Influences

Influence of Stuart Bradford

As soon I saw Stuart Bradford’s work I felt drawn to it. Editorial graphics is something I’m particular interested in. As an editorial graphic they accompany an article sitting aside it. Usually at the beginning.

The subject matter tends to be more serious; of deep concern. As such his work tends to be featured in higher end magazines, medical journals, newspapers such as the New York Times etc. The articles and images presented here are from websites of the same ilk.

The text is usually a typical classic serif associated with this literature. This lets you know there is a degree of formality.

http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/June-2011/Whats-Killing-Us-in-Hawaii/index.php?cparticle=2&siarticle=1#artanc

With Bradford’s work I was intrigued with how he was able to capture the essence of an accompanying story in his collages. Comparing the editorial images with the words of the article you soon realise how the image captures the necessary elements to tell the story.

I began looking a little deeper at the elements involved for recurring themes/ patterns.

Proportioning

Here Its clear by the positioning and proportioning of the X-Ray image, which occupies a large portion of the image, and the cigarette, that we are concerned with lung cancer. This is further emphasised the skull cross bones often used to caution against hazards. The speaker phone here represents drawing attention to the plight.

Hence its possible to get a clear picture of the articles substance without reading  a line. I think this is quite powerful.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/whos-trustworthy-a-robot-can-help-teach-us/

Gestures

I noitced a lot of symbolic gestures in the form of ticks, crosses. Arrows and guiding lines that redirect your attention , encouraging you to follow. The beauty of this is that its a universal language e.g.

In the above image the arrows tell us the man on the left is reading the characteristics of the robot on the right. He has deemed that the robot is trustworthy by hand gesture ‘OK’ in the thought bubble. This is something everyone can understand.

Symbolism

Not sure if this is the correct term ,but by this I mean using a symbol to represent an action.

In the first article it mentions that information is provided on the prevention of tobacco use. It is perfectly represented in the image in a couple of ways.

the X-Ray forms the shape of a  call out. Its coming out of the speaker phone  so you have this image in your mind of a person speaking out about the concerns of smoking and its adverse effects.

We see the same thing with the skull and cross bone. Both are very strong symbols representing vocal messages ‘Stop!’, ‘No!’ , ‘Beware!’ and so on.

Sometimes you find a small degree of type in the images, but not much. In this instance the  letter M under the bar In the ‘Who’s Trustworthy’ article strikes me as mathematical divsion. So what the image is saying is the man is calculating, he’s thinking, trying to work something out, and finally comes to the conclusion about the robot stated above.


In this  ABA Jounal article we see the occurrence of familiar traits . The discoursing of uncivil conduct depicted by the crossed out in the top corner. Civility shown by the tipping of the hat. You get the sense from the ‘+’  sign and the arrows are saying that one good act spawns another. This is what the article is drawing attention to.

Other Characteristics

Minimal colour palette for main images. There is frequent use of black and white, monotone, and duo tone images. These are present in a most if not all of his work. Im guessing they are characteristics of his visual style.

textures: Pretty much all the backgrounds have some textures applied to them. Some of them very subtle. A lot of attention to fine detail. Halftone dots figure often in his work.

This grungy feel is another element of his visual style. Its kind of a smudged toner in effect. Anyhow, it  adds to the depth, and substance of the image.

Large blocks of colour dividing up the image.

I haven’t manage to figure out the reasoning behind this, but Its such a common feature there must be one. Or maybe its just part of his signature style

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