Cover Illustrations for First Grade Textbooks

Brief: The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Macedonia (Bureau of Education) approached me with the difficult task of creating the Cover Illustrations for all first grade textbooks (Math, Social Studies, Natural Studies and Macedonian Language). Challenge: The challenge was to create visually appealing illustrations that will have the right tone and style, to make young children associate them with learning in a fun and free way. The design had to be memorable, as it will be the child's first association with school. That association had to be very positive. Process: Although I was given complete artistic freedom to create this project, I knew the great significance and value of the task and that there was no room for mistakes, so I started by creating a few different illustration styles - I've experimented with different mediums drawing by hand (paper drawings, watercolor, acrylic colors), and very high range of digital brushes, textures and backgrounds on my drawing tablet. Result: After a lot of misses, ultimately, I came up with the concept of an open book, inviting the curiosity of children to come and see what's inside. I've tackled the idea for some time and managed to make it fit for all four different school subjects, so in the instance of Natural Sciences, the book is part of a forest and in Social Studies, the book is part of a city. The end result are school books with vibrant color pallets and contrasting colors, lots of easily recognizable objects for each subject, movement, freedom, open spaces, numbers, letters, animals and nature, all important elements when designing and creating illustrations for young children. Each textbook has a specific color pallet, making it even more easy for children to associate the school subject by its specific color. All four text books are gender sensitive, promoting disability awareness and acceptance, healthy lifestyle, love of nature and animals.
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