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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in illustration news


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Our 10 Best Illustrations of 2013

Presenting a list of the 10 illustrations we are most proud of from the past 12 months…

ScholasticAlice in Wonderland Smoking Caterpillar


This is a fun artwork that was drawn for a series of books comissioned by Scholastic. It included many other characters from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and also ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, but this was by far our favourite!

RaintreeDinosaur Infographic


When we first saw the brief for this infographic we initially thought ‘thats a lot of dino for one artwork!’, but they were so great to draw that when it was finished we ended up quite liking it, however busy it may look!

RaintreeDiagram of a Collision


This is an excellent example of some of the more technical artwork we create here at HL Studios. Another job from Raintree, this artwork shows an aerial view of a motorway collision.

RaintreeReduce, Reuse, Recycle


An infographic from Raintree that represents the mantra ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ in quite a cartoony yet striking manner. We decided to feature this as it is a rather unusual style of artwork, and we’re always happy to show off the diverse range of styles the studio is able to produce.

RaintreeAnimal Abilities


Animals are great to draw, fact! We had lots of fun with this series of artworks, and this one is a particular favourite in the studio. It’s actually rather relaxing to draw animals (depending on how tight the schedule is of course!) and this artwork is a nice example of the range of different creatures we get the chance to illustrate.

Pearson OxfordBlack and White Villa


This illustration has been chosen as it is a fantastic example of how an artwork can still be brought to life even if it is drawn using black and white. The perspective on the building is also very well done and therefore deserved a place in out 10 Best Blog.

Pearson Oxford ‘Church


This is one of two artworks that were created for Pearson Oxford. It is a lovely example of how a simple cartoon style can still be used to portray a serious subject. There are some nice uses of shadowing, and the blends used for the brick work give a great perspective on the whole piece.

Pan MacmillanDanubia Map


We take a lot of pride in our cartography skills here at HL Studios, and this map in particular is an amazing example of what our illustrators can produce. The level of detail in this map is beautiful and absolutely deserved a place in this list.

MacmillanShanghai Waiter


This piece is a collaboration between a few of our illustrators, it has been chosen for this list as it demonstrates how well the team works together whilst also showing off both techincal and figurative styles.

Cambridge University PressAnne Boleyn


An artwork for CUP that was an absolute joy to illustrate. Again it is a straightforward style but capturing the likenesses of famous faces is always good fun to do.

We hope you have enjoyed this post, don’t forget to keep an eye out for more creativity from the illustration team in the future!

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in design news, illustration news


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The long awaited, much anticipated Mexican buffet day…

… oh and Laura the Drawer turns 30!


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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in duck tales


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Back by popular demand …


There is a massive solar storm hurtling towards the earth.
Please ensure all staff take the appropriate precautionary actions …

… and dont forget any pets.

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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in design news


Project in focus


The second installment in the Grubson Pug series hit the shelves this week to much excitement in the HL Studios office (and not just because a Benny Factor bought us chocolates)! 

Picking up the story a few days after the dramatic climax to book one, we join Banzai on his unusual nautical quest.

It’s New Year and a time for resolutions. Under the watchful eye of Horatio Fox, Banzai is persuaded to face the secrets of his closely-guarded carpet bag. Then he promptly vanishes from St Benfro.

Grubson Pug sets off in pursuit of his missing ship’s cat in a chase across Europe to Venice. Meanwhile, Banzai finally resolves his biggest burden – only to find himself in the middle of a new catastrophe!

Caught up in the confusion of Carnival, Banzai learns to accept help from friends when the situation is too much for one proud and trouble-prone cat.

As well as the familiar faces on board The Beagle, there are lots of new characters to meet in this second book: ‘Les Grubsons’ the French part of the family – Captain Dogmael and his cat aboard The Resolve – the water-dwellers in Venice (including gondoliers and the mayor) – and someone no one was expecting to see …


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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in design news


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e-book piracy grows


According to NetNames, an online data monitoring company,  students are the biggest culprits when it comes to e-book piracy. Investigators looked at the availability of 50 popular textbooks across five different disciplines in the UK. In total 76% of the titles were available to download free in pirated form on one e-book sharing site. Science and engineering were the most pirated academic textbooks.

NetNames’ director of piracy analysis, David Price, thinks the expense of educational books could be the problem.

“We talk to all content owners about this sort of thing. The best way to beat piracy is to get your content out there, to give it to people in some way or make them buy it in some simple, cheap, easy way.”

Two textbooks for pharmacology and physiology cost in excess of £180, about a fifth of a student finance loan.

The research has been released as the Publishers Association admitted that e-book piracy was a growing problem. The organisation’s chief executive, Robert Mollet, says it’s not all the students’ fault.

“We’re seeing more infringement of e-books as the digital market grows,”

“About a quarter of all novels bought in the UK are bought as e-books, so as that digital market grows, we’re bound to see a little bit of piracy alongside it.”

“But I have to say, it’s a very small issue compared with the sort of levels we see in film and music. E-books are nowhere near that.”

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Posted by on October 17, 2013 in design news


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Bookmachine everywhere!

Bookmachine Everywhere took place last night in
London, Oxford, Brighton, New York & Toronto.

Much to my own personal disappointment there was no Eurovision style link up, so no chance to wave (slightly off cue) and to hold up banners for our friends and Bookmachine colleagues across the pond.

There was however, at the Oxford event, a chance to eat delicious corporate branded cupcakes supplied by this months sponsor and winner of the banner image competition, yours truly, HL Studios.

The following images are what happens when an event that would clearly benefit from a buffet has cakes (you were warned!):

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in duck tales


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