: Sometimes, illustrations in print drive me nuts. The urge to prettify a page and break up verbosity often leads to nonsensical or even offensive images. When I got to run a magazine, assigning illustrations was the bane of my existence.
I was reading The Times’ science section today and saw a story about CPR often being improperly administered, causing some patients to lose their lives. Serious, sad stuff.
But the illustration (in the paper only) showed a guy being blown up by an air pump as if a balloon. Yuk, yuk. It was worse than uninformative; it was tasteless and offensive. I’m not sure what I would have done if I’d had the colored ink in my hand. If I were the editor, though, I hope I would have thought twice and thrown that illu in the garbage.
One thing I’ve learned online is that information doesn’t demand to be illustrated. When it’s useful — when the picture tells the story or the graphic explains the facts or the illustration sets the mood — that’s fine. But illustration for illustration’s sake is a waste of ink.