Heading into a new direction

During the easter break I’ve had some time to rethink my Design&Research topic, which was up until now the illustrations in children’s literature. Feeling that I’ve already exploited the most interesting aspects of it, I was pondering a topic change. A topic that I am very interested in is creative coding. However, I did not feel very confident about the challenge this topic would pose for a beginner like me. It took some days and numerous Youtube tutorials until I found that, in fact, it was not that impossible to accomplish. 

The Development of Children’s Book Illustrations – The 20th Century

Recalling my last blog entry, one might remember the overall conclusion of illustrations of the 19th century: Fairy tales were in fact neither written nor illustrated for children. This is why, stories and illustrations were in most cases brutal, scary and very close to blunt reality – highly contrasting with children’s book illustrations of the 20th century. This blog entry shall give an overview of differences that illustrations of these two centuries show.

Book illustrations of the 19th century and their ongoing impact on children of today

Novels as Struwwelpeter, Alice in Wonderland, and the fairy tales by the Grimm brothers were originally published around 200 years ago. However, they still represent an essential part of children’s literature of today. The reason why these fairy tales had such an extraordinary impact and managed to be still remembered by the majority of people is that their authors ensured that their stories were illustrated in an appealing and unique way.

When illustrating for children

There is one constant when regarding children’s books and world famous fairy tales: Illustrations. They are most certainly the reason why children enjoy reading/looking at this special type of literature and even remember some of those stories for the rest of their lives. In contrast to earlier decades, when it was practically impossible to reproduce illustrations for the usage in books, illustrations are an essential part of child literature nowadays.