Well Designed, Well Read


Our graduating class of students have each developed a picture book as part of their communication design classes with me. In their first term, students were invited to think about storytelling and create a character for a children’s book (or, in some cases for an older audience, using the format and visual language of a children’s book). In their second term, students developed their character into a series of sketches, primarily using Illustrator. After an introductory course in typography and print design, students had a term to develop their illustrations into a finished book.

We saw many great projects come out of these classes. Here are four that stood out…

CROW ART by Julian Ablaza

This book is more of a graphic novel for an older audience than a picture book for young children. It tells the story of a young crow who struggles to find his way in the world. Julian has a background in film and it shows in his ability to dramatically frame and construct his compositions.


Fabric Button Girl tells a simple story of a young button and invites us into her world. The book uses simple imagery and text that is well-developed for a younger audience (this is harder than it looks) and is structured over the course of one full day, using time as a way to mark the pages rather than page numbers.

CREEPY by Jane Haezer Saputra

Creepy is “a moonfaced child that collects other unwanted and bizarre objects that people leave around, but there is also a more hidden sinister side to Creepy….” Despite this description, this is a charming book. It’s very simple, with a restricted colour palette, playful typography and a good pace.

FAIRIES by Amie Bennett

Amie was interested in developing a more complex world for an older audience. This is a common challenge for people new to creating children’s books. Amie handled the scope of this project very well by editing her vision down to the essentials and using the books as an introduction to the world she was imagining. Editing is a key component of a well designed book, or anything really. It is hard to showcase judicious editing, but it shows in the simplicity and clarity of Amie’s final design.

Check out these projects and others like it in the showcase section of OOMPH.

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