Dribble Behance Instagram Twitter Facebook
 
 
Folio illustration agency, established London 1976
 

News

Folio illustration agency regularly works with clients to help them commission new illustrations. We work with a broad range of clients, from major international brands producing award-winning advertising campaigns, through magazines and newspapers requiring feature illustrations, to small-scale first-time illustration buyers.

Here will you find examples of our most recent projects - click on the images for larger versions.


Muti Illustrates for The Guardian

Muti Muti designs maps to be released in The Guardian

South African creative studio Muti has designed a set of maps in collaboration with Destination Canada and The Guardian to promote tourism and knowledge of what Canada’s major cities have to offer. The maps center around cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Muti’s sleek and modern design style was perfect for bringing vibrancy and life to the city maps of Canada.

The idea behind the maps was a collaborative effort between The Guardian and Destination Canada. The elements of each unique illustration were inspired with the help of John Quilter, a food blogger who dedicated months to travelling across Canada, eating, sight seeing, and blogging. There are 7 maps in total, each aiming to promote Canada’s tourism and give people a snapshot of what it would be like to visit some of their major cities. The maps highlight places of interest, activities, and restaurants.

We had a chat with Muti to get their perspective on the project. Here’s what they had to say!

How did you decide to approach this specific job?

A starting point was the stylistic approach to the two main map elements: characters and buildings. We kept the buildings geometric, simplified and stylized yet still recognisable. The characters have more of an organic shape and movement to them, making the piece as a whole more relatable and dynamic.

Can you elaborate on your choice of colour palette?

The client requested a bright and fun colour palette, which we maintained throughout. We wanted the maps to feel vibrant and exciting to look at. We took a natural approach to land and sea – areas that were largely city were kept in a neutral grey, whilst trees were kept in a lush green.

Any other general thoughts on the project?

Having several maps to illustrate in the same style and same colour palette can be quite challenging. We started by creating elements that could be carried across all maps, but found a way to add humour and interest so that each map could be able to stand alone as a unique piece.

The high quality maps will be published weekly in the Guardian’s weekend supplements. All 7 colorful illustrations will be paired with detailed itineraries of what can be done in a day in each city. Be sure to check them out each weekend and get inspired to plan your next vacation!

illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 28-Oct-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

FOLIO TURNS 40!!!

Nick began life as an illustration agent when he started working for Andy Archer in 1971.

Andy had previously spent five or six years selling space in Queen magazine to ad agencies – he was good at sales and had ad agency contacts. Andy set himself up as an agent and took Nick on, teaching him how to hustle on behalf of the artists. Nick had been introduced to Andy by his good friend, the artist George Underwood, who Andy represented. Nick was fascinated when watching George draw and paint works such as the early Marc Bolan album covers and was happy to get to know other talented artists as an agent. At the time, Andy was part of London’s legendary bohemian scene centred around the French House and the Colony Room in Soho – Nick became the Colony’s youngest member and when there he was introduced to many of the leading musicians and artists of the time, including Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud.

With five years of experience under his belt, Nick struck out on his own and founded Folio 26th October 1976. There were still just a handful of agencies in the UK at the time and Folio is the only one that continues in its original form; run by its founder.

After a year in a basement shop in Edgeware, in 1977 Folio moved to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where its studio office was furbished with plan-chest drawers, transparency holders and state-of-the-art lighting and ample flat surfaces – not to mention, of course, a bar. Every Friday, art buyers and artists from across the country would come together at Folio studios to socialise and check out the latest artworks. Folio is still based in the same venue today – see office photo. For a period, several artists were based at Folio and would habitually work through the night to meet deadlines – the office became known locally as ‘the lighthouse’.

In a pre-digital time, all work was physical. The artists worked on paper, artboard or canvas. Every work that came through the office was photographed on 5x4 transparencies and stored. If you called an artist, such as Paul Hogarth, and they were in middle of a watercolour wash, they couldn’t be interrupted. A1 portfolios were lugged around or carefully packaged for shipment. In order for clients to see the work, it had to be couriered to them, whether they were in London, elsewhere in the UK or overseas. Amendments were a huge effort; if they were required, not only did the artist need to find a way to redraw the artwork but the physical object also needed to be couriered back to the artist – and then the process began again. Oil paintings took five days to dry, but deadlines were tight that they would have to be packed in deep frames for shipping while the paint was still wet. Nick would spend many a night waiting on train platforms for the Red Star Express with the work. Twice works fell onto the tracks and were run over by trains, and one internationally couriered artwork even arrived with an aircraft tyre print running across it!

