Quentin Blake wins 2011 Prince Philip Designers Prize

Illustrator Quentin Blake has been awarded the 2011 Prince Philip Designers Prize.

Quentin Blake
Quentin Blake

Blake saw off a shortlist that featured Ideo chief executive Tim Brown, exhibition designer Dinah Casson and Onedotzero co-founder Shane Walter.

Also shortlisted were engineer Cecil Balmond, medical prosthetics designer Saeed Zahedi, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, milliner Stephen Jones and architects Sir David Chipperfield, Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre.

Special commendations were awarded to Chipperfield and Zahedi.

Blake’s first published drawings appeared in Punch when he was 16 and he is most famous for his illustrations of Roald Dahl’s books.

He has also created illustrations for children’s authors Michael Rosen and Joan Aiken, as well as Dickens and Lear, and has also created his own characters, including Mister Magnolia, Mrs Armitage and Clown.

Blake, who also headed the Royal College of Art’s illustration department from 1978 to 1986, said last night, ’Illustration wants to belong in the design world. I hope this award may be a stiumulus to young illustrators and a stimulus to my friends and colleagues who are working to set up the House of Illustration.’

This will be the final year that the Duke of Edinburgh will deliver the prize. Having headed up the judging panel since the inception of the prize in 1959, Prince Philip is stepping down as he reduces his workload in his 90th year.

In his speech last night, Prince Philip told the crowd, ’Go on designing – go on designing different and challenging things. Someone may think you are doing it right.’

Prince Philip
Quentin Blake drew a portrait of Prince Philip, which was presented to HRH.

The Design Council, which hosts the award scheme – which is to recognise an outstanding contribution to UK business and society through design – says the prize will continue with another patron.

Design Council chief executive David Kester says, ‘No-one can be in any doubt of the extraordinary dedication to promoting and celebrating design which has been shown by His Royal Highness during more than half a century of expert and insightful leadership of the Prince Philip Designers Prize.’

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  • Frank Peters FCSD November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Congratulations Quentin – really pleased that a CSD nomination of one of its Fellows won the last prize awarded by our Patron – one for the history books – illustrated by you of course!!

  • Penelope Jordan November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What a greatly deserved choice for this award. Quentin Blake’s confidently scribbly drawings – with a narrative verve all of their own – have delighted and amused three generations of my family.

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