“Design & Illustration in illustrated publishing” with Yasia Williams-Leedham

“Just apply and email thousands of junior design jobs, wherever you live, try and it will prevail for opportunities”

I told myself that I had to go to a talk that would be completely different to all other talks that I may target within the week, thus going for an illustration and publishing lecture. I wasn’t all that sure as of what to expect, until hearing the intro to the talk by Yasia. Talking of her simple journey beginning from my own Glyndwr, and progressing to the great heights of deputy art director of the publishing group Octopus. This opening was got me hooked, it showed just what you can achieve, and if you set your sights from a small uni you really can go far, with her hitting up London and finding the success she has with the creation of such an array of splendid books ranging from the likes of “TOWIE” to an Ice cream book.

The Icecreamists

After seeing such great examples of what can be achieved through determination and imagination, it soon was made clear how incredibly hard it is to get into at the moment in time. With such a demand in cook books for example, it’s seen that with all the books on the shelf with all the same sort of cover, it’s a mission standing out. That’s where Octopus comes in, with its aim of creating that unique piece, i.e. the ginger pig featuring strong neon colours, especially bled across the pages axis. Something of which is what the cook book industry lacks, the fact of how nothing pushes back the boundaries, almost creating the perfect opportunity for someone different to step in. Half of the actual job it seemed to me is getting the target audience to pick up your book, and this is where appearing visually different gets you noticed in the likes of WHSmiths and Waterstones. The other half is remaining on topic and desired I found. With the likes of E-books stepping up their game more and more as the years come and go. With the year of 2010 showing the start of their popularity and the following year then saw a 117% increase of sales, a ridiculous percentage that now worries many within the publishing industry. The only way these companies can survive is to embrace the change, thus adopting the way books are now produced. It just goes to show how publishers are evolving with the times and allowing themselves to survive.

The Spiritual Guide to Attracting Love

What I took away from this most of all is, to look for niches and expose them, as well as move with the times. Never stay put, follow the trends and how the future is evolving in time like the shift in the publishing industry towards E-books, saving me from extinction in my design.


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