In the early days, the artists themselves always had highly developed drawing skills, usually born from hours of life-drawing, and this talent meant that they could handle any kind of job. Today’s artists are often more developed in terms of graphic techniques. What has kept Nick in the business is the love of seeing the artworks created. He has worked with Royal Academicians and D&AD Black Pencil award winners, trend-setters and innovators. In his pre-Folio days working for Andy Archer, Nick even worked with Salvador Dalí – not an easy artist to commission!

Folio has always tried to find new ways to promote itself, whether that it is through the DoI, events or, more recently, through the web and online social media. The importance of self-promotion was impressed upon Nick by his mentor Andy, who once concluded a presentation at JWT by unveiling a freestanding life-size picture of himself which he then left behind so that the art directors would remember who to call whenever they needed to commission artwork.

One of the principles that Folio was founded on was the protection of the artists. It used to be that artists had to sign the back of the cheques they received from publishers, and this signature was an agreement to sign away the copyright of their works. The AoI was founded by illustration agents, Nick included, in order to protect artists so that they didn’t have to sign away the copyright of their works, amongst other things. While that battle seemed to have been won, the situation is beginning to regress again now, as clients increasingly expect copyright buyout or perpetual worldwide use, or want artwork delivered in digital layers so that they can adjust it themselves or merge in other imagery, thus throwing the issue of the artists copyright and moral rights into question.

The longevity of Folio is down to its willingness to refresh itself with new talent, even from its early days – new artists are taken on all the time, bringing novel techniques, new ideas and fresh eyes. Folio has always prided itself on working with originators: ‘often imitated, never duplicated’.

All photos taken by Dick Jordan.

illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 25-Oct-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

New Portfolio Update!

James Gilleard debut’s new portfolio style!

Out with the old, in with the new! James Gilleard is hitting the refresh button and taking his illustrative style in a whole new direction. Still drawing from his experience living in Japan, his new portfolio features a mix of landscapes, architecture, technology, and characters.

Each illustration is bursting with vibrant colors and amazing texture. James experiments with geometric shapes and futuristic ideas to create unique and inspiring illustrations. We are very excited for this new stylistic direction and what it has to offer in today’s creative world.

Be sure to check out James’ fantastic new work!

illustration illustration

Posted: 21-Oct-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

Roger Watt Exhibiting in London

Roger Watt exhibits latest works at Plus One Gallery

Plus One Gallery hosted an official opening show on Tuesday, September 20th to celebrate their relocation to Battersea Reach. The gallery's main focus is on the promotion of British and international contemporary hyperrealist art. The show displayed an amazing collection of works by many talented artists.

Folio was extremely pleased to hear that Roger Watt's illustrations of the underground were displayed in the opening show. Roger is a graphite artist who uses only pencil and paper to create photorealistic images. His illustrations, including those part of Going Underground, highlight his amazing technical competence and attention to detail.

The exhibition will run from the 21st of September - 15th October. Be sure to check it out and have a look at some awesome artwork!

illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 23-Sep-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

ESPN Pin Kings

Alexander Wells illustrates ESPN’s Pin King

Alexander Wells offers his bold and unique style to create thought-provoking images for ESPN’s story titled ‘Pin Kings’. Wells mixes digital and traditional mediums to produce striking images that are always sure to impress; and his work for ‘Pin Kings’ is proof of this!

‘Pin Kings’ is an unbelievable story about two childhood wrestling teammates, Kevin Pedersen and Alex DeCubas. The story follows Kevin, wrestler turned DEA agent, and Alex, wrestler turned drug smuggler, as they navigate a cocaine war from opposing sides.

The exciting twists and turns of the story are brought to life by the dramatic visuals expertly crafted by Wells. Wells describes his illustrations as dynamic, digital, and caffeinated, and that is exactly what we’d call his work for ‘Pin Kings’. Check out a few of his striking images below!

illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 12-Sep-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

World Illustration Awards 2016 comes to Somerset House!

The Association of Illustrators and Directory of Illustration combine for the WIA2016

Marking the 40th year of the AOI annual awards, Somerset House one again hosts this fantastic exhibition recognising the exceptional work produced by illustrators around the world and promoting illustration as an essential contributor to global visual culture.

