Friday, February 3, 2012

Illustration vs design in children's books

Illustrations from my latest book, Mga Modernong Alamat (Modern Legends) Vol.1 
published by Lampara House, stories by Segundo Matias, Jr.
This book is a special edition of collected new legends.

Ang Alamat ng Dugong (The Legend of the Manatee)

Ang Alamat ng Ahas (The Legend of the Snake)

Ang Alamat ng Mansanas (The Legend of the Apple)

Ang Alamat ng Gagamba (The Legend of the Spider)

Most often, the importance of good design is disregarded in the effectiveness of storytelling in children's books. Good design means legible and elegant typography, utilization of space, maximization of the illustration, and the logical flow of the narrative. Also, design keeps the reader interested by the positive experience derived from holding the physical book: delicacy of paper, richness of ink, and the quality of printing small but essential details like binding, among others. When design goes overboard, illustration is worthless no matter how exquisite it is. That inadequacy also applies when poor design is overpowered by striking illustrations. Maintaining a balance between the design of the pages and illustration is the key to elegant design that may lead to effective storytelling. I mean, just like when design elucidate an illustration, in the same as illustration complements design, where balance conjure like a relaxing stroll along the beach at sunset.