The night saw the big players from the CIA story coming together at Flemings to celebrate not only the launch of the book, but also 27 years together since their small start, from chance beginnings to one of the biggest illustration agencies in the world.
Brian Grimwood addressed the audience gathered in the fittingly eccentric opulence of Flemings Cocktail Bar, telling of how the agency begin in 1983 after he asked good friend Pam Oskam to promote his portfolio. Within a few weeks of one friend asking another to help them out more collegues, associates and friends had come forward, asking Brian if he was setting up an agency. From two, Brian and Pam were joined by Chris Brown, Peter Horridge, Bernard Blatch and Chris McKewan. For Brian the response to the question posed to him repeatedly over the months following his initial collaboration, “are you setting up an agency”, changed quickly from “of course I’m not!” to “of course I am!”
CIA’s debut book is a collection of work from some of the world’s most inspired illustrators and the story of the agency that represents them.
The illustrated 256 page hardcover, designed by Staziker Jones and published by Pirum Press, is beautifully crafted with a stimulating mix of wonderful imagery and fascinating comment from key movers and shakers within the world of commercial illustration. Leigh Jones from Staziker Jones told FAD on the night that License to Inspire “was a real indulgence for us, just a really beautiful book to make and hopefully, to own too.”