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I’ve advocated for the use of illustration in communications for some time.

No matter how outrageous the subject matter, illustration can bring it to life.

For my money, the best illustrations can be found on the covers of The New Yorker, but the publication might have outdone itself with the August 28 cover art, worthy of a breakdown.

 

Right, the sail is not mimicking Casper the Friendly Ghost.

When can it be advantageous to be a blowhard? That would be when you’re manning a sailboat and there’s no wind.

As the Google Ngram viewer depicts, the use of “blockhead” has been in decline for over 200 years, which makes it all the more effective.

Google Ngram Viewer Blockhead .

With one hand on the tiller, he thinks he controls the direction of the boat.

He’s all by himself.

The water is perfectly still. He’s not going anywhere.

He is up a creek with no paddle in sight.

Of course, Mr. Trump has provided fodder for numerous New Yorker covers. The artwork right after the election is a keeper, showcasing a “word visual” in which the words and imagery perform in harmony.

The New Yorker cover November 14, 2016.

It turned out to be a prophetic — and understated — communication.

Side note: For practical guidance on using illustrations in communications, you might check out “The Mechanics of Working with an Illustrator.”


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