Niamh Young Portfolio

This is my portfolio of projects from the last year, all done for my 3rd and final year at uni.

The Folio Society x House of Illustration


This was a submission to The Folio Society’s book illustration competition. The brief was to make three illustrations based of your own interpretations of the poems they provided. 

In order the illustrations are based off, The Good Morrow by John Donne, Wild Nights by Emily Dickinson, and The Trick by Imtiaz Dharker. 

I wanted these illustrations to work together as well as individually since theoretically they would be in the same book but for different poems. This is the reason for the cohesive colour schemes and An essence of surrealism in all three. 

Throughout all of them there was themes of different types of relationships, the sea, waves, storms, and star charts or maps. These were the foundations from where I found my inspiration. 

 

The Folio Society x House of Illustration Image

Secret 7 - Harmony Hall - Vampire Weekend


Secret 7 was too interesting a concept not to take part in, the brief was to create a record cover for one of their 7 chosen tracks. They would then choose some and make them into actual covers for the records selling them anonymously for charity. 

I created my design for the record “Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend. I ended up designing and entering three to the competition, the other two you can see on my website. I decided to have snakes as a recurring theme because of the influential lyric “Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified.”

In the lyrics you can connote that the band is singing about college institutions and corruption. I wanted images that showed that corruption behind closed doors. This image is that of a snake pile, not knowing where they end, how many there is and what hurt they can cause is all part of the reason I choose it. 

Secret 7 - Harmony Hall - Vampire Weekend Image

Personal Project - Greek Mythology Tarot Set


I have designed 12 Major Arcana Tarot cards, for each one I connected the card to a god or goddess based off what the card and gods represented. I wanted to make tarot and the myths more contemporary and so I modernised the tarot design as well as the Greek mythology.

This project for me was about reinventing two interests of mine for a new younger audience. In the long run I would like to design the entire tarot deck (78 cards) but for this time frame I am more than happy with the 12 I made.

As you can see from the mock ups I have created cohesive designs that cover all aspects of the project including the cards themselves, box, and guidebook that come along with the cards. If I was able I would have loved to actually make and print the cards / guidebook. 

Personal Project - Greek Mythology Tarot Set Image

Personal Project - Tarot Cards 1-4


It was really important for me to connect the right god or goddess to the cards so I very carefully different meanings of the cards.

I decided to just focus on the Major Arcana because I really loved the personalities that went with each card, and I thought they could best be translated into the gods. 

These first four are some of my favourites, deciding on the colours and which aspects from the god and which aspect from the card to include was a lot of fun. 

Personal Project - Tarot Cards 1-4 Image

Personal Project - Tarot Cards 5-8


Another aspect that I liked designing was the borders, at first I thought a generic / simple design was what to do but as I went through the project I decided in the end to base each one off of the god or goddess. Therefore the flower or plant that’s drawn relates directly to the the gods. For example Dionysus God of Wine (top right corner) has grapevine leaves. 

Personal Project - Tarot Cards 5-8 Image

Personal Project - Tarot Cards 9-12


The cards have some homage to the Rider-Waite pack (one of the most popular and considered the original tarot deck) as well as to the mythology that each god or goddess has surrounding them. 

Personal Project - Tarot Cards 9-12 Image

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook Info


Along with having the tarot cards, I really wanted this to be practical, so I designed a guidebook that would go with the tarot cards.

This is a mock up and for this project I created 12 tarot cards, on my website you can see all the 12 double page spreads as well as endpapers. The following images are 6 pages that are my own favourites. 

The bottom image here, is an intro and information starting point. On the left hand side of it is an intro the the world I created and some backstory. On the right side is a basics or tarot 101 information about how to start reading, getting used to your pack and what’s important as a beginner. 

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook Info Image

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook, Pages 3-6


The layout is clear and similar throughout the entire guidebook. I wanted the card meanings to be up first as this is a guidebook I thought that would be the most important. Tarot is based mostly off intuition and how you yourself read the card so I mostly just put down some things generally associated with the cards. 

Along with that I love a narrative and story telling so writing small backstories for the gods and this new world they are in was so much fun and allowed me to really connect with each design. 

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook, Pages 3-6 Image

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook, Pages 27-28 and 31-32


This layout continues throughout the book, and I also liked to include a close up of the tarot design on the opposite page. 

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook, Pages 27-28 and 31-32 Image

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook, Pages 37-38 and 41-42


To design not only so many characters but their narrative too was so much fun, and to show possible employers what I can do. 

Personal Project - Tarot Guidebook, Pages 37-38 and 41-42 Image

Portfolio Details



Portfolio Categories


  • Degree show 2020
    • BA (Hons) Illustration
  • Design