Our Story


Illustries was created in 2010 by Emma Penrice, a writer, and Samantha Smith, an artist and designer. After Emma got married, she could find nothing ‘different’ to celebrate her memories, so together Emma and Sam combined years of experience working with some of Britain’s biggest brands and international clients to create a range of unique, quirky, fun and stylish books. The Illustries range now includes wedding albums, guest books, memory books, journals and planners for sharing life’s best moments.

Our contemporary, simple, quirky and fun books are designed to capture the milestones and memories of life in style and with ease. We like to make sure our books are beautiful, practical and useful. So every book in our growing range started life as a solution to a problem.

All too often, baby journals, wedding albums, guest books and memory books are old fashioned or tricky to complete. Traditional wedding albums tended to lack personality, so we added all the details of the big day and some creative design touches to bring each unique wedding to life. Wedding guest books were blank, and guests never knew what to write, so we worked in prompts, questions and features to make sure the happy couple ends up with a funny and engaging message book to treasure forever.

Baby journals seemed to have endless questions – hard work to complete when pregnant, or with a little one to take care of. We made them simple, with cute but not cutsie styling. And once the baby books were done, there was nothing to record all those amazing, and everyday, moments of life as a family, so we made a memory book that celebrates every little thing about your family, right now.

And talking of families, Samantha has moved on to concentrate on her design agency, while Emma has been joined by her sister, Rebecca, making Illustries a family-run business. We love working together to bring you books that are helpful, solve a problem, are easy and fun to fill in, stylish and creative, and we hope you love them too. They’re fast becoming must-haves for all the amazing milestones on life’s journey!