Journal Entry #2

Nicholas Blechman is an Editor and Designer for the indie publication Nozone, as well as Art Director for the New York Times OpEd Page. His interview in Becoming A Graphic Designer is particularly useful to me as I’m entering my studies of Graphic Design as a self-proclaimed illustrator and cartoonist (my webcomic, “The Youth,” can be seen here). In the interview he describes illustration as a component of editorial design, existing “in the context of a magazine, a layout, or a book,” and always being “at the mercy of designers and art directors.” In so many words, he describes illustration as constantly being in dialogue with editorial design, that “the most successful illustrators have a design sensibility,” which helps said illustrators to “package their work for art directors and be attractive to designers. Some illustrators even solve design problems using illustration (hand-lettering, using patterns, icon systems, and other graphic devices.)” Indeed, many of Blechman’s illustrations themselves are designed as incomplete editorial components, clearly intended to be used as supplements to larger editorial designs. Rather than trying to be center-stage to an editorial statement, his illustrations are understated and complimentary, which is undoubtedly an alluring distinction to editorial designers and art directors. Even for the two Nozone covers featured on Blechman’s site, where the illustrations are more central to the design, said illustrations exist as compliments to the magazine covers’ titles. In both designs, the illustration could not exist and make sense without the title, and likewise the title would not have the same impact without the illustration. Blechman’s interview, and the designs featured on his site, have taught me that all aspects of editorial design, including illustration, must exist together in a concurrent, symbiotic dialogue with one another. As such, I’ve gleamed that it is important for illustrators to remember that their work must exist as a compliment to the editorial design within which it is to exist in order to be attractive and useful to Designers and Art Directors.

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