The content business can be pretty scattershot.
One minute you’re brainstorming art for a long-form science feature, and the next you’re creating a blog post about the top 10 diet tips of 2012.
Sometimes, though, an event is big enough that it keeps coming up. It unites your work even as it divides hardcore political creatures and Twitter pundits. I am speaking, of course, of the 2012 election.
When you’re covering an election for different organizations, your approach is likely to be as different as those organizations— and their editorial goals. With that in mind, below are just a few magazine-specific examples of how designers have tackled this common topic in uncommon ways.
StateTech Magazine wanted to tell the story of how government entities are embracing tech for this election like never before. The result is a visual concept that blends a classic icon, the voting booth, with a thoroughly modern one, the iPad. As a bonus, the cover and inside spread work together as a voter enters and exits the voting booth. (Art director: Kevin Hambel)
This spread from Teaching Children Mathematics is the perfect example of getting maximum effect with minimal graphics. The “vote” button, tweaked to be both part of the headline and the byline, is a simple, effective way to draw readers into a fairly personal story from a mathematics teacher. (Art director: Lance Pettiford)
Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s goals were different with ONE: Innovation Through Philanthropy magazine. They had partnered to create an iPad and Android app to drive young Latinos to the polls, so the focus of this design — and the article itself — was on how technology can increase voter engagement in a population where the voter turnout rates don’t match overall growth. (Art director: Gregory Atkins)
To promote the presidential debates, WETA magazine for members presented a classic approach: two silhouettes staring in opposite directions, with a simple headline, “The Choice.” You’ve heard of the value of white space, but this cover’s background illustrates the beauty of black space. (Art director: Brian Rees)
Georgetown Business, the magazine of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, used illustration to tell its story of faculty research, which covers everything from the ethics of voting to how research on consumer behavior applies to voting (it turns out Coke vs. Pepsi is not so different from Obama vs. Romney). This is also an example of how wordplay in the headline — “Ballot measures” — can play nicely with the imagery. One would not exist without the other. (Art director: Jeff Kibler)
This example, from Mathematics Teacher, is just one of several stories that appeared in an issue devoted to how math concepts relate to elections. In this case, the Etch-A-Sketch lends a little fun and visual flair to the rather serious and complicated topic of redistricting. (Art director: Chad Townsend)
Have you come across stellar design examples this election cycle? Share them in the comments. (If you have election fatigue, though, no one will blame you.)