"Konfettaskar" och "typografiska läckerbitar" eller funktionalistisk formgivning? Om Eva Billow som bilderbokskonstnär och grafiker

Elina Druker


Eva Billow as picture book artist and graphic designer. The 1940’s and 50’s was a dynamic period for the Nordic picture book. There is a general aspiration to explore picture book aesthetics, a need to find imagery and expressions capturing a new era. In my article, I will discuss how these ideas are expressed in the illustrator and graphic artist Eva Billow’s picture books. Her illustration style is originated in a modernist tradition of simplicity, clarity and typographic precision. Also, an idea about books as an art form is evident through her production. Eva Billow’s production covers a wide field of graphic design, from picture books, cartoons and illustrations to book art, posters and advertisements. I will discuss Billow’s use of aesthetics that can be related to functionalist ideas and will further place this approach in a larger context in the history of Swedish graphic design. The general interest in graphic design and new printing techniques among picture book illustrators can also be seen as a part of a tendency within Nordic Modernism where the artist aspired to make arts a part of the society. But the appeal for the picture book among the young Nordic artists and authors, prior and after the Second World War, also expresses an inter-artistic tendency, where the limits between different forms of art are explored.

Keywords: picturebook, graphic design, functionalism, modernism, illustration history, literary criticism


picturebook; graphic design; functionalism; modernism; illustration history; literary criticism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14811/clr.v34i1.33


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Barnboken – Journal of Children's Literature Research eISSN 2000-4389
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