Illustrator Paul Thurlby

Originally from Nottingham, now based in London, Paul Thurlby has been a full-time illustrator since September 2006 after graduating from the University in Buckinghamshire, England.


The inspiration for my work comes from mid-century design and illustration. My style has been described as being retro-modern. The aesthetics are retro and the subject matter is modern. I use old books, postcards and pieces of paper for the backgrounds to my illustrations which often, for example, involves buying an old book from a charity shop just to use its back cover.



What I particularly like about mid-century design and illustration is the graphic simplicity. To quote the great British graphic designer, Abram Games: “Maximum meaning, minimum means.”

Games is someone I admire for his ideas. Ideas are an important part of my work and, possibly, the most enjoyable part of the process for me. More important than style.


Paul’s built up an impressive list of commissions working in editorial, advertising, publishing and T-shirt design for clients including The New Yorker, The Guardian, Tate Enterprises, It’s Nice That, The French Tourist Board, Templar Publishing, Orange UK and Warner/Chappell.

Click here to see more of Paul Thurlby’s illustrations and to get information on his prints and books Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet and Paul Thurlby’s Wildlife.


  • Erika says:

    WOW amazing work!!! Wondering if your alphabet designs are available for purchase? I am a kindergarten teacher and I think my kiddos would be amazed to see your work in our classroom.

    • Hi Erika, I’m glad you enjoyed Paul’s designs. Paul has made several books, a couple consisting of his alphabets. In one version, he’s made the pages removable posters. I think they’d be perfect for your classroom! Click here to purchase the books from Amazon.

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