Storybook Research – Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll has been a favourite of mine for quite some time. The illustrations in her books use a limited colour palette to create beautiful scenes with playful type that flows with the movement of the illustrations.

Her dark style manages to flow elegantly and melodically despite the sharpness in palette and tone which is a balance she has fully mastered. She re-imagines classic stories in an artistic way, creating a beautiful book through her carefully considered illustrations supporting very playful use of type to tell the stories.

I really love the image of the wolf emerging from the darkness. The glow of it’s eyes and teeth in the darkness is enough to install fear in you without having to see the rest of it. It skulks in the shadows, leering at the unsuspecting reader from the page. The red flowing from it’s mouth, merging into the background of the type looks like the stench of blood and death coming from it’s terrifying mouth. Though very simple, this image is very powerful in showing the reader why they should be scared of this wolf.

Her use of type within the illustrations themselves is something I want to explore in my own work to see if I can create a flow of my own to the book I’m making. I will have to experiment with both hand generated and computer generated type to see what works best.


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