The Illustrative approach

Imagery always figures large in football graphics, but that’s no reason to make it clichéd action shots of players.

Imagery always figures large in football graphics, but that’s no reason to make it clichéd action shots of players. For the Observer Sports Magazine’s World Cup guide cover, art director Gary Phillips commissioned a Simon Henwood portrait of David Beckham because, as Phillips says, ‘it was classy and very different. Difference being the most difficult thing to do in a newspaper’. The When Saturday Comes wallchart too goes for tongue-in-cheek, Japanese-themed illustrations by Dave Robinson featuring Godzilla, Sumo wrestlers and pagodas, alongside witty text likening stadia to a particularly nasty verruca or a bidet. Cheeseman explains it thus: ‘Illustration can communicate immediately that something is obviously critical, satirical or frankly rather immature. With the chart, we used [Robinson’s] illustrations to make it stand out and maybe raise a wry smile.’ Cheeseman will be supporting Senegal, Phillips will be supporting Italy. See, it’s all about difference.

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