Monday, March 7, 2016

Meet Our Judges: Paul Buckley,
Executive Creative Director, Penguin

Welcome to the thirteenth annual 3x3 International Illustration Awards, over the next several weeks we will be introducing you to our international jury of art directors, designers, publishers and illustrators.

Paul Buckley is a veteran art director of one of the largest book publishers in the world, Penguin Group. Paul and his group oversee the covers and jackets for 18 imprints which translates into the packaging of well over 1,000 titles and authors a year.

Paul got into design thanks to his father Gerald Buckley, who was an advertising agency art director in Philadelphia. An art director who drove a two-seater Austin Healey, even though he had five kids. Paul’s dad was a painter, illustrator, teacher, cartoonist—drawing cartoons for The Stars and Stripes—and designer. While other kids were getting children’s books, Paul was getting illustration annuals. The house was surrounded by his father’s art and filled with sounds of his mother’s piano and guitar playing. Is it any wonder that Paul and his brother, Jerry, as well as his wife Ingsu Liu, are all book cover designers.

In his high school senior year he was convinced he wanted to be either an illustrator or herpetologist. He opted for illustration and received a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts in New York. He supported himself through college working in design firms and at the same time pursuing freelance illustration assignments. By the time he graduated he had five years on-the-job experience at design studios and was getting his illustrations published in magazines like Newsweek and Penthouse. After graduation, Paul took a three-month road trip ending back in New York and needing a job. A former employer recommended him for a job at NAL/Plume/Dutton, a publishing firm that was looking for a junior designer; two years later the company merged with Penguin where Paul has been ever since.

Under the title of Vice President, Executive Creative Director he oversees covers and jackets for eighteen diverse publishing imprints within Penguin Books. In the beginning he tried illustrating every book he was working on but soon realized, “I enjoyed design more and it gave me greater flexibility to constantly reinvent myself.”

Paul has received numerous awards and recognition for his book cover designs and was named one of the first ADC Young Guns by the Art Directors Club of New York along with Stefan Sagmeister, James Victore, Emily Oberman, John Gall and others.

Paul will be judging our Picture Book Show.

What will Paul be looking for?

“What I’ll be looking for: In a word, distinction—executed beautifully.”

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 25, 2016