Big Box, Little Box – Illustrated by Edward Underwood

Big Box, Little Box illustrated by Edward Underwood is one of the five books on the shortlist for the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize.

The judges found the colour and detail in Underwood’s book very pleasing indeed; graphically it is a stand-out picture book with superb use of colour and composition. There’s a slight sense of Lynley Dodd in the way the layout carries you through the story.

Here Edward Underwood chooses his favourite spread from Big Box, Little Box:

Though this spread from Big Box, Little Box isn't entirely consistent with the colourful multiple vignettes and occasional double pages which best serve the wonderful rhythm of Caryl's text, the full portrait format and sparse wording seem to echo other graphic mediums, like classic book jackets or film posters.

I like here the stark formal similarity between the images that mirrors the give/take of the simple sentences. In short, one goes up, one goes down! I also enjoy the way an absence of expression becomes expressive in itself. The cat, so rudely interrupted, wears that unnameable look that falls somewhere between irritation and dismay.

Like the rest of Big Box, Little Box, this spread is a digital montage of different materials, playfully rendered with awkward two-dimesionality and dubious perspective. Using mainly textured paper in scissor-cut shapes, linear details and softer objects (for instance, textiles or furry things) often demand pastels and inks.

My love for the immediate, exuberant ingenuity of, say, Olle Eksell, Paul Rand, Javier Mariscal or Nathalie du Pasquier is writ large in my work, though rather than constantly referring back to these giants of the creative industries, I keep an element of their ethos in my head in the hope that what comes out on the page (or, more properly, on screen) is as fresh, original and joyful in turn.

Edward Underwood is one half of the Lisa Jones Studio design team. He and his wife, Lisa, began designing and hand-printing their own range of cards in their London studio way back in 2000. Drawing on their backgrounds in art and fashion, they've since stocked the world's finest galleries, museums, boutiques and department stores with design-led goodies. These days they illustrate and adorn greetings and homewares from an old post mill on the edge of the South Downs.

Big Box, Little Box is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.


The Klaus Flugge Prize is funded personally by Klaus Flugge and run independently of Andersen Press.

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