Folio was delighted to have 14 exceptional artists shortlisted in the awards and MUTI, Nicholas Stevenson and Owen Davey contributing works in the exhibition.

The exhibition includes the 16 category winners whose work has been selected from over 2,000 entries and honored for its creativity and craftsmanship. The winners fall into two sections, Professional, open to all practicing professionals, and New Talent, open to students and recent graduates.

The private view ceremony was held on Wednesday 3rd August, with overall and category winners announced by AOI patron David Hughes. Big congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted entries! .

The exhibition, comprising over 50 works from across the breadth of illustration will run from 1 - 29 August at Somerset House, Embankment Galleries before touring the UK throughout 2016-17.

illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 9-Aug-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

Disney Parks Presents - The Haunted Mansion

James Gilleard Illustrated hardcover picture book with CD featuring the song "Grim Grinning Ghosts"

In the first instalment of Disney Parks Presents picture books, James Gilleard’s shadowy, textured illustrations accompany the lyrics to the classic song “Grim Grinning Ghosts”, taking readers on a guided tour deeper and deeper into the haunted mansion.

This hardcover jacketed book features a CD of the song and details the house from the portrait gallery and séance room to the grand hall, creepy attic and more!

Here is a highlight of James Gilleard’s prep work and initial layout designs, portraying the mansion’s façade and grounds from a range of dynamic angles.

A charming picture book that is available to buy from 5th July at Disney Parks retailers worldwide!

illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 18-Jul-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

New £1 Coin design

David Lawrence refines schoolboy’s design for the new £1 coin.

David Pearce, a schoolboy from Walsall beat off 6,000 entries to design the face of the coin. A tremendous feat, his design features a rose, leek, thistle and shamrock emerging from the Royal Coronet.

The design was then refined by David Lawrence, renowned for his work with the Royal Mint. A fantastic opportunity for David to show his strong line work skills and hand drawing techniques, this new bi metallic coin will be the most secure in the world and leave a lasting legacy.

The new 12-sided coin will be introduced in 2017 and cut down on millions of pounds worth of fraud.

illustration illustration

Posted: 14-Jul-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

BMW's 100 year celebration in London

John Devolle James Gilleard were invited to attend BMW's 100 year milestone

BMW just celebrated 100 years on June 17, 2016 and Folio artists James Gilleard and John Devolle were there to illustrate the event.

The occasion focused its celebration around the future of mobility.

One activity involved small group collaborations where guests were invited to discuss future-orientated topics including Autonomous Driving, Augmented Reality, and Additive Manufacturing and then brainstorm scenarios of where they see each heading in the next two decades. The event then concluded with the launch of a new futuristic car.

Both James Gilleard and John Devolle were there to help capture what the imaginations of each small group produced, and the celebration overall. The team brilliantly captured the event and the results are absolutely incredible!

What a fantastic celebration for BMW and a job well done for Folio, James and John! We can’t wait to see what the future brings!

illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 21-Jun-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

Another Big Day in the Books for Folio Art: Jason Brooks Wins V&A Award

Jason Brooks Best Illustrated Book

Folio is proud to announce Jason Brooks as the winner of the V&A Illustration Awards 2016 – Book Illustration Award for his stunning London Sketchbook, published by Laurence King.

A huge congratulations to Jason on this spectacular accolade. From nearly a thousand entries, the judges whittled down their choices to 3 works in each of the published categories.

A follow up to Jason’s highly successful Paris Sketchbook, the London Sketchbook highlights the variety and vibrancy of the big smoke. Working in a variety of media and his signature sketched style, Brooks captures the energy and culture of the city while depicting some of London’s most famous landmarks. All of the sketches were drawn on location and the finer details were added after in his studio. As Jason explains: “Each one I’ve chosen holds memories for me; they have a special significance.”

To view the winning work it is on display within the V&A Museum from 24th May until 21st August 2016.

Once again a fantastic achievement and honour for Jason and the agency. Photos from the evening, including a great shot with Jason and Nicholas Dawe, the founder of Folio.

illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration illustration

Posted: 24-May-16   //   Permalink   //   Top

Page 3 of 36  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›

RSS News Feed

Follow our news through the Folio RSS News Feed.
(Requires an RSS reader app.)

Newsletters

Subscribe to the Folio illustration newsletter here.

Archive

2017
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2014
December
November
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2013
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April

 

 

 
Folio Portfolio
 
Folio Gold
 
Folio Showcase