There’s more than the odd grey, rainy day at this time of year but today mine was brightened up by taking a sneaky peak at what’s showing at the Ladybird by Design exhibition at the De La War Pavillion in East Sussex. It’s displaying over 200 original illustrations of Ladybird books from the late 1950’s to the early 1970’s.
There are many covers I hadn’t seen before and I was particularly drawn to the illustrations that used pops of vivid colour – bright yellows, bold reds and brilliant blues – a real treat for my love of strong accent colours!
The artworks were created by illustrators well known in their day, including Charles Tunnicliffe (What To Look For), Harry Wingfield (Shopping with Mother and Key Words), Martin Aitchison (Key Words), Eric Winter and Robert Lumley (Well-loved Tales), John Berry (People at Work) and Robert Ayton (Great Inventions and The Story of Oil).
For many of us Ladybird books were a big part of our childhood. Their idealised views of British society, science, nature and more and their protected view of the world had as much an appeal as did their beautifully painted illustrations. I love that they are a real snapshot of the time and find these book covers an inspiration in colour and form.
I hope to make it to the exhibition before it finishes on May 10th but if I don’t there’s always the book in which these illustrations have been collected – Ladybird by Design by Lawrence Zeegan, a well-known illustrator and Dean of the School Design at the London College of Communication. This is one that will certainly be a great addition to Colourpop Design’s collection of design inspired books!