"Konfettaskar" och "typografiska läckerbitar" eller funktionalistisk formgivning? Om Eva Billow som bilderbokskonstnär och grafiker
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
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to The Swedish Institute for Children's Books. However, authors are required to transfer copyrights associated with commercial use to the Publisher.