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Creating Characters in Illustrated Children’s Books – #FlorisDesign

Posted on 23/05/2016 in Design and Illustration

illus 1With wacky expressions, silly quirks and heartfelt encounters, we know that characterisation brings personality to the page. At Floris, we think that it is one of the most important features in any illustrated book. We want to share a few examples of how illustrators can make characters’ personality shine.

Illustrators use facial expressions, fashion, body language, and actions to create vibrant and memorable characters. This is equally important for chapter novels in our Young Kelpies range and picture books. We’ve picked some of our favourite examples from our latest Young Kelpies series, Scotland Stars F.C. to demonstrate some great illustrations of big personalities!

Danny Scott’s protagonist, Calum Ferguson, dreams of being a star footballer and the illustrator, Alice A. Morentorn, shows off Calum’s big dreams of being a star striker for Scotland in the very first illustration:

In his dreams, Calum scores the winning goal for SCOTLAND!

In his dreams, Calum scores the winning goal for SCOTLAND!


Calum might only be day-dreaming in his back garden but Alice introduces the main character with real impact; it’s clear that he’s enthusiastic and football mad! Look at these other moments from Scotland Stars, what can you tell from the actions and behaviour of these characters?

illus 2.1 and 2.2 combined

The illustration on the left clearly shows characters who are confident. When the child reader sees the boy leaning back with his collar popped up and fist-bumping his friend – they know instantly that this is definitely one of the popular kids in class. Meanwhile in the illustration on the right, Alice makes sure the reader knows how excited Calum and his best friend, Leo, are as they celebrate some great football!

But that’s not all, there are many different, individual techniques that illustrators use to make characters’ personality stand out. We’d love for you to share your favourite characters and their big personalities! Tweet using #FlorisDesign and share with us!

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Scotland Stars F.C.

Calum's New Team jacket coverCalum's New Boots jacket coverCalum's Big Break jacket cover


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