No wonder illustration is gaining in popularity. Readers respond to illustration. I rarely read an online newspaper or magazine that doesn’t feature illustration on many of its pages. Some of the most read, and shared, stories feature illustrations. Maybe it’s because a great illustration stays with you.
Artwork on a page stands out in an endless sea of print. Major news outlets are relying more heavily on illustration these days to break up copy and to create a more accessible approach to news and social commentary.
Art directors love illustrators because they make their jobs easier. Not only do illustrators create beautiful images, they convey layered and complex ideas through art. Engaging and content-driven; a colorful, sharp-witted, or slapstick drawing tells a story or makes a social comment better than words alone ever could.
Crafting a visual story takes talent and a keen sense of what the story is about. Finding the thrust of an argument or looking beneath the surface for the real meaning of an editorial or news feature requires a skilled illustrator whose visual means are up to an idea. The economy of expression most illustrators employ brings an idea home by extracting the most salient points then putting them squarely under the spotlight.
Whether a strategically-placed .gif, a fun motion graphic, or awe-inspiring political illustration, my eyes go to the illustration on a page when I skim a newspaper, magazine, or ad.
Punctuated by humor, soft-pedalled, or even slightly over-the-top, illustration calls upon caricature, humor, satire, metaphor and the language of design to make a statement about our world or just one small corner of it.
Delivered by smartphone, tablet, desktop, or print, persuasive images–coming to us at lightning-fast speed–extend the narrative. Illustration animates our world too with sequential and interactive storytelling now at an illustrator’s fingertips.
Today, illustrators are breaking barriers by forging new forms, and styles, of visual communication and the public, and those who deliver content to them, are really starting to notice.