Category Archives: Jill McDonald

A cheery puffin from the early days


I can’t tell you the year this handsome chap appeared – but he is one of the early exhibition flyer puffins that decorated a Puffin Club Exhibition. There have been quite a few that Jill McDonald designed over the years with a kind of evolution that becomes easier and more stylised with every passing event and exhibition. It makes me wonder what she would have produced if she hadn’t died at such an early age. Something marvelous!

Image from the collection of Ruth – Founder member 1487 – Restored S. Hassan Jan 2009

Something familiar…

Here’s the old members book that remained pretty unchanged for the whole original clubs existence. Two founder membership cards have a similar look to them in blue and pink.

Just as in the new club, it also held a copy of the Puffin Code!

I can’t remember whether I mentioned it in a previous post – Jill McDonalds first big contribution to Puffin was of course the Puffin Logo/Badge itself.

You want badges? OK then…


Yes, it’s a Puffin Explorer badge – one of the old ones. I’ve sadly mislaid one of the fifteen badges in this collection – it’ll probably turn up when I least expect it. Never mind, I’ve still got the rest of them to share with you all.

Again, these are the work of Jill McDonald. One of my earlier posts showed one of the designs used as a rubber stamp. All of these badges were given away at Puffin exhibitions in the late 70’s.

This is an example of the badges that followed Jill’s death – The work is very slick, and obviously follows Jill’s example, but it doesn’t quite reach me in the same way. If you are the illustrator, please don’t take offense! I’m a big fan of Jill’s work, and I may be a bit blinkered.

Happy New Year to all!

It’s a bright sparkly new year – and already I have to start with an apology! I know I said I would try to put some little ‘gifts’ up on the blog over the twelve days (and here we are on day twelve without so much as a Christmas doughnut!).

I do have an excuse. I was laid up with one of the many Christmas lurgi bugs that are doing the rounds at the moment – so I wasn’t full of Christmas cheer; more like Christmas congestion!
Anywho, I’m back for a year of vintage Puffinalia that sees the first new Puffin Post on the doormats of new young puffineers, eagerly ripping those membership boxes open to savour the contents (including their own fuzzy puffin).

Things may seem bleak out there at the moment, but it is warming to remember that the powercuts and financial worries that accompanied the winter of discontent all those years ago also had it’s Puffin Club to give an identity to the avid readers of the 70’s. Maybe not a lot has changed after all!

To make up for not posting the promised goodies over the festive season, please accept this offering:This is the cover to Puffin Post Volume 14 No 3 – Voted the best Jill McDonald cover by Puffineers following her death. It is very lovely!

The second place by only two votes was Volume 8 No 2 – which I have already posted, followed by Volume 3 No 2 (which will follow, I promise, I promise, I promise).

For those that may be interested, Jill painted 219 puffins on the covers of Puffin Post in total (though I hesitate to collate the total for the contents as well (should one include reprints?!).

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas – Puffin Post Volume 1 No. 4

This cover has always been one of my favorites. It has been said to me that Jill McDonalds work has something of the stained glass window about it – and I think this is particularly true of this picture. If I can find some time away from the kids over Christmas, I will post some little bonus pictures to raise a smile.

To all of you who have contacted me this year I would like to offer my thanks for your words of support – It makes it all worthwhile.

A particular thanks must go to Ruth for sharing her collection – it’s been a real treat!

Merry Puffin Christmas!

A little treat…


I know that the serialisation of the first Puffin Post is quite exciting for Puffinophiles (is that a word?!), but I thought that it would be nice to post one of those throwaway images that Jill used to produce for all kinds of communication that were sent to the Puffin Club members.

I think it’s a charming little illustration – it’s from a folded sheet that had a load of competitions – the six star prizes being a Puffin Holiday (that normally cost £30.00 – this was in 1974!)

Puffin Post no.1 pages 3 and 4

Slightly earlier than planned – here are pages 3 and 4! Of course, now that we have digital presses and (almost) everything is computerised, things have changed slightly. It’s funny to have a Puffin Post without the presence of Jill McDonald on every page – but important none the less.

For those who are interested, the first Puffin Post was only 10.5cm x 7cm – the same size as the old membership books!

Image from the collection of Ruth – Founder member 1487 – Restored S. Hassan Nov 2008

What’s wrong with me – another Puffin Envelope!

This is a lovely example of the earlier envelope graphics that sported the coloured paper. It doesn’t have the flamboyant look of the later envelopes, but it has such charm a playfulness about it that I can see why it was saved.

This is the only example of the early graphic that I have seen (I only ever received the later envelopes when I was a member) I would love to see any other examples if any of you out there would like me to work my restorers art on them.

Image from the collection of Ruth – Founder member 1487 – Restored S. Hassan Oct 2008