V&A Illustration Awards

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the V&A Illustration Awards. Established in 1972, they have since become the UK's most prestigious annual illustration competition. Free to enter, the Awards celebrate excellence in student illustration and three categories of contemporary practice: book cover design, book illustration and illustrated journalism.

Award winners and the student shortlist will feature in a display of digital prints in the V&A South Kensington galleries. Each category winner receives £3,000 and the student runner-up receives £2,000. The overall 2022 winner of the competition is awarded the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize, receives an additional £5,000 and their work enters the collection of the V&A. They will join the V&A's outstanding collections of illustration, including works by renowned artists such as Aubrey Beardsley, Sir John Tenniel, E.H. Shepard, Quentin Blake and Posy Simmonds.

The Awards are generously supported by the The Linder Foundation and the Moira Gemmill Memorial fund.

Submissions to the V&A Illustration Awards 2022 have now closed

The Shortlist

The Shortlist

For our 50th anniversary year, we received a record 1,440 entries. These span a broad range of illustration styles and subjects, from the tragedies and challenges of the past two years to the stories which have comforted us.

The 2022 winners will be selected by a judging panel of illustrators Dapo Adeola, Ann Kiernan, Axel Scheffler and Posy Simmonds, chaired by V&A Director Tristram Hunt. Award winners and the student winner, runner up and highly commended entries, will feature in a display of digital prints in the V&A South Kensington galleries opening to the public on 20 July.

Book Cover Award Shortlist

  • Owen Davey: Curious About Crocodiles by Owen Davey. Published by Flying Eye, 2021
  • Sally Dunne: Crooked House by Agatha Christie. Published by Folio Society, 2021
  • Daniel Dzonu-Clarke: The Dancing Face by Mike Phillips. Published by Penguin, 2021
  • Lela Harris: The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Published by Folio Society, 2021
  • Kerry Hyndman: The Rich House by Stella Gibbons. Published by Penguin, 2021
  • Joe McLaren: The Way Under Our Feet by Graham B. Usher. Published by SPCK, 2020

Book Illustration Award Shortlist

  • Gerard DuBois: The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Published by Folio Society, 2021
  • Luisa Jung: Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them by Alberto Espay and Benjamin Stecher. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2020
  • Kate Leiper: The Queen of the Birds by Karine Polwart. Published by Folio Birlinn Books, 2021
  • Georgie McAusland: Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. Published by Batsford Books, 2021
  • Laura Merz: 1,001 Creatures by Aino Järvinen. Published by Restless Books, 2020. Originally published as Tuhat ja yksi otusta by Etana Editions
  • Chris Ofili: Greek Myths by Charlotte Higgins. Published by Jonathan Cape, 2021
  • Neil Packer: One of a Kind by Neil Packer. Published by Walker Studio, 2020
  • Hannah Peck: Kate on the Case by Hannah Peck. Published by Piccadilly Press, 2021
  • Jenny Robins: Biscuits (Assorted) by Jenny Robins. Published by Myriad Editions, 2020
  • Natsko Seki: Broadway Market: A Celebration of Multicultural Independent Shops in London. Published by Design for Today, 2020

Illustrated Journalism Award Shortlist

  • James Albon: 'Tiktok' by La ZEP, in Libération, 2021
  • Ellie Foreman-Peck: 'Boris Johnson must make the security of women a national priority', in The Financial Times, 2021
  • Ben Jones: 'Behind the Times', in History Today Magazine, 2020
  • Jennifer N.R. Smith: 'The Gender Pain Gap' by Elinor Cleghorn, in BBC History Magazine, 2021
  • Mark Smith: 'She Has A Name' by Louise Farr, in Alta Journal, 2021
  • Alexis Tsegba: 'The price of having black hair in a white world' by Tamara Gilkes Borr, in The Economist's 1843 Magazine, 2021

Student Illustrator of the Year 2022 Shortlist

  • Jessica Ciccolone, Five Puffins in Antartica. Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)
  • Sarah Edge, My cancer scars map the pain of animals held in research labs. Falmouth University
  • Klara Bianka Gryglicka, My Summer | Visual Diary. Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)
  • Amy Hunter, Sea Fever. Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)
  • Jiatong Liu, Blue Things. Kingston University
  • Leo Ioviero, ‘waiting’. University for the Creative Arts (Farnham)
  • Sara Parodi, How Many Times? Falmouth University
  • Billy Partridge, Jabberwocky. Leeds Arts University
  • Kate Rolfe, Navigating Dyslexia. Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge School of Art)
  • Amy Sutton, The Chip Eaters of Falmouth. Falmouth University
  • Yehyeon Yu, My Answer Sheet. Kingston University
  • Chenyue Yuan, Pearl's Daughters. Royal College of Art

Contact: villa@vam.ac.uk

History of the Awards

History of the Awards

The V&A has been running an illustration competition since 1972 when the Francis Williams Awards were presented for the best illustrated books. In 2004 new categories were introduced for Book Cover Design and for Editorial Illustration, covering illustration in newspapers, magazines and comics. Editorial Illustration has recently been renamed Illustrated Journalism. The student category was created in 2005, with a runner-up prize introduced in 2009.

View a selection of winning works 1972 – Present



The V&A Illustration Awards blog brings you the latest updates throughout the year including the shortlist and winner announcements. You can also hear from our previous winners and receive words of advice from former judges.

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Background image: Student Illustrator of the Year 2019 shortlist – Harry Woodgate for Invisible Cities (University of Hertfordshire)