V&A Illustration Awards 2016 announced

David McConochie takes this year’s top prize and becomes the inaugural recipient of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year award

The annual V&A Illustration Awards, which have been running since 1972, celebrate the best illustrations published over the previous year. For 2016, the overall award has been renamed in honour of the late Moira Gemmill, who was the V&A’s Director of Design for 13 years. In addition to the award, the winner also receives £5,000.

The prize went to David McConochie for his cover for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories (shown top). McConochie says he was inspired by “the strangely beautiful but inherent eeriness” of 19th century daguerreotypes in the work. The judging panel of author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Patrick Burgoyne, editor of Creative Review and Annabel Judd, former head of design at the V&A were struck by the boldness of the composition and the way in which it sets the tone for the unnerving stories within the book

McConochie studied Graphic Design at the University of Teesside and has since become known for his work in photomontage, collage and assemblage and his mixed-media approach. McConochie also won the Book Cover Illustration Award for the same piece, worth an additional £3,000.

London Sketchbook by Jason Brooks
From London Sketchbook by Jason Brooks

The Book Illustration Award went to Jason Brooks for his London Sketchbook, published by Laurence King. A follow-up to his Paris Sketchbook, the London Sketchbook is a stylish, witty tour of the capital.

V&A Illustration Awards Editorial winner: But today I am afraid by Bill Bragg, published in The Guardian
Editorial winner: But today I am afraid by Bill Bragg, published in The Guardian

Bill Bragg won the Editorial Illustration Award for his Guardian Op-Ed illustration But today I am afraid, which accompanied a piece on attitudes toward Muslims.

Each of them also wins £3,000.

My name is not refugee by Kate_Milner
From My name is not refugee by Kate Milner

The Student Illustrator of the Year award, chosen by Ruth Prickett, the editor of Illustration magazine and Rafi Romaya, the art director of Canongate Books, went to Kate Milner of Anglia Ruskin University: Cambridge School of Art for My name is not ‘refugee’. She receives £3,000.

V&A Illustration Award Student runner-up - Morts et vita by Joan Alturo, Arts University Bournemouth
Student runner-up – Morts et vita by Joan Alturo, Arts University Bournemouth

And the Student Runner-Up was Joan Alturo of Arts University Bournemouth for Morts et Vita. He receives £2,000.

The winning work will be displayed outside the V&A’s National Art Library from May 24 until August 21, 2016.

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South East London - Competitive


London - £35,000 - £40,000


Birmingham - Salary £30-£35k


Leeds, West Yorkshire - £20,000 - 30,000