As promised, here is the newspaper illustration I did last week for the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
It’s the cover of a special baseball season preview section that ran on Sunday. The giant players are (left to right) Jim Thome, C.C. Sabathia and Miguel Cabrera. This is a JPEG of the illustration in situ on the digital layout, sent to me by the art director.
Printing on newsprint is tricky. The paper is porous and soaks up the inks. There is a certain amount of “spread” to the ink as well, creating a fuzziness to the image. The colors need to be garish to compensate for the newsprint, which naturally dampens and desaturates color. Contrasts and blacks usually need punching up as well. The printed version looked pretty good, but the black ink printed surprisingly dark and heavy. I will have to lighten up on the thickness of my ink lines and probably back off on the contrast a bit as well as lighten the density of the lines the next time around. I only had a vague idea of where the text would be placed, or I would have balanced the image better with objects on the ground to break up the big, green spaces to the left and right of the foreground figure’s legs. It was a quick and fun job, and I hope to do more like that for the Strib.
It occurred to me after I did it that, with a Sunday circulation of almost 700,000 copies, this might be the most highly seen illustration I’ve ever done. MAD‘s circulation is about 200,000, and I’ve never done work for any major mainstream magazines like Time or Newsweek. I’m not sure of the circulation of magazines like National Geographic for Kids or any of the Scholastic magazines.
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