Review: 50 People of East London
50 People of East London takes a humorous look at the diverse, eccentric and often infuriating population of East London.
Published by Hoxton Mini Press, the book is illustrated by Adam Dant whilst the text was written in collaboration with Adam Dant, Martin Usborne and Harry Adès.
The colourful list of characters within the book includes smart phone-diviners, well-off art students, barge dwelling fantasists and aggressive estate agents to name just a few. Each person character is presented alongside key information including their typical location, what they usually carry and how rare it is to sight one of their species. There is even a tick box on each page and a score sheet at the back so that you can find out how East London you truly are!
A sunny Sunday at 2pm near Columbia Road offers the terrifying sight of multiple fig trees walking themselves down the road. The only clue to human accompaniment is a cappuccino cup protruding through the foliage…
All 50 people included are illustrated using a beautiful opaque, inky style. Creating 50 immediately recognisable characters is no small task but it is one which Adam Dant has triumphed at, creating a cast of characters each with their own individual personality and whimsical charm.
It’s simple structured layout allows the illustration to shine in all its glory and the books limited colour scheme of muted turquoise and peachy orange sets a soothing tone.
Contrasting to, yet perfectly complimenting, the book’s loose illustration style is its classic, sophisticated design. Its simple structured layout allows the illustration to shine in all its glory and the books limited colour scheme of muted turquoise and peachy orange sets a soothing tone. Topping off an already exquisite piece of design, Hoxton Mini Press‘ signature gold foil detailing adds a final touch of class to proceedings.
As well as being a charming piece of publishing, there is a deeper, more intellectual side to the books humorous voice as it highlights both the positive and negative connotations of this diverse population. On one hand, it points out easy it is to spot the seemingly “unique” characters, shedding light on the common copy cat culture of modern society. On the other, the book acts as a celebration of how diverse and eccentric the population of East London really is, realising East London would be a far less interesting place to be if it wasn’t for the colourful characters which walk its streets.