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Bus Station | Courtesy of Steven Choi
Bus Station | Courtesy of Steven Choi
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See the World Illustration Awards at Somerset House This Summer

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 24 July 2017
The World Illustration Awards returns this summer to Somerset House, London, with an array of 50 shortlisted illustration projects including everything from advertising campaigns and editorial stories, to graphic design and children’s books.

For over 40 years, the Association of Illustrators have held an annual illustration competition to celebrate and promote ‘exceptional work by illustrators currently making an outstanding contribution to visual culture.’ Illustration has come a long way in the past four decades and no longer has to take a back seat to photography.

National Geographic
National Geographic | Courtesy of Studio Muti

Showcasing a diverse range of projects chosen from a phenomenal 2,300 entries, this year’s World Illustration Awards Exhibition demonstrates how illustration can be used to tackle social topics, critique political regimes and raise awareness of environmental issues.

And since partnering with the California-based Directory of Illustration, the awards now has a significant global reach with entrants hailing from South Korea to France.

Scientific American
Scientific American | Courtesy of Hengguang Li

From A. Richard Allen’s cover image for the Sunday Telegraph Money section, Wave that interprets the US President’s infamous haircut as a Hokusai-inspired tide, to student Hengguang Li’s college project which sought to understand the process of submitting illustration for editorial use, this year’s exhibition presents highlights from an outstanding shortlist.

Wave | Courtesy of A. Richard Allen

Advancements in computer software programmes such as Photoshop and Illustrator have meant illustrators are able to adapt and cater to the demands of the digital media world. Claudine O’Sullivan‘s winning project in the Professional Advertising category for her Apple Pencil Campaign is the perfect example of this as the digital illustrations were created on an iPad Pro, actually using the Apple Pencil.

Apple Pencil Campaign
Apple Pencil Campaign | Courtesy of Claudine O'Sullivan
Apple Pencil Campaign
Apple Pencil Campaign | Courtesy of Claudine O'Sullivan

In addition to the exhibition, the awards have teamed up with leading children’s books publisher Walker Books to offer a series of free family workshops that include an interactive illustration workshop with Elissa Elwick and one with award-winning author-illustrator Gary Northfield of The Beano fame, where he will introduce his latest creation Julius Zebra.

There’s a Tiger in the Garden
There’s a Tiger in the Garden | Courtesy of Lizzy Stewart

World Illustration Awards is at Somerset House, Embankment Galleries, South Wing, London WC2R 1LA from July 31, 2017 to August 28, 2017.

Want to see more art in London? Enjoy Free Art this Summer in Regent’s Park with Frieze Sculpture.