A new illustrated book cover for J. K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban, illustrated by the University of Westminster Illustration BA Honours (now Illustration and Visual Communication BA) alumnus Jim Kay, was unveiled this month.

The new cover features Harry stepping out of the path of the Knight Bus driven by Ernie Prang. Harry’s encounter with the magical triple-decker bus was a memorable moment from J.K. Rowling’s third book. The fully illustrated book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition by Kay will hit UK shelves on 3 October.

Kay has previously illustrated the cover and made four illustrations of Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, and Hagrid for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The talented illustrator was chosen in 2013 to illustrate the Harry Potter books with J.K. Rowling personally involved in the decision.

Harry Potter cover illutsrated by University of Westminster alumnus Jim Kay

When speaking about Jim’s designs of Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling said: “Seeing Jim Kay's illustrations moved me profoundly. I love his interpretation of Harry Potter's world, and I feel honoured and grateful that he has lent his talent to it.”

The award-winning illustrator’s breakthrough was the Kate Greenaway Medal that he won in 2012 for his illustrations for A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. After studying illustration at the University of Westminster, Kay worked in the Archives of Tate Britain and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

He has produced concept work for television and contributed to a group exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He now lives and works in Northamptonshire with his partner and a rescued greyhound.

The Illustration and Visual Communication BA Honours course at the University of Westminster is designed to nurture and develop students as informed, skilled and reflective individuals. In this context, projects are designed to challenge creatively and conceptually, supporting both independent enquiry and the demands of client-led initiatives.

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