Astrid Jaekels’ Meadow Murals

Astrid Jaekels public art can be found scattered throughout Edinburgh, her most recent being the 5 murals on the meadows. With these pieces she transformed a tired, graffitied wall into interesting and eye- catching pieces of art.Taking inspiration from the history of the meadows Astrid collaborated with the poet Rachel Woolf to create these murals which reflect on the folklore of the time. The 5 illustrated murals work all together as a collection but are also very strong when viewed individually.mural 3

Each mural makes use of organic flowing lines and art- nouveau like shapes. It is clear that paper cutting is the primary technique used for these murals. As a result the shapes and lines are clean and strong and the negatives spaces are very important in two muralscreating detail. Text and typography also plays an important part in each illustration. The path names and titles of the panels are written in the frames of each mural, separate from the illustrations. Whereas the words of the poem are intertwined with the characters in the designs but are still clear to read. A limited palette of fresh colours is used in interesting combinations, varying on each mural. The backgrounds are all a light blue, like that seen on a hazy spring day in Edinburgh. On top of the blue each mural has one or two spot colours on certain characters or aspects the artist wished to emphasize.  A dark brown is used for many of the illustrations and all the text. I like the use of a brown rather than black as it makes the lines less harsh and gives the pieces a more natural feel. The white spaces play an important part in these murals as they provide calm block shapes within the busy line work and bright colours.

I find the dimensions of the murals very appealing, as they are large enough to get passer- bys attention but at the same time are not too big that they look out of place. The long landscape canvas allows the story to flow from left to right smoothly. This makes the murals very easy to read as your eye follows the illustrations and words across the space. The animated characters and descriptive poem make the narrative very apparent in the murals.

300470-meadows-mural-astrid-jaekelI am very fond of Astrid Jaekels’ murals on the meadows and enjoy spotting something new every time I pass them. I think that these murals would appeal to a wide range of the public: children would be engaged with the friendly characters and bright colours, whilst adults can appreciate them as works of art and be intrigued by the history present in each piece. This public art has brightened middle Meadow walk and transformed a boring grey wall into engaging story- telling canvas.


The National Trust Teatime Baking Book

A book form that is becoming more and more popular is the Illustrated Cook Book. My favourite recipe book I own is The National Trust Teatime Baking Book (Good Old Fashioned Recipes) by Jane Pettigrew. Although I love the yummy puddings and cakes within, what really appeals to me is the book design.

Examples of 1950's cookbooks.
Examples of 1950’s cookbooks.

The cover instantly attracted me with retro aesthetic and illustrated design. The layout and font is quite traditional and along with the use of 4 pastel colours, these features give the book the book a 1950’s feel.

A salmon pink, muted teal and two shades of muted blue are used. I like the selected colours and find this limited palette for the covers very effective as the simple, retro appearance would stand out from other cookbooks which so often use photographs.

Front and Back Covers

The Illustrations on the cover have strong lines, clean shapes and block colours. Each drawing has been reduced down to the simplest form needed to portray the utensils, cakes and ingredients. There is also a clever use of negative shapes which can be seen in the bread illustration.

The endpapers


The end papers use the same illustrations on the cover but change the black for white lines and use a lighter shade than the teal paper it is printed on. There is no repeating pattern seen, instead the images are randomly repeated and put together. I think the 3 tone colours on the endpapers are really sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing.



chapter montage
Chapter headings

The inside contents on the book features photographs of the baked goods, but each chapter heading is a soft coloured page with white writing and a small decorative leaf underneath. The pages with the recipes throughout vary in colour, all keeping to the muted palette. If the paper is a colour the writing is white and/or black, and if the paper is white the writing is black and/or a colour. The continuity of the colour throughout the book makes it appear as a high quality book that has a very considered design. The physical weight and book- cloth feel of the book also add to its quality.

I think the design is very attractive and can see it appealing to bakers of all ages, as retro aesthetics are back in fashion. However I do think this book may be more focused towards woman as the pastel colours are very feminine. This would significantly reduce sales, however maybe the assumption that predominantly women like to bake, ensures this books success.