When we set out to produce our guide to the cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we wanted to have a cover image that represented all of the disciplines and that was eye-catching. We turned to illustrator Simeon Elson to come up with a suitable image.

London-based Simeon has been running his own illustration business for the past seven years, having studied Multimedia at Westminster Kingsway College.

His stunning illustrations have been used by a wide variety of magazines, media and even on clothing. His skills have been employed by Penguin Books, Computers Arts, The Big Issue, Advanced Photoshop, Grazia Magazine UK, Anomaly USA, Whorrell Rogers Design Consultants, Miss Capital UK, Touch Magazine and Diesel.

“Whilst doing a HNC in Multimedia at Westminster Kingsway College I was introduced to Adobe Illustrator. I already was quite competent using Photoshop so I combined my skills in both programs and began to create illustration for house nightclub events in a ‘Hed Kandi’
style,” says Simeon.

In addition to using digital techniques Simeon also uses more traditional artistic skills. “I do incorporate mixed media techniques such as watercolours and hand-drawn elements,” he says.

For our cover artwork, Simeon wanted to create a striking design, and set to work on including several key elements. “I knew that the illustration needed to have the cyclists in the forefront and be full of energy,” he says.

“Using Adobe Illustrator I created the graphical portraits, making sure that they were very detailed, graphical and had a strong likeness to the cyclists. I then drew the velodrome and all the other featured elements before creating the textures, splatters, lighting and final composition in Photoshop.”

Our final question: will you be watching the Olympic Games? “Yes, I will be watching the Olympics, I love sports!” Simeon confirms. “Particularly football, tennis, athletics and of course, cycling. Although I must say when the Olympics is on I pretty much enjoy all the events.”

The Olympic cycling guide is available from Wednesday, June 13, at WHSmith, major supermarkets and all good newsagents priced £9.99. You can also purchase it online via the Cycling Weekly shop

Related link



Essential fan’s guide to cycling at the Olympic Games on sale

External link



Simeon Elson Illustration

  • Steve Hall

    SOOO nice to see Illustration being used on a front cover!!!! Bravo – love it!!

    PS – If you ever decide to do it again, please could I get involved? ;o) – I illustrated the front cover of The Lancet for the whole of 2010 (12 issues) – stevenhallart.co.uk

    Worth asking isn’t it ;o) Hehe

  • Tim

    Er, Dear CW,

    Where is the representation for the women’s road team on the cover of this ‘Essential Fan’s Gude’? Nicole Cooke did win Gold in Beijing. Not sure why the women road racers are not represented.