Cookie Consent by
Red Line Book Festival

Quentin Blake: Book Covers

A touring exhibition from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration

Selection of Evelyn Waugh books published by Penguin. Cover illustrations © Quentin Blake 1964 (photo by Justin Piperger)

Seven decades of design - on tour.

Quentin Blake’s career illustrating books began over 60 years ago with his covers for paperback fiction. Since then he has created hundreds of designs for everything from literary classics to his own picture books.

Each cover is a new challenge for Blake. He has to capture the essence of a story without giving away too much of the plot or the ending. His illustrations need to be carefully balanced with the title and suitable for the printing process that will be used. At the same time, Blake’s designs must be eye-catching and appealing to the changing tastes of different readers.

This exhibition features 60 of Blake’s book covers from the 1960s to the present: from mid-century Penguin paperbacks to finely-crafted special editions and family-friendly poetry books. First editions are shown alongside reproductions of original artwork from Blake’s archive that show how he combines typography, dynamic layouts and his unique way of drawing to create playful designs.

Quentin Blake: Book Covers is a touring exhibition from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration. You can find out more about their work here.