Educational Spots


The Chronicle of Higher Education assigned me a series of spot illustrations this month for a special supplement edition on school finances. I came up with the idea of tying them all together with a ‘price tag’ theme, and worked variations on it depending on the particular article or topic that each would accompany.

In addition to the series of spots, I also had a few other assignments for the same publication that month. The one to the left was something to do with incoming freshmen, who tend to ‘stick with their pals’ instead of venturing forth into the education community, and thus end up sort of isolated and insular. (I don’t remember why I stuck them all in ‘where’s waldo’ outfits).

I also had another spot assignment, although I don’t quite remember what the focus of this one was (individual attention perhaps? standing out from the crowd?). Looking back on it now, I doubt if I would have chosen these overbright and garish colors, especially the hot red/orange in the background. It is very distracting.

Interesting choice of background treatment on these spots. Something I’ve not done before, or since (although I think I did something similar for a children’s magazine series of spot illustrations before). It is a little looser and more playful than I usually allow myself to do.
It seems to make a nice contrast with the simplified scratchboard approach I’m using here. Also I like the choice of colors, the white of the ‘tag’ popping out of the background, and the simpler color choices within the scenes.

I’m not sure about the choice I made with the ‘shark’ illustration though. The swirling water melding with the background gives this a little different feel than the rest. Also, I’m not sure I would choose this particular typestyle for the dollar sign if I had these to do again. Perhaps something more ‘traditional’ would have worked better.

I’m also noticing that I seem to have used a single background and then cloned it for each illustration. I probably should have done a couple of them and mixed them up a bit (even perhaps rotating them 90 degrees each time to hide the fact that they were the same).