Quentin Blake, one of Britain's best-loved illustrators and the man who created the world-famous images of the Big Friendly Giant and Matilda, named the winner of the 2011 Prince Philip Designers Prize by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony at the Design Council in London.
Quentin Blake is perhaps best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahl's books, but his distinctive pen, ink and watercolour drawings have also accompanied the work of many other children's authors like Michael Rosen and Joan Aiken. He has illustrated Dickens, Carroll and Lear as well as originating his own characters including Mister Magnolia, Mrs Armitage and Clown.
Since his first drawings appeared in Punch when he was 16, Blake has become recognised around the world in a 60-year career. He became widely known in the 1970s, presenting the BBC's Jackanory, where he illustrated the various stories on screen. He became the first ever Children's Laureate in 1999.
Two of this year's nominees received Special Commendations from the judges: Sir David Chipperfield CBE RDI, one of the UK's most distinguished architects and this year's winner of the Royal Gold Medal from RIBA and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, and Saeed Zahedi, one of the world's leading designers of medical prosthetics, who has been at the forefront of breakthroughs which improve quality of life for people, including military personnel treated at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.
"No-one can be in any doubt of the extraordinary dedication to promoting and celebrating design which has been shown by His Royal Highness during more than half a century of expert and insightful leadership of the Prince Philip Designers Prize," commented David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council. "This year's winner and nominees likewise demonstrate a dedication to creative excellence, but they are also exemplars of the international commercial success which springs from that creativity. Now more than ever, we must celebrate our world-leading designers, innovators and creatives, and their vital contribution to our economic future."
Former winners of the Prize include Bill Moggridge (2010) who designed the world's first laptop, Thomas Heatherwick (2006); the architect Lord Foster of Thamesbank (2004); Habitat founder Sir Terence Conran (2003); Pentagram founder Kenneth Grange (2001) and inventor Sir James Dyson (1997).
Photo: Courtesy of Design Council