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coverjunkie:


Huffington Post Mag (US)
New (iPad only) Huffington Post Magazine.Artwork Toby and Pete (Australia)Creative Director: Josh Klenert Art Director: Andrea Nasca

coverjunkie:

Huffington Post Mag (US)

New (iPad only) Huffington Post Magazine.

Artwork Toby and Pete (Australia)

Creative Director: Josh Klenert 
Art Director: Andrea Nasca

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Out of Tune: When Art Direction Strikes the Wrong ToneSo we are all aware of the Bloomberg Businessweek cover by now, yes? Good.It’s causing quite a stir, and for good reason too. The poll on SPD right now shows 41% think it’s offensive, 48% think people are overreacting and 10% feeling neutral. It was dead even when I voted saying that is was offensive.
The problem that I have with this cover is that the tone of the illustration is inappropriate for the article. The cover becomes more about the style than the actual message, drawing too much attention to itself to effectively communicate the story and therefore failing as a good magazine cover. In addition, by being on the cover of a national mainstream publication on business, the stylization of the characters—vaguely, if inadvertently, reminiscent US-historical racist cartoons—comes off as dangerously mocking to African Americans and Latinos.
Now I take no issue with Andres Guzman’s art on the whole. He’s a solid performer and has the portfolio to back it up, but there is no way that I would have hired him for this cover if it were my decision. It’s just not the topic for a young, acid-rock-warped-reality type of illustrator that he is.
And I certainly say that with sympathy. At SF Weekly, I regularly faced politically-charged cover stories that I had to illustrate with sensitivity—and admittedly, I didn’t always pull it off. It’s a very hard line to walk sometimes, especially in the face of the relentless deadlines, and pressure from the publisher to get the book picked up.
So it leaves me wondering: Where is Richard Turley’s weigh-in on the topic? What was he (or the art director) intending to communicate with this cover? What (if anything) slipped through the cracks in the process, landing Bloomberg Businessweek with a cover that is controversial at best (and racist at worst)?
As for the wider implications: We all have our own reactions to any piece of art, and we are entitled to take away what we want from art, but keep in mind that how we react says more about who we are as people than about the art itself. Are we as a culture now ok with racist caricatures appearing on the cover of a national business magazine? Have we all become too inundated with visual information to even care when things like this hit the newsstands? Or is it that all forms of visual expression are now more acceptable, regardless of content? Is the act of art becoming all too familiar and the thought that goes into said art less important?Who am I am to tell? Right now, I obviously have more questions than answers. What I can tell you is that I am going to keep my eyes peeled and ears tuned towards the conversation about the role and responsibility of artists in this global culture of ours as it migrates towards using visual language as it’s primary mode of communication. #visualinguist

Out of Tune: When Art Direction Strikes the Wrong Tone

So we are all aware of the Bloomberg Businessweek cover by now, yes? Good.

It’s causing quite a stir, and for good reason too. The poll on SPD right now shows 41% think it’s offensive, 48% think people are overreacting and 10% feeling neutral. It was dead even when I voted saying that is was offensive.

The problem that I have with this cover is that the tone of the illustration is inappropriate for the article. The cover becomes more about the style than the actual message, drawing too much attention to itself to effectively communicate the story and therefore failing as a good magazine cover. In addition, by being on the cover of a national mainstream publication on business, the stylization of the characters—vaguely, if inadvertently, reminiscent US-historical racist cartoons—comes off as dangerously mocking to African Americans and Latinos.

Now I take no issue with Andres Guzman’s art on the whole. He’s a solid performer and has the portfolio to back it up, but there is no way that I would have hired him for this cover if it were my decision. It’s just not the topic for a young, acid-rock-warped-reality type of illustrator that he is.

And I certainly say that with sympathy. At SF Weekly, I regularly faced politically-charged cover stories that I had to illustrate with sensitivity—and admittedly, I didn’t always pull it off. It’s a very hard line to walk sometimes, especially in the face of the relentless deadlines, and pressure from the publisher to get the book picked up.

So it leaves me wondering: Where is Richard Turley’s weigh-in on the topic? What was he (or the art director) intending to communicate with this cover? What (if anything) slipped through the cracks in the process, landing Bloomberg Businessweek with a cover that is controversial at best (and racist at worst)?

As for the wider implications: We all have our own reactions to any piece of art, and we are entitled to take away what we want from art, but keep in mind that how we react says more about who we are as people than about the art itself. Are we as a culture now ok with racist caricatures appearing on the cover of a national business magazine? Have we all become too inundated with visual information to even care when things like this hit the newsstands? Or is it that all forms of visual expression are now more acceptable, regardless of content? Is the act of art becoming all too familiar and the thought that goes into said art less important?

Who am I am to tell? Right now, I obviously have more questions than answers. What I can tell you is that I am going to keep my eyes peeled and ears tuned towards the conversation about the role and responsibility of artists in this global culture of ours as it migrates towards using visual language as it’s primary mode of communication. #visualinguist

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Illustration by Brian StaufferArt Direction by Tom CarlsonDesign by Andrew J. Nilsen

Illustration by Brian Stauffer
Art Direction by Tom Carlson
Design by Andrew J. Nilsen

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Illustration by John Hersey

Illustration by John Hersey

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Illustration by Lesse LenzArt Direction by Darrick Rainey

Illustration by Lesse Lenz
Art Direction by Darrick Rainey

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Catching up on some covers I never posted…

Catching up on some covers I never posted…

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All the SF Weekly Covers of 2012. You’ve come a long way, baby…

You can view all the covers since January 2010 HERE.

All the SF Weekly Covers of 2012. You’ve come a long way, baby…

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You can view all the covers since January 2010 HERE.

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Top 10 SF Weekly Covers of 2012

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Throwing shapes: first ever SF Weekly Comics Issue coming soon…

Throwing shapes: first ever SF Weekly Comics Issue coming soon…

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Illustration by Andrew J. Nilsen

Illustration by Andrew J. Nilsen

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Next week’s cover concepts in the works …. it’s a tough week (topic) fo sho.

Next week’s cover concepts in the works …. it’s a tough week (topic) fo sho.

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Black Market Street - October 24, 2012
Photo by Josh Edelson

Black Market Street - October 24, 2012

Photo by Josh Edelson

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Awards update! The “Year in Film” cover made it into the CommArts Typography Annual and my “Copyright Standoff” cover made it into Creative Quarterly #29 with two runner-ups; the “Changing Keys” cover design and “Summer Guide 2012” illustration. Nice way to start October!

Congrats to Hartford MFA alum, Inga Poslitur, and Mario Zucca (class of 2013) on their recognition by Creative Quarterly as well! Check on the post on the Hartford MFA blog too.

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Way to go Ohio… The New York Times Magazine cover about Ohio.

Way to go Ohio… The New York Times Magazine cover about Ohio.

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Creativity International book finally came out. Represent! #awards #design #illusion #magazine #newspaper #drugs #acidtrip #wormhole #illustration (Taken with Instagram)

Creativity International book finally came out. Represent! #awards #design #illusion #magazine #newspaper #drugs #acidtrip #wormhole #illustration (Taken with Instagram)