Publishers, artists and authors featured in the Scottish Publishing Showcase visit Edinburgh Castle
In today’s highly visual world, colour, font, and imaginative design all play their part in making books stand out on the shelves. For Book Week Scotland, the annual celebration of books and reading, Publishing Scotland showcased the best of contemporary design from publishers at Edinburgh Castle’s atmospheric Vaults. Featuring a diverse array of artwork, the ‘Design by the Book’ exhibition went behind the scenes of the creative process in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
Measuring tape at the ready while setting up the exhibition
Duncan Jones of ASLS (Association of Scottish Literary Studies) and artist/illustrator Ailsa Black
Rafi Romaya and Christopher Gale both from Canongate Books
Marc Cain from Pilring Press with author Craig A Smith and artist/illustrator Emily Dodds
Gillian Achurch and Alice Strang both from National Galleries of Scotland
Author Sara Sheridan with her novel published by Black & White
Kevin Robbins, designer, with Jethro Lennox from HarperCollins
Fiona MacLeod from Glasgow Museums Publishing with designer Fiona MacDonald
Designer Mark Mechan with Allan Cameron from Vagabond Voices
Leah McDowell from Floris Books with author Theresa Breslin
Designer Mark Mechan with his cover design for Waverley Books
Publishing Scotland’s Eleanor Logan poses with some of the featured books, authors, and publishers
Braving the cold outside the Castle Vaults at Edinburgh Castle
The exhibition also included the winning and shortlisted entries of the ‘Design a Book Jacket’ competition for children and young people, facilitated in partnership with the Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC). The winners were Adam Love (5), Rowan Wallace (10) and Julia Speirs (17). You can see the winning entries, and find out more about the young artists below.
Competition judge Kate Leiper, the Edinburgh-based award-winning book illustrator, reveals why these three designs stood out from over 400 others:
- Adam Love from Kinnaird Primary School won with his design of Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted by Mairi Hedderwick in the 5-8 category: ‘We really loved the bold use of colours and the interesting bird’s eye view angle that Adam chose to draw the scene from. It really makes you want to read the story and find out what happened to Katie Morag and her ted.’
- Rowan Wallace from Pentland Primary School won with his design of Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott in the 9-12 category: ‘We were drawn to the composition of Rowan’s design and loved the portrayal of Rob Roy who looks very heroic in his skilfully drawn kilt. He has also been placed in a suitably dramatic background which is full of colour and interesting detail.’
- Julia Speirs from Bo’ness Academy won with her design of Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin in the 12-18 category: ‘We were all very impressed with Julia’s quality of drawing and painting which is very detailed and delicate. The figure in the foreground is particularly well observed in showing a character weighed down with emotion. Julia has also taken a lot of care over the lettering, ensuring that it can be read easily on what is quite a busy scene’.
Photo by Rob McDougall of Julia Speirs with Cabinet Secretary MSP Fiona Hyslop at Edinburgh Castle
If you’ve enjoyed this article you might like to see more brilliant cover designs from publishers in Scotland on the Design by the Book Pinterest board here. Design by the Book was exhibited at Edinburgh Castle from 21-27 November 2016. Betram Books and Bell & Bain were the exhibition sponsors; partners were Historic Environment Scotland, SLIC, Book Week Scotland and Creative Scotland. Publishing Scotland would like to thank everyone involved.