Archive for July 3rd, 2011

July 3, 2011

Alan Aldridge

Alan Aldridge is a UK artist and illustrator based out of Los Angeles. Aldridge first worked as an illustrator at ‘The Sunday Times Magazine.’ He was hired in 1965 by Penguin’s chief editor Tony Godwin to become the art director of Penguin Books. Over the next two years as art director, he especially focused on science fiction book covers and introduced his style which resonated with the mood of the time. In 1968 he moved to his own graphic-design firm, INK, which became closely involved with graphic images for the Beatles and Apple Corps.

His work is characterized by a flowing, cartoony style and soft airbrushing – very much in step with the psychedelic styles of the times. In the theater, in 1969 he designed the graphics for controversial Jane Arden play ‘Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven.’ He is possibly best known, however, for the picture book ‘The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast’ (1973), a series of illustrations of anthropomorphic insects and other creatures, which he created in collaboration with William Plomer, who wrote the accompanying verses. This was based on William Roscoe’s poem of the same name, but was inspired when Aldridge read that John Tenniel had told Lewis Carroll it was impossible to draw a ‘wasp in a wig’.