Breaking in a New Look
posted: June 6, 2007

I received my first assignment from Governing Magazine through the Illoz website. The assignment dealt with judicial restraints in the  sub-prime mortgage business. Concurrently, I was playing around with a new drawing approach in my sketchbook. After I got approval for the idea, I completed two finals and left it up to the AD to choose

Which one would you choose?

Dale Stephanos June 6, 2007
I like them both rag. I can see where you're heading with the new style, but the first one is stronger in my opinion. They have two great options though.
Leo Espinosa June 6, 2007
I like the new style better, but hate to see the main idea getting a little lost. The teeth/gavel thing from the old style is really powerful.
John Dykes June 6, 2007
Both nice ones, Richard - I prefer the erstwhile, former style for this assignment.... little guy in window is a real nice touch - is clearer, as are teeth, as Leo points out. But the second one has great energy.... Love to see more...
Richard Allen June 6, 2007
Avoiding the question on the table (I like elements of both), I just have to say how much I'm loving your new microbe/ plankton-y banner.
Rob Dunlavey June 6, 2007
I'll just throw this thought out Rich: like the other guys, I like the "old" style because it's more lush and the elements are clearly recognizable. The newer style might be better suited to more graphic layouts and LARGER SCALE: full or half-page at least. SCALE; it's important. Maybe play with the color more…?
Walter Vasconcelos June 6, 2007
Changes are good always, to try new techniques and concepts. But I still prefer the first version, I find stronger! Nice post Richard.
laura t. June 6, 2007
i think it's a cool concept :) i have to say i like the first one better- it's an easier read, the new woodcut style is a little distracting and it took a minute to figure out what was going on. the little guy in the first is totally cuter too :)
Roberto Parada June 6, 2007
Rag, for me the Old Style works best. I do like what your trying in the New Style but the crispness of the concept seems more effective in the first(old Style). The shark is much more intimidating. Cool piece!
Adam McCauley June 6, 2007
I agree with others here too, Richard. I'm all for forward movement and experimentation though, so keep at it. I like the second version's energy, but for me the abstraction of the water shape is a bit confusing, and the hammer gets a bit lost.
Zina Saunders June 6, 2007
First one. I also think the concept is clearer in that one because you have the houses already swallowed up, which gets across the idea more succinctly. I like the new style, too, though, and I think if you used it with simpler compositions it would be really effective; here I think the texture and line and shapes compete with each other for legibility. And I also love your new header.
rag June 6, 2007
Thanks all! I can't do better than get crits from folks like you. I am digesting this all and it will burp up somewhere!
Scott Bakal June 6, 2007
Rich: I dig both but I think the first is stronger at the moment. I mean, who the hell am I to tell you what your creative spirit should do? Do what you like and forget us. As far as the second piece, the only issue I have is that the gavel doesn't read like it is holding open the fishes jaws like the first one. Maybe that is the tradeoff...OR maybe that is one of the visual solutions you need to tend to with the new style. I dig the lines and abstract quality of it. "I like your graphic structure." Ha! Cool...
Nancy Stahl June 6, 2007
Swimming against the tide... I love... loVE... LOVE the newer style..! It's really great... only the configuration of the elements is a bit hard to understand. You have two variables here. The style isn't what is making the first easier to comprehend, it's the design of the illustration.
Jim Paillot June 6, 2007
#2. I like how the energetic new style works with the angry fish.
Zina Saunders June 6, 2007
Man, I LOVE the closeup of the guy's face in the new style. The thin lines for hair, the simplified/geometric plane delineation on his face, the scratchiness of the color fill-in treatment, the white line... it's all just GREAT. Very spontaneous, very sure-handed, very beautiful. I think this simple image really "uses" the style to it's most striking advantage, so all the very cool elements are legible.
Hanoch Piven June 6, 2007
Rag I think the above comparison is unfair towards the new style (which YOU seem to like) because the composition in the first one conveys the concept better, everybody tends to like that one. Perhaps that same composition in the new style would be as strong? (I do like the new style but that specific composition weakened the concept)
Mike Moran June 6, 2007
I really like the new style. Keep it going. The image just seems to work better on the first.
Zimm June 6, 2007
No clue why, exactly and nothing at ALL off the RG man.... But, that fish brought back memories of John Segal watercolor works and I wonder where he is right now. ??? That said Gee, I hope you at LEAST covered the outragious cover-charge of illoz for a year with this fine one.
Mark Fisher June 7, 2007
Rich, New style. Great new banner.
Michael Sloan June 7, 2007
Rich - The new style. I like rough textures, and this has the feel of a relief print.