Born in 1927, Eric Hill is the creator of Spot, ‘the world’s favourite puppy’. At 16 he joined an art studio, where he was encouraged to draw cartoons in his spare time. He particularly enjoyed drawing aircraft, and it was the markings of planes that later came to influence the design of Spot, reflected in the spots on his body and the tip of his tail. Eric also spent time in the air force, and worked in a large advertising agency as a graphic designer. In 1976 Eric’s son Christopher was born and by the time he was two, Eric was making up stories about the adventures of a small puppy to read to him at bedtime and Spot was born!
The design of the books was inspired by an advertising flyer Eric had devised involving a flap covering an amusing picture. When Eric showed this to Christopher he saw how responsive he was to the idea and incorporated it into his book. Although initially created just as a story to please his son, Where’s Spot? was actually published as a children’s book in 1980 and started a new publishing concept of ‘interactive books for babies’.
Eric Hill was awarded an OBE for services to Children’s Literature in 2008.