Blog Entry #8

So, we had another guest speaker today! This time someone came from the company Nobrow Press. He was an illustrator himself, and the company produce books, a lot of those are children’s books. They have a sister company, Flying Eye Books, which they work very closely with. Nobrow employ people from multiple disciplines including graphic designers, illustrators and animators.

Nobrow & Flying Eye Books websites

Nobrow was founded in late 2008 by two friends, Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro. They endeavour to create “great design, ground-breaking art and narrative”. They aim to not only bring out new content, but revive old, well-worn narratives. Here are a few examples of covers they have created:

They have 2 offices, one in London and one in New York. This allows them to expand their target audience and sell more books. As a company they aim to produce around 38–40 books per year and have worked with 350+ artists. Flying Eye Books tend to release much more than Nobrow as they create children’s books and that is a much larger scale market.

When speaking in the lecture, we were told that they have been working on a book series called ‘Hilda the Troll’. It’s a huge hit and with it selling at an average of £12.95 per book, they’re really raking it in. Not only has it been a huge hit in print, but Netflix have offered them a contract to make this into an animation and have it on premier on the movie streaming site. They’re looking to release it in June of 2018, and this goes to show how working cross-discipline can be of huge help to your career.

I really want to get into motion graphics and maybe progress that into animation. I think that there’s a huge market for animation/motion graphics, and it will go hand in hand with my graphic design work. After speaking to Geoff Hill the other week and now seeing how successful Nobrow have been, I can honestly say that cross-discipline is the best idea anyone has ever come up with!

Above are two postcards which Nobrow have produced. They gave these out after the lecture and it’s interesting to see this take on a postcard, usually they’re very simple or have a photograph on, it’s nice to see a different approach to the design process. The use of bright, vibrant colours make these what they are. With Nobrow’s designs I see that there’s always a lot going on in the composition, this can be seen especially on the postcard to the left.

At the end of the lecture, he recommended a novel called ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury, it was illustrated by artist and illustrator Joseph Mugnaini, who worked very closely with Bradbury. This novel is based on a future American society where books are outlawed and ‘firemen’ go round burning any they can find. The title of the book is actually the temperature at which book paper catches light and starts to burn, which is extremely clever. The novel won the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in 1954. Joseph Mugnaini’s style is very similar to that of Nobrow’s and I think they were inspired by his work, and added in the colour that Mugnaini left out.