Book Review :: The Fundamentals of Illustration

The Fundamentals of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen is an incredibly popular illustration textbook which is used in many schools and universities around the world. The author is the Dean of Design at the prestigious LCC in London.

This new edition, with revisions by Louise Fenton, has been updated with a wealth of fresh visuals and contemporary case studies. It includes new and revised content and examples that reflect the changes and developments in the discipline over the past few years. It showcases work from a range of great contributors including Anthony Burrill, Billie Jean, Miles Donovan, Sara Fanelli, Henry Obasi and Kustaa Saksi.

The book truly lives up to its title: It’s all about the fundamentals, and it covers all the bases. It goes into depth about medium choices, different kinds of illustration (editorial, publishing, advertising, etc) and self-promotion. It’s a building block of good information. I think this book would be great for a young student who might be thinking about getting into illustration, or perhaps someone who wants to start a new craft with a clear view of how the illustration industry operates.

The book also poses questions to get you thinking, and exercises to get you creating. But I think the thing I like the best is the objectivity in which the material is presented. It’s honest, sharing the ins and outs, ups and downs to everything it offers. It lets you make the call.

Table of contents:

Chapter 1 – The illustrator as artist (includes a case study on John Clementson)

Chapter 2 – The medium is the message (includes a case study on Tim Vyner)

Chapter 3 – From outcomes to outlets (includes a case study on Olivier Kugler)

Chapter 4: Communicating ideas (includes a case study on Damian Gascoigne)

Chapter 5: Making it happen (includes a case study on Ben Kelly)

Chapter 6: Production (includes a case study on Howard Read)

Read more about the book here. Purchase it for your own reference here.

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Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at
Thomas James

Posted by Thomas James on 09/24/12 under books
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