Ellipsis: Editorial Illustration

Perhaps up until this point, I’ve lost illustration a little. It’s taken a bit of a backseat to producing publications over the last two years. Therefore as part of my Final Major Project, I wanted to find a way of including illustration without it feeling really forced.

Obviously, a magazine easily lends itself to editorial illustration but as clear as the concept is it’s also something I’ve never done before. I can’t simply draw something and put it on the next page to a bit of text and expect that to cut it! So I looked at ways in which food is illustrated because I was thinking about using illustration to go alongside the recipes rather than typical food photography.

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Moodboard Inspiration | Hannah Phillips | 2018

During my visual research session I found I was drawn towards bright colours, whether that was images of the actual foods, such as with the Fricote cover. Or it could simply be blocks of bright colour in the background. I think this way of illustrating food would pair well with the intentions of my magazine: promoting health. This is because this draws in the eye and food that’s colourful is usually pretty good for our health so it promotes the recipes in the magazine in that regard. From the research I started to think about what I would actually illustrate. Would I demonstrate what the final food/meal looks like? If so, why? At the end of the day a photograph of the final product such as this one from the recipe book I’ve been looking in pretty perfectly sums up what you’d be making. So if it’s not broke then why would I try to fix it with an illustration that attempts to reflect the same image? It’s definitely something I need to keep in mind.

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Recipe Scan | 2018


For myself, I’m really drawn to representing the ingredients of a dish. That way if a reader or potential reader is flicking through the magazine they can easily see if they have the ingredients to produce the dish. Producing a visual recipe is just much more interesting. For example, the image on the top right of the mood board aims to represent the ingredients for a smoothie and it’s simple; much more interesting than looking at a typical recipe page. Although a recipe page also has the benefits of being easy to navigate so there are still benefits of creating basic illustration to pair with this.

Now I have looked at editorial illustration I have decided on producing recipe pages for a breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert for the magazine. These will follow the format of drawing the ingredients for where I think it looks interesting and when I don’t think it works then maybe will follow a more standard route. But I now I have looked into ways of representing food, I will be using bright colours and avoid white backgrounds as much as I can! Moving forward I need to produce the illustrations… At this point I’m thinking of keeping to black and white and then adding the one solid, bright colour. This way it’s kept minimal and manageable.

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