V&A Illustration Awards

The V&A Illustration Awards is a free, biennial competition celebrating excellence in illustration and contemporary practice, and judged by a panel of prominent illustrators and industry experts.

First established in 1972, the V&A's competition is defined by a focus on the British illustration industry, celebrating artwork made for the UK market by artists from across the globe as well as artwork made by illustrators living the UK. We are excited to announce some changes in our categories to evolve the Awards further for 2024.

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

2024 Awards shortlist

The 2024 V&A Illustration Awards shortlist has now been announced! Click on the illustrator's name in each category to view more images of their work and a description of their design brief. Copyright of artists and publishers reserved.

Adult Fiction

  • Tina Berning, Lessons by Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape, 2022)
  • Olivia Daw, The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie (The Folio Society, 2023)
  • Gerard DuBois, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (The Folio Society, 2023)
  • Jorge González Varela, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Folio Society, 2023)
  • Neil Packer, The Complete Plays by William Shakespeare (The Folio Society, 2023
  • Mu Pan, Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en (The Folio Society, 2023)
  • Matthew Richardson, Good by Matthew Richardson and Iris Murdoch, (Hoof & Claw Press/Matthew Richardson, 2023)

Adult Non-Fiction

  • Paul Blow, You Will Get it Wrong… But You Can't Make it Worse by Cariad Lloyd, in The Guardian Magazine, 1 July 2023
  • George Butler, Drawn to War, in BBC, VQR and Suddeutchse Zeitung, 9 January 2023
  • Claire Harrup, Britain's Landmarks and Legends by Jo Woolf (The National Trust and HarperCollins, 2023)
  • Joanna Lisowiec, The Wisdom of Sheep & Other Animals by Rosamund Young (Faber & Faber, 2023)
  • Simon Pemberton, Climate and Conflict, in Acumen Magazine, 5 January 2023 (LeHigh University)
  • Andrea Serio, The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Vintage Classics, 2023)
  • Alice Smith, The Physick Garden (Francis Lincoln, 2023)
  • Jennifer N. R. Smith, The Modern Bestiary by Joanna Bagniewska (Wildfire Books, 2023)
  • Maisy Summer, animation, Elsie Plant Hatting Hero (Hatworks Hat Museum, 2023)

Advertising and Commercial

  • Philipp Beck, Honest Toil Olive Oil packaging (Honest Toil, 2023)
  • Paul Blow, album cover for New Modern Homes by The Chesterfields (Mr Mellow's Music, 2022)
  • Sveta Dorosheva, Fantasy: Realms of Imagination exhibition visual (British Library, 2023)
  • Tom Jay, Fishing Boat in a Bottle card (Art Angels, 2023)
  • Michael Kirkham, World of James Joyce jigsaw (Laurence King Publishing, 2022)
  • Sammi Lynch, Burberry x Highgrove silk scarves (Burberry, 2023)
  • Simon Pemberton, London Philharmonic Orchestra campaign 2022/23 (London Philharmonic Orchestra, 2022)
  • Lisa Sheehan, Badrutt's Palace winter/summer brochure cover, 2022 (Tower Revue and Badrutt’s Palace Hotel)
  • Maisy Summer, Bookshop Day mural (Bookshop Day/Build Hollywood, 2023)

Emerging Illustrator

Illustration for Children

Prizes & Judges


There is a winner and runner-up in each category. The five category winners each receive £3,000, and five runners-up receive £750.

An overall winner is named the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year and receives an additional £5,000, with their artwork entering the V&A's collection.

Winners will be announced at the V&A South Kensington in September 2024 where selected artwork from each of the winners and runners-up will feature in a display.


  • Maru Aguzzi – founder and director of Gran Salón Mexico
  • James Albon – author and illustrator, winner of the 2022 V&A Illustration Awards Illustrated Journalism category
  • Tristram Hunt – Director of the V&A
  • Yasmeen Ismail – author, illustrator and animator, V&A Book Illustrator of the year 2014
  • Chris Riddell – illustrator and cartoonist

Terms & conditions | FAQs

These are the terms and conditions covering entry to all categories of the 2024 V&A Illustration Awards.

If you have more questions about the V&A Illustration Awards, please consult our frequently asked questions.

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. The student category was created in 2005, with a runner-up prize introduced in 2009.

For the 2024 Awards a new category Advertising & Commercial has been introduced. We have realigned other categories to create Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction and Illustration for Children. The student category has now expanded to become Emerging Illustrator.

View a selection of winning works from 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.

Stay in touch

Contact: villa@vam.ac.uk

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

Header image:
Winner of V&A Illustration Awards, Published Illustration category 2020, Clive Hicks-Jenkins for Hansel & Gretel, a Nightmare in Eight Scenes by Simon Armitage, Faber & Faber, 2019