Artist Research – Coralie Bickford-Smith

Coralie Bickford-Smith is a British illustrator and newly published author, currently producing commissions for Penguin Books.

Fabric Classic Series – 1, 2, 3 & 4

The first time I saw Bickford-Smith’s designs was this classic novels series in a bookstore. They are hard back jackets which are cloth bound, giving a tactile, homely feel to the objects.

My favourite designs below show my preference for blue and grey tones of jackets, as well as a variation of types of patterns. Most have a central focus point where the repeat pattern meets, whereas some have looser designs with a less regimented nature.

I really like how the consistant typography is the same colour as the pattern desing with a smart, simple font which doesn’t distract from the cover design.

A criticism I have for the series as a collection is that though the book jackets all use a certain muted tone of colour throughout, I feel a slightly more limited palette could make the series look more connected and consistent. However, as the titles are from a range of different eras and authors this may not have been a concern for the artist or publisher.

Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights

This trio series for ‘Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights’ caught my eye as there is a clear separation between cover and spine, made more clear due to the thick spine width. The patterns have a great intertwining composition, with complementing hues of blue. The off-white spine matches perfectly as it is less harsh than stark white, and makes the series look very smart and finished.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

This series of Fitzgerald titles are quite a different approach to Bickford-Smith’s other designs as they follow 20s styles of shape and line. The metallic colours give the novels a ‘special edition’ feel to the books, making them seem more like a one-of-a-king artefact. I really like the concept of incorporating metallics in my own designs – particularly to learn about how this type of shiny texture may affect the printing process – though this may be too difficult for me to do to a professional standard due to time and monetary restrictions.

Bickford-Smith, C. (no date) Coralie Bickford-Smith. Available at: http://cb-smith.com/ (Accessed: 10 October 2016).
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