The revolution that came about from the printing press was a a beginning of the democratization of information and the effectiveness by which knowledge is spread and shared by people. However, Even though the printing press existed, there weren't a lot of books around. There was actually a time in which an individual could have read all the books there are! It is funny to think about it given the state we're in now with millions of books around; nonetheless, for a time that was the case.
The advancement of the printing press allowed more books to be created and printed. With this titanic surge of books overwhelming along with the technological edge printing presses had, illustration and art were used in books, mainly covers. Fast forward 500 years or so, and editorial illustration is a vital part of our literary lives. It has become a tool to represent ideas effectively, act as an attraction tool to readers, and advance the medium to new heights
There are several aspects to editorial illustration that makes it as popular as it was and is today. First off is its ability to capture complex ideas in a visually engaging pleasing way. As mentioned earlier, we live in a time where books are abundant. This abundance creates a thrilling competition between publishing houses to represent famous and aspiring works of literature through engaging design. Of course this isn't an invitation to judge a book by its cover, but the effect that a good design has on eyes surveying new books in a book shop is not to be taken lightly. Subconsciously, when one sees a cover, one correlates the effort the designer/illustrator invested in the cover with the value of the book. This aspect doesn't only pertain to books but publications of all types be it digital or printed. In our day and age, digital publications are on the rise, this elevates the competition for audience attention even further. Secondly, cover illustration is the first contact, a reader has with a book. First impressions with a book are extremely important, given that they set the atmosphere and expectations of the story. In the editorial illustration above, Clarke accurately captures the atmosphere of Poe's A Cask Of Amontillado. from the use of dark colors, to the unnatural setting and eerie look on the the character's visage. The atmosphere created at this first contact can fulfill the authors' vision of his/her story or ruin it completely. Third and lastly, illustration is an artistic medium. Different from more rigid mediums, illustration has made its way into everything, able to be adaptive enough to beautify and express all it has touched. It has proven itself and withstood the test of time and morphing to the needs of authors all over the world.
Over the past months we worked on numerous editorial illustration projects that we'd like to share with you. Keep scrolling to check out some of our work!
Our discussion about editorial illustration is far from over!