And the winner is… Happydesigner!

It may not be the Oscars, the BAFTAs, or the Oliviers, but we are thrilled to bits here at Happydesigner to have won an award for our children’s book illustration business.

We have been named Illustration Studio of the Year 2022 in the annual Prestige Awards. These awards were set up to recognise the hard work of small and independent businesses, which are overlooked by the larger, international awards. Winners – that’s us!

We’re delighted at this award win, because it’s not one that we sought out and entered ourselves into. Our hard work was spotted by the judges, and we were deemed worthy winners.

In their summary the judges said they were “impressed by the upbeat ethos that drives Happydesigner and has made them such a popular studio with their clients”.

They went on to say: “The artists are passionate about their work and offer a quirky and unique take on illustrations, which immediately sets them apart from their competitors. The services provided at the Herefordshire-based studio constitute a complete package for clients and cover every facet of the design journey in one destination, saving money and time and always going the extra mile to ensure satisfaction.”

They were also impressed by our green credentials, noting that we invest in worldwide climate and reforestation projects with Ecologi.

Wow! We’re very proud of these comments, especially as the judges picked up on the very ethos that we strive to maintain within our little company – fun, friendly, professional, quirky.

So, it got us to thinking about awards. The book world – which we inhabit, with our children’s book illustrations – has several awards.

Probably the most well-known is the Booker Prize but there are many, many others including the Costa Book Awards, the British Book Awards and Waterstones Book of the Year.

Some are for particular genres, like the Arthur C Clarke award for science fiction, or particular categories, such as the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

And of course, the ones we’re always really interested in relate to children’s fiction, like the Kate Greenaway Medal.

‘But is there any point to these awards?’ we hear you as ask. Well, we think there is. Because book awards shine a light on the world of literature and encourage people to read. They may not want to read all the Booker Prize long listers, but they may well go for a Costa Book Award winner.

We’re so thrilled that one silver lining to the pandemic has been the positive effect it has had on reading. More than 200 million print books were sold in the UK in 2020, the first time since 2012 that number has been exceeded. For children’s books, by September 2021 sales were up 9% year-to-date over 2020. 

And we know people love reading more than ever, because we are soooo busy here at Happydesigner working with our fantastic authors to illustrate and design their children’s books.

If you have a book project and you’d like to work with award-winning children’s book illustrators, then please do get in touch. We’d be happy to hear from you – after all, we are the ‘happy’ designers!

Written by Jo Smyth (

Some of our previous clients

happydesigner clients