Illustrator Katie Scott Designs Wellcome Book Prize ‘Books Are My Bag’ Tote


Animalium illustrator Katie Scott designs the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize tote bag.

Award-winning Animalium illustrator Katie Scott is revealed today, 26 March, as the designer of this year’s limited edition tote bag celebrating the Wellcome Book Prize, and created in support of the bookshop campaign Books Are My Bag.

Katie Scott won the Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Year award 2014 for her debut, Animalium. Taking inspiration from the Wellcome Library, anatomical illustration and old medical imagery, she has created a beautiful bag design that combines the scientific and the fantastical.

The Wellcome Book Prize recognises exceptional works of literature that engage with the topics of health and medicine and the many ways they touch our lives. The 2018 prize tote bag will be given away free in the Wellcome Shop, while stocks last, with a purchase of three shortlisted titles.

Katie Scott commented:

“The Wellcome image archive and library is an endless source of inspiration for me, and for this project there was no better place to start. I’m drawn to the poses and detail of the 18th- and 19th-century anatomical illustration and wanted a nod to the visual language of that era. I’m also very inspired by much older medical imagery, from a pre-scientific age when we were imaginatively interpreting the world around and inside us.

“I love the historical and fantastical visions of anatomy, with wandering organs and light-emitting eyes, and for the Wellcome Book Prize tote bag, I wanted to merge together these two worlds of the scientific and the fantastical, with an emphasis on creativity and imagination.”

The shortlist was announced last week and includes Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (Stay With Me), Lindsey Fitzharris (The Butchering Art), Kathryn Mannix (With the End in Mind), Mark O’Connell (To Be a Machine), Sigrid Rausing (Mayhem), and Meredith Wadman (The Vaccine Race).

The winner will be revealed at an evening ceremony on Monday 30 April at Wellcome Collection. This will be the ninth year that the £30,000 prize is awarded. The 2017 Wellcome Book Prize winner was Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore (MacLehose Press).