November 6, 2015 Neville Godwin

H. G. Wells Print Design Competition

H. G. Wells Print Design

Every so often I do a personal project to keep fresh and just to do something without the constraints of a brand manual of the client’s brief. This was one such project.

Next year, 2016 is the 150th year anniversary of H. G. Wells birth and local artists are being invited to submit a print design of H. G. Wells’ most famous book “War of the Worlds”. If one of the two selected, the print design will be made into a silkscreen print edition at Ochre Print Studio.

H. G. Wells moved to Woking in May 1895 and although only staying here for less than eighteen months, it was perhaps the most productive period of his writing career. While in Woking he planned and wrote The War of the Worlds and the Invisible Man’ along with a number of short stories.

H. G. Wells Poster Design

My H. G. Wells Print Design

To commemorate this anniversary, Woking Borough Council, has commissioned two original screen print editions.

Cllr David Bittleston, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Cultural and Community Development says:

“This exciting commission supports our plans to commemorate the life and works of HG Wells in 2016. Called the ‘father of science fiction’, Wells’ success and rise to fame is inextricably linked to Woking, which inspired him to pen The War of the Worlds and other best sellers.

A great illustrator himself, we hope this project will capture the imagination of local artists, who can still draw upon many of the things that influenced a young Wells’, while of course adding their own contemporary interpretations and artistic flare.

We look forward to seeing in print, two artworks that add to the next chapter of the enduring Wells and Woking story.”


My print design is titled “Look Up” and the image stemmed from listening to the Orson Welles radio adaptation at school to modern day movies via Jeff Wayne. War of the Worlds is something I’ve grown up with.

Having lived in this area most of my life, I’m proud of the local association, especially now as my home backs onto Horsell Common. This image was originally sketched out from memory on a Post‑it note (see image below).

War of the Worlds Post-it Note sketch

War of the Worlds Post-it Note sketch


I wanted to include elements from different ages to reflect the longevity of War of the Worlds.

In my mind I saw 1950’s film posters, 1970’s comic books, b-movies, Robbie the Robot and the quite recent Tom Cruise film of the story.

I wanted to create a classic Invasion poster but with a geometric, contemporary slant. This is why I placed the ‘Fighting Machine’ centrally and made the main heat-ray fan out to hit the bottom corners. This not only gives the image structure but acts as a tractor beam for the eye drawing you up to first the copy and then the alien’s Tripod.

I’ve used Benday dots to create a pulp fiction/comic feel. And then found an old comic of a running crowd to again hark back to old style invasion comics and films. To bring it up to date I’ve included two recognisable buildings from modern day Woking to sit behind the looming towers that creates the background for a screaming woman.

The selection isn’t being made until early next year so until then it’s fingers crossed.

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