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These Are Things

Tutorial: The Making Of An Editorial Illustration with These Are Things

Flip through your favorite newspaper or magazine and you’re bound to find a lot more than just words on a page. Alongside many articles, you’ll find art that helps to illuminate key concepts from the text. These pieces are called editorial illustrations.

From tiny spot illustrations to multiple page spreads, these informative works of art are sprinkled throughout each issue. Political cartoons are a classic example of editorial illustrations, but today’s publications use the work of contemporary artists to visually interpret a wide range of topics.

As editorial illustrators, our job is to create an engaging visual that both supports and explains the accompanying text copy. A successful piece carefully balances the art director’s vision with our own ideas, all while clearly communicating the article’s core idea to the reader.

These projects an exercise in creative problem solving. From the super-quick turnaround to the varied subject matter, each assignment is a new visual puzzle for us to solve.

Today, we’re going show you how we created an editorial illustration for Southwest Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Spirit. We’ll walk you through the entire illustration process, from our first client conversation to seeing our work in print. Continue Reading »