London Life Exhibitions

Ladybird by Design

July 13, 2015

On Saturday evening I had the pleasure to attend a late gallery opening at the House of Illustration and see their latest exhibition called Ladybird by Design.

ladybird by design - colourliving

I don’t know about you but I love late gallery openings. They seem so much more relaxed. With this one there were also drinks and activities. Wanting to savour the actual exhibition I decided to try the activities first.


ladybird by design - colourlivingTable full of templates, magazines, markers, scissors and glue for us to play with.

They aim was to take one of the supplied templates (text) which were taken from the Ladybird books and find some imagery for it. Here were some examples floating around.

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

And here was my attempt. As you can see I veered off a little from the original:-) but hey, creative license and all that…

ladybird by design - colourliving

That part was fun but now to the main attraction. There are over 120 illustrations from Ladybird books dating from the late 1950s to the early 70s, including images from classic Ladybird titles including People at Work, Shopping with Mother, Science, Nature, Well Loved Tales and Key Words. You’ll also find rare photographs, roughs and a spread of the actual book layout, showing the 24 illustrations with the text.

Photography isn’t allowed as there’s a wonderful book accompanying this exhibition but here are just a few images to wet your apetite.

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

I am always so impressed with the curation at the House of Illustration. Their exhibition are full of storytelling and have immense content. I always come out feeling I saw and learned a lot. One of my favourite feature is the accompanying videos as you exit the exhibition. They are so interesting that I find myself watching them a few times while absorbing what I’ve just seen. See the one on Ladybird by Design here.

The shop, filled to the brim with interesting illustration books, greeting cards and so much more has a variety of products accompanying this exhibition. A box of 100 postcards, the exhibition catalogue, a series of Ladybird prints depicting the alphabet and they also found some original vintage Ladybird books where the proceeds from the sale goes towards the cost of running their extensive education programme.

ladybird by design - colourliving

ladybird by design - colourliving

And here’s what I managed to pick up. The Ladybird book of London has been reproduced but the one on food and Gerry the Giraffe are originals. Hurry though, the vintage ones will sell out fast.

ladybird by design - colourliving

I cannot recommend the exhibition enough and at a price of £7.70 per adult it’s really worth a trip. Check out their website for details of Ladybird inspired talks and events, late gallery openings and family workshops. I cannot wait to return before it closes.

Ladybird by Design
10 July – 27 September
House of Illustration2 Granary Square
Kings Cross
London N1C 4BH
Open 10am – 6pm Tuesdays – Sundays

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4 Comments

  • Reply Holly July 13, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Sooo cool! I can’t remember what books we had like this in school…too bad. But these illustrations gives me a good feeling. Thanks! Happy you’re enjoying your town xoxoxo

    • Reply tina July 15, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      I just LOVED it. Really happy I’m able to go to a talk by the co-curator tonight. The books are so educational, so visually stunning.
      My dream would be for Mapology Guides to take off like this:-)

      Thanks Holly. London in the summer is the BEST! xx

  • Reply Parisbreakfast July 14, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I have to find a way to get there.
    Lov this
    Thanks!!

    • Reply tina July 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      It would be cool.
      Just take the Eurostar, even if it’s for the day. You arrive at St. Pancras and the House of Illustration is 10 mns walk away.
      I could meet you there:-))

      Thanks Carol.

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