The Mabinogion is a classic treasure from Welsh literature. It is being released in a new illustrated edition, in both English and Welsh, as part of the promotions for the 2018 National Eisteddfod of Wales, an annual festival of competitions and performances that runs for a week at the beginning of August. This year’s Eisteddfod (eye-steth-vod) features a new play based on The Mabinogion, along with the literary recitations, dancers, choirs, and other dramas this festival is known for. Because of this year’s tie-in with the illustrated book, the aim was to pull everything together by using the book’s cover image and design to supply the visuals for the other materials for the festival.
The book cover image is inspired by a character from the story, and was made using a mix of methods: traditional ink linework and digital painting. The book design further mixes aesthetics by using a geometric sans typeface directly over the hand-made image. The Eisteddfod is a festival for all ages, and typically attracts Welsh citizens as well as visitors from other parts of the UK interested in a festival celebrating Welsh identity. The cover image’s palette of muted violets, blue-greens, and pinks is carried into the other festival materials, to create an aesthetic that is warm and inviting with an element of the mysterious.