Iconic Ink Illustration for an Annual Report
Illuatrated annual report for a software company
Iconic ink drawing blends elements of logo design with realistic representation. One of my favorite projects of this kind was a set of illustrations for TDCI ‘s annual report. This high-tech company wanted something very different and expressive that would play against the stereotype of what a software company is supposed to be. The illustrations were printed full bleed on one side of the page, and the typographic caption, printed on translucent vellum, followed. When the pages turned it created a lovely transparent effect. This kind of work looks very simple when it is seen in print — but like a perfect letter in a font, each image goes through many refinements before it achieves the right blend of realism, abstraction, and iconic presence.
My iconic style of ink drawing avoids the usual tricks of representation for a more emotional and artless look. I let the ink imply shape and shadow, without rendering an exact light source or placing objects in “real” space. Rather my subjects float in symbolic space and the viewer can bring their own logic and associations to finish the picture.
This style can be very useful when you want to tell a story using archetypes yet still inviting connection on a human level. It was daring for a software company to break with expectations and commission this iconic style. People often put technology in a box and forget that it is created by humans, for humans. Art and magic are essential ingredients of the technology we use every day and often take for granted. There is no need to put barriers between science and art or measure one against the other. It’s all about relationship: connection and creativity.