There is no doubt that one of the best things about National Geographic at the moment is their broad and deftly used palette of graphic treatments. I'll probably do another post as to why they are so good but this one is about another magazine that caught my eye with its broad palette of visual devices.
Many publications are dominated by graphic design style-guides - or the voguish mores of their designers, both forces conspiring to ignore some very useful visual communications devices.
I was looking through the Popular science archives the other day and found a ton of different treatments all in one magazine.
no 3D programmes back then - but it is making me think that 3D used well, could echo this smart semi-realism - it seems to say ' we will make it real enough to be engaging but there will be touches to the render that will never seek to totally trick you'
the gunnery schematics take you into the instructional, after some understanding of the reality of the actual object - the mixed modes of knowing about and knowing how to do
these days this would have been rendered more technically i reckon - less 'reconstruction' like - i'd like to see a 'reconstruction' label - mind you - Nat Geo don't put one on Inca illustrations that are quite obviously reconstructions
the reality of the render really sells the visceral subject of blast - something that vector art may render a bit cool?
this from a double spread (possibly syndicated from a UK paper - i am not sure) - i like how black the rocket is - and the 'enough detail' of the houses (reminds me of the excellent map of Mogadishu in the sunday times after the black hawk down incident (some one at the times send me one?)
lovely complementary cool flow-cycle schematics and real life medical photos
nice simple annotated photos
i like how the 'inventors section' is pencil sketched -hand made, informal - a call to action as much as an affordance
if doing the uniforms as the subject it needs to be detailed i think
as opposed to this cartooned/reconstructive style - perfect for the patriotic exaggeration required
i like the mapping of the two pictures - and the more i think about it, any explanatory illustrations probably need to involve readers in a degree of problem solving (link the two similar looking things - find the matching colours etc) hmm
cute cartooning of a domestic (sponge making) subject
again - you can cartoon the weather for amass audience - weather freaks may have objected though
illustration for some fiction (i think) - kind of creepy but you can see the place it takes on the Pop Sci visual style guide spectrum
the arrows of industry - this would benefit from less shadows on the pipes (unintentional effects aplenty)
they didn't Have to put the heavy grid on the cutout tank pic - but its good - and again - puts you in a make and do mood - as do the following - -
speaking the language of DIY/woodshop (with a nuanced brogue)
as do these - instructional graphics that utilise their vernacular perfectly - different from other types of how toos (in this case in the fine line differences required for metal work)
this is more Home Repairs so veers back into popular diagramming language
this one is for those versed in electronics - and doesn't care who it excludes - kind of sums up nicely that some styles and visual devices are only for those that know how to read them
these magic tricks are ace - they could have gone 'black line instructional' but i like how they have the mystic dark background and multiple (theatrical seeming/ spooky) light sources
-----and all this was from the first issue i saw - predictably in 1945 - (i'm now going to go 10 years ahead and check those out) - maybe i'll write that up too.