Archive for November, 2009

Visual Explanation Unit – Initial Research

November 30, 2009

After deciding I wanted to produce a children’s book for this unit, I went online and looked up some books to help guide me in the right direction.

As I have never done work geared specifically towards children before, I thought it would be a good idea to purchase both of these books in order to learn more about the specifics of the industry, and the different variables I would have to take into account.

I had seen Play Pen in the library a few times, and loved the work featured inside, but never had an excuse to buy it until now. The variety of illustrations included in it is fantastic, and I’m excited to try out some different techniques inspired by them.

These are the final two books I purchased the the purpose of initial research. They are both similar in basic format – both are picture books with relatively small amounts of text, and both use collage techniques for their illustrations – and are also very, very different in style and approach. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” is much more simplistic in style and content, and is obviously intended for the youngest target age group – the reason I thought of it in the first place for this project is because my mother used to read it to my sister when she was 2 or 3. In “Mythical Monsters,” however, Sara Fanelli takes a much more stylized approach to her collage work, ending up with some pretty bizarre creations. The text, as well, is slightly more advanced than in Eric Carle’s book, and the nature of the illustrations themselves require a slightly older age group to appreciate the images.


Edge Magazine

November 18, 2009

While looking through a copy of Edge magazine, I found some images which I found pretty inspiring:


I love this cover, dealing with the Japanese game industry. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t realize until the second or third time I looked at it that the spot of blood is also meant to make the cover resemble the Japanese flag. It’s such an awesome, simple idea, that displays all of the essential elements of the article without making it obvious or contrived in anyway. It’s just an incredibly effective image, and I love the execution.

This article, I would probably not have paid attention to were it not for the illustrations, so they’ve done their job pretty well. I really like these in terms of relevance to my project because I would never have thought that such a casual, doodly style would be acceptable for a major publication, but it fits very well with the topic at hand. This is just another case of my preconceptions regarding editorial illustration being proven wrong, and I’m really glad for it, because it frees me up from thinking I have to stick to a certain style and method.

November 11, 2009

I found this article while just browsing the internet a little while ago, I think there was a link on Digg. I bookmarked it because I remember really liking the illustration that accompanies it.

In terms of the article’s content, it essentially argues that little girls are actually, contrary popular belief, more gross than little boys. What really interests me about the illustration is that it is only very loosely related to the article, and is far from a literal visual depiction of the situations discussed.

Prior to this project, I had what I now realize was a very narrow view of editorial illustration. I went into the project assuming that I would have to work in a certain style, conveying the content of articles in a very literal manner. The more I have looked into it, however, I have realized how wrong I was. Were I given this article to illustrate, I would not in the past have thought to produce anything like what the artist has done here. This is one case that has helped force me to question my preconceptions regarding this area of illustration.

I now realize that the primary purpose of an editorial illustration is to draw attention to its assigned article, and this image did just that for me. To be honest, I probably would not have bothered reading the text if not for the image, making it very successful. I’m sure other people will feel different ways about it, certainly, but I personally find it interesting. All of this is in spite of the fact that it, on the surface, has very little to do with the actual article.

Little White Lies: cult and b-movies

November 5, 2009

More illustrations from Little White Lies!

This image accompanies an article about the state of current British b-movies. I haven’t got too awful much to say about it, other than the fact that I just like the execution. While the actual images used are relevant to the article, the use of printing dots and graph paper, the CMYK magenta and cyan, and the ink blots, all of these things are simply stylistic choices, and have nothing directly to do with the article. Images like this have helped me realize that there really is no single style to editorial illustration, and I thought I would mention it here because it’s a useful example that I’ve found.

The second image accompanies an article regarding cult heroes in the film industry, and I really love the way it stick to the traditional cult-monster-film aesthetic. The prominent placement of the woman in distress is very important for the image, because it was a key element of those movies, and the monster in the lower corner works for the same reason. I also like the fact that the image appears to be made of several posters set one over the other. This helps to convey the idea of the history of cult films, rather than just duplicating a single example.