Graphic Design student announced as the winner of the prestigious Batsford Prize

Second year student Liam Tooher was one of the winners in the Illustration category

Second year Nottingham Trent University (NTU) BA (Hons) Graphic Design student, Liam Tooher, has been named the Illustration category winner of the Batsford Prize 2020-2021. A prestigious design award covering textiles, art and illustration, the prize is presented annually by leading art book publisher Batsford and is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at UK-based institutions.

This year’s Batsford Prize theme was ‘Our Planet’, to which Liam responded with his winning entry ‘Happy Days?’, a series of black and white illustrations aiming to shine a light on the negative and ironic side of various aspects of our planet.

“I felt most people would probably highlight the positives of our planet, so I wanted my work to be somewhat sad, ironic and humorous and I think the pieces capture that feeling such as people sunbathing at a littered ridden beach”, explained Liam.

“I was inspired by many different artists including a Belgian-based duo called Geriko where I got the idea of using bold black and white for the work, and another artist called Josefina Schargorodsky who's simple illustrations inspired me too.

It feels very strange to have won - in a good way! When sending off the work for the competition I had no idea that I would have ever won. My tutor and coursemates really helped me with this project, from telling me which pieces to improve to how to develop further which I really appreciated. Nottingham is also a very creative city and seeing all the cool shops and artwork everywhere helped inspire me.”

Claire Lockwood, Head of Department for Visual Communications commented: “This is an incredible achievement to win such a prestigious competition that is judged by industry professionals.

We are extremely proud of Liam for winning the illustration category of the Batsford Prize and we wish Liam all the best for the future and lots more success in his final year.

This is a testament to the passion and support that the staff on the Graphic Design and Illustration courses provide their students with. The confidence to believe in your abilities and achieve your goals.”
Liam has won a £500 cash prize, £50 worth of books from Batsford, and £500 worth of books from Batsford for the University.