Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A word is worth a thousand pictures.

The Wall Street Journal's editorial policy is to use no actual pictures in their news stories. After all, "a word is worth a thousand pictures," no? To do this, the Journal developed a portrait illustration technique that reduces an individual to lines and dots. This process is done by hand. No kidding. The above illustration is included in a brief article on the history and style of the process called HedCuts.

A real live illustrator uses a combination of parallel counter lines, cross-hatching and dotting technique to create each individual portrait. Each portrait takes somewhere between 3-5 hours to create. As the world becomes more infused with technology, it is a hoot to realize that the Journal continues to use illustrators to faithfully reduce a photo to its most basic lines. This consistent style spares the reader from the manipulation of the editorial comments subtly, and not so subtly, made by the photos selected for a story. And then, all that gray is soothing. Even the worst news and individuals seem tolerable. No ruffled feathers. I'm sure Ruppert Murdoch can fix that.

No comments: