Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Book Illustration 1
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Tutorial 11 x 6 Hour Tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Semester assessment  4 equally weighted projects  Portfolio+20 minute Feedback Tutorial: Four equally waighted projects  100%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary assessment  Portfolio: Four equally waighted projects, different from above  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • work within a specific brief to a client's guidelines, adapting the style to lend itself to the requirements of the text, the limitations and creative possibilities of the print process, and its appropriateness to the book.
  • design, illustrate, assemble and bind a hand-made illustrated book
  • adopt an organised methodology comprising picture research, drawings, photographs, thumb-nail compositional studies, colour studies, finished preparatory drawing, and the finished illustration
  • consider the importance of typographic design and its relationship to the illustration, and establish criteria for selecting a type face and designing a page layout for a particular job
  • objectify and articulate the criterion by which texts have been chosen, the appropriateness of the subject matter to the medium, the relationship between the illustration and the text, and the audience to whom the book is directed

Brief description

As well as seizing and maintaining the readers’ imagination, the illustrator’s role is that of communicating ideas through images that both complement and enhance the text. In so doing, the illustrator endeavours to illuminate, inform, entertain or incite polemic by interpreting visually the written word. Through a varied and exciting series of set ‘commissions’, students engage with the materials and techniques of illustration: drawing and painting for reproduction, digital imaging, typography, and page layout design. Drawing is central to illustration as it enables the student to express their ideas. It is vitally important in the student’s development of a personal visual language. Keeping a sketchbook helps students to develop and refine their visual awareness and literacy. In sketchbooks, students examine the world through drawing—it is fundamental to the activities of seeing, thinking and reasoning. Illustration students will be encouraged to develop technical fluency, a personal vision, distinctive style and a broad overview of contemporary illustration. [For students who wish to specialize in illustration, it is recommended that they sign up for the complementary art history module AH30510 Drawn to Order: British Illustration since 1800.]


This module aims to provide a technical grounding in the materials used and techniques employed in book illustration. Through prescribed ‘commissions’, students learn to make illustrations with a consideration for the method of reproduction. The role of illustration as well as the functions of the illustrator, typographer and book designer will be examined through the study of both private and commercial press publications from the School of Art collections. As an exercise in observational drawing from life, students will be encouraged to maintain and make daily contributions to a sketchbook. In consultation with staff during individual tutorials, students devise and sustain a program of self-directed study within a realistic timetable for the completion of projects. The module promotes and encourages creative thinking as well as professional standards, laying the groundwork for a career in a highly competitive market.


  1. Picture This: module overview, assessment explained.
  2. From Observation to Imagination: concepts, setting the scene and character development.
  3. Making Your Mark: black and white illustration.
  4. Book Illustration Now: trends in contemporary practice.
  5. Seeing - Thinking - Reasoning: keeping a sketchbook.
  6. Career Opportunities: former SoA illustration students and their practice.
  7. The Bottom Line: artistic anatomy for the illustrator.
  8. Type Matters!: a point of design.
  9. Front Cover: the art of the jacket.
  10. Understanding Illustration: presentation by contemporary practitioner.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Measuring, scaling, calculating pagination, and working to budget.
Communication Oral communication in tutorials and exchange of ideas through peer group discussion or presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Developing own practice and research skills, management of time.
Information Technology Digital painting and image manipulation/editing, scanning for reproduction, printing, and online research skills.
Personal Development and Career planning Transferable practice, research and communication skills. Developing professional standards.
Problem solving Creative thinking. Devising imaginative solutions to prescribed illustration briefs. Analysis and interpretation of texts.
Research skills Practice-led research skills in book illustration, page design and typography.
Subject Specific Skills Technical and conceptual grounding in the materials used and techniques employed in the illustration of books.
Team work Peer group discussion.


This module is at CQFW Level 5