Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Illustration for the purpose of pure information can range from medical diagrams to safety instructions on planes, can be highly detailed and scaled or as simple and straightforward as possible. The latter, however, often creeps into the blurred territory of semiotics and design, and the former is on obvious example. Alternatively, one can think back to history textbooks and recall cartoon sources that illustrated conflicts and foreign relationships clearly and succinctly, whilst retaining style and precision. Publications such as the Washington Post and Punch magazine were rich in satire and subjectivity, but their cartoons, when striped of the publication’s context, provide just as much information as commentary. Kevin Kallaugher, known as KAL at The Economist#, is one of the most prominent contemporary political satirists. His work has had some of the most poignant depictions of current events and has become in itself a form of journalism. Image one, ‘An Abridged history of the US-China Relationship’, published November 14th 2009, speaks entirely for itself.

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