Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Golden Age to Come

Even modern catalogues are worth keeping, when they sport enchanting graphics on their covers, such as these Lands' Ends, illustrated by . . . yup . . . Mary GrandPré.

Mary GrandPré — Lands' End — 2000

Mary GrandPré — Lands' End — 2000

Art Directors, you must know that people are aesthetically imaginative and appreciate beauty and wit and timeless design. You know they will gravitate to media that incorporate these things, benefitting your clientele. People are tired of shallow and crowded throwaway graphic design. I'm not saying there isn't wonderful work being published right now—sometimes it's just hard to find, surrounded by mountains of material destined to be tossed and forgotten.

You have at your command enough talented illustrators to fill a super-bowl stadium. Turn them loose to give you their best. Their work deserves large formats, not crowded and hidden behind shouting text. Please don't rely strictly on stock images and photography. Think of graphic golden ages past and realize that we could be part of a new golden age to come.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Hi Thom,

You express your point well. We, the general public, are crying out for quality graphics and aesthetic appeal (and we maybe didn't even know it). Why should magazine and catalog art be deficient, when there are so many talented artists and designers?

The Land's End covers are a perfect example. I notice they are from 2000. The more recent issues are uninspired, featuring people wearing the clothes, or just pictures of piles of clothing. But there is one other major problem: There are fewer print catalogs, and magazines.

I've noticed literary publications are including quality art and illustration, in print as well as online, but the market is small, and just like the authors, the pay received is a token, or for love of the work, and not to make a living.

I want your Golden Age in the here and now. The best area where I see it, is in children's book illustration. As long as people keep buying quality illustrated stories for their children, quality art, and the market for it, will remain alive; and through "osmosis," rather than rote learning, so will an appreciation for the magic of both story and illustration.