Something to Draw From


We were waiting for someone to say something intelligent about the whole thing and today it came from the Times’ Michael Kimmelman. “A Startling New Lesson in the Power of Imagery” talks about how quickly those Danish editorial cartoons achieved worldwide notoriety. Kimmelman makes comparisons to American pieces of art that were boycotted in a similar spirit.

But, technically, editorial cartoonists are illustrators. They’re hired to solve a problem visually, and more akin to designers than fine artists. Kimmelman wonders why these images sparked more violence than the photos from Abu Ghraib. The answer is something we’re all very familiar with: When a message is filtered through the head and hand of a visual communicator, it becomes even more effective.

So if you’re sitting at your desk, doubting the effect you can have on the world, however dubious, read this piece. It’s really about the power of design.

Any illustrators or editorial cartoonists out there who can chime in, we want to hear from you.