One of the great joys of working in children’s publishing comes from seeing artwork arriving in the office for the first time – and it’s especially pleasing when it appears in unexpected places… like on an envelope. For me, the undisputed king of the envelope illustration is Pip and Posy illustrator Axel Scheffler: from a simple crow illustration with some nicely-drawn lettering, to an abstract masterpiece riffing on figures from history and stamp design, Axel’s envelopes are invariably beautiful, witty and imaginative (so much so that many of them end up framed on our walls).
Receiving post from Axel makes any day a happy one (it certainly brightened up my Monday last week, when the piece at the top of this post appeared), so today I thought I’d share some of my favourite envelope art from Axel.
This envelope, addressed to Kate, was featured in a retrospective of Axel’s work in Troisdorf, Germany. I think it is HILARIOUS – a surreal, brilliant stroke of genius.
Even Axel’s simplest envelopes are charming.
The biggest crow in the whole world.
This chap’s looking pretty thoughtful.
I really love this trail of crows.
This one, featuring Pip, is on display on our wall of crows.
Another envelope from the crow wall in our office – this gigantic creature has pushed our address almost off the page…
Camilla was wearing a dress almost EXACTLY like this one on the day this arrived in the office.
A very friendly looking leopard.
A pretty stylish pair.
Quite the odd couple.
It’s a good thing Axel was around to feed those crows…
“Napoleon After Leipzig”. This is strange and incredible and I love it.
This just gets funnier and funnier the more I look at it – I love how Axel has captured the EXACT pose of the stamp man.
My name provides a very convenient perch for agitated crows – I particularly like the goggly eyes on this one.
One of our most recent crows – it is autumn, after all.
And finally, another very simple envelope, with some wonderful hand-lettering.
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