughton (Sceptre), London, 2007.

Paul Bower, cover to 'Barcelona Plates' by Alexei Sayle, published by Hodder & Stoughton (Sceptre), London, 2007.

Book Cover Illustration Award Winner

Paul Bower, cover to 'Barcelona Plates', by Alexei Sayle

Published by Hodder & Stoughton (Sceptre), London, 2007.

Illustrator Paul Bower studied graphic design at Lincoln School of Art and Design before moving to London where he joined illustration agency Pocko People. His clients have included The Paramount Comedy Channel, Virgin Atlantic, Merrydown Cider and Christian Aid. Recently, he won the silver prize in the Print section of the Clio Awards.

Bower uses lino-cut prints, acrylic paint, ballpoint pen, paper-cuts, stenciling and collage to create his pieces and says,

'I love things that show a hand-made quality to them and like to leave room for mistakes to happen. That can be the best part and there's always a chance factor in print making.

For 'Barcelona Plates' , Bower wanted to capture Alexei Sayle's acid/sweet sense of humour and to create a book cover that 'looks like something that you want to pick up straight away but might leave a bad taste in your mouth.'

Visit Paul Bower's website


Paul Hornschemeier, cover to 'Hospital', by Toby Litt, published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 2007.

Paul Hornschemeier, cover to 'Hospital', by Toby Litt, published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 2007.

Book Cover Illustration Award Runner-Up

Paul Hornschemeier, cover to 'Hospital' by Toby Litt

Published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 2007

Originally from rural Ohio, where he studied for a degree in Philosophy at Ohio State University, Paul Hornschemeier currently lives in Chicago. He creates graphic novels and comic books, including the acclaimed 'Forlorn Funnies' series which has been translated into several languages. He also plays guitar in the band Arks, and works as an illustrator for a variety of clients including CNN and American 'Life' magazine.

The cover of 'Hospital' was created in association with author Toby Litt who sent an initial sketch of his idea for the book's cover to Hornschemeier. The pair then collaborated with the publisher's in-house designer Nathan Burton to develop a finished concept that ties in closely with the book's content, adding an additional layer to its narrative.

Visit Paul Hornschemeier's website


Student Category

The 2007 Student Category judges were Olivier Kugler, illustrator and academic, and Geoff Grandfield, illustrator.

Leah Fusco, illustration for book titled 'The Long Man', inkjet prints from original artwork in watercolour and gouache, professionally bound.

Leah Fusco, illustration for book titled 'The Long Man', inkjet prints from original artwork in watercolour and gouache, professionally bound.

Student Illustrator Award Winner

Leah Fusco, 'The Long Man'
University College for the Creative Arts, Maidstone

'The Long Man' is concerned with the idea of heritage; how events and landmarks can shape and give an identity to their surrounding area. Drawing on location is an essential working method for me in terms of creating ideas and becoming involved with my subject matter.  I have focused on the Long Man of Wilmington, a chalk figure located on the South Downs, as I was drawn to the history behind it and felt that the figure was an interesting example of how illustration can be used in an alternative context.

My book describes a journey to and from the Long Man, using text only to provide directions to the landmark. I wanted to give a sense of the English countryside, particularly tourist spots, and to explore subtle stories that I discovered along the way, executed through a pictorial narrative. I generally use pen, ink, charcoal and graphite stick on location and then work from my images in gouache, watercolour and acrylic, with my final outcome combining both of these techniques.'

Visit Leah Fusco's website


Laura Clark, picture book version of 'The Happy Prince' by Oscar Wilde, acrylic on card, handbound.

Laura Clark, picture book version of 'The Happy Prince' by Oscar Wilde, acrylic on card, handbound.

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Laura Clark, picture book version of 'The Happy Prince' by Oscar Wilde
Edinburgh College of Art

'For my picture book version of 'The Happy Prince' I took inspiration from ancient Persian and Indian art as well as books such as 'And Miss Carter Wore Pink' by naïve painter Helen Bradley. These works show the world as a pattern of flat shapes, where every figure is a symbolic representation used ; purely for the purpose of narration.

I see picture books as a kind of theatre and I wanted to reflect this in my approach to illustration. The people I've painted are not real people in a real place, but more like puppets acting out their parts in front of a stage set. I think Wilde's tale has a fable-like quality to it which lends itself to this treatment.

I start each page by composing the layout. My favourite part is thinking of all the little stories and characters to put in the background, which is fast and fun. Painting them in afterwards, however, is sometimes a different story!'

Visit Laura Clark's website


Assim Heetun, 'What Would Make the World a Better Place?', hand drawn artwork manipulated on computer and laser-printed.

Assim Heetun, 'What Would Make the World a Better Place?', hand drawn artwork manipulated on computer and laser-printed.

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Assim Heetun, 'What Would Make the World a Better Place?'

University of Hertfordshire

'I love pattern, especially complex patterns like Asian mehendi [body art]. Whenever I draw something I try to add as much detail as possible to bring it to life. I work both on the computer and by hand. Most pieces start out as separate sketches which I then play around with digitally, adjusting the size and composition until I'm happy. For this piece I drew a rough of each character then scanned each one into the computer to work on them further.

'What Would Make the World a Better Place?' is about childhood beliefs. Children believe the strangest things about the ways in which the world around them works; factories make clouds, stars make twinkling sounds, monsters live under the bed. Wouldn't it be great if they were all true?'

Visit Assim Heetun's website


Adam Newton, 'The Hangover', pencil, ink and charcoal.

Adam Newton, 'The Hangover', pencil, ink and charcoal.

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Adam Newton, 'The Hangover'

Kingston University

''The Hangover' is a stream-of-consciousness imaginary journey inspired by my wandering thoughts on New Year's Day 2007. It was originally created as a one week project run in conjunction with 'Le Gun' magazine. The story is of a young man in a delicate state who is whisked off from breakfast by the Madonna and her mischievous son on a hallucinatory adventure to a world where books come to life and people find themselves transformed.

My inspiration came from religious icons, the writing of James Joyce and the paintings of Picasso. I was keen to employ very quick mark-making when creating this image, an approach that resulted in a process of continual re-drawing and of not being precious with the work. Large, messy charcoal shapes were tamed with more considered linear work in pen and pencil, before being brought together digitally and arranged into the final composition.'


Hannah Rollings, illustration to 'Utterly Mindless Thrills: a Peep Show into the Romance Novel', laser-printed from original artwork in gouache and collage.

Hannah Rollings, illustration to 'Utterly Mindless Thrills: a Peep Show into the Romance Novel', laser-printed from original artwork in gouache and collage.

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Hannah Rollings, illustration to 'Utterly Mindless Thrills: a Peep Show into the Romance Novel'

Kingston University

'These pages are from my book, 'Utterly Mindless Thrills: a Peep Show into the Romance Novel', which was inspired by my interest in romance novels. My work shows what these books are all about in the end: sex. I have taken the raunchiest snippets of text from the novels then manipulated the wording, and used gouache paints and sections of found fabric to create my images.

I then arranged the layout of each image digitally. My illustrations portray the stereotypes that are associated with the romance novel and my book reflects the predictable pattern that they all follow. The novel's covers have also inspired me. I love corny romantic scenes and took inspiration from James Bond films and cheesy postcards.'

Visit Hannah Rollings website

International Training Course

The Victoria and Albert Museum welcomes applications for ‘Creating Innovative Learning Programmes’, its new one week intensive course. This is a unique training opportunity for museum professionals from overseas who are interested in attracting and programming for a range of museum audiences.

Find out more