Archive for the 'Leanne Shapton' Category

NYT – Up, Up and Out


This illustration for the Times’ Op/Ed Page accompanies Paul Kane’s article suggesting, among other substantial reforms to our armed forces, that the Air Force be eliminated entirely and have its resources redistributed throughout the Army, Navy and Marines (apparently, this leaves squat for the Coast Guard). To hear him tell it, the proposal sounds a lot crazier than it actually is.

As I am a sucker for dots, here’s a detail:


Leanne Shapton contacted me about working on this on a Friday night, giving me the weekend to experiment and brood. This turned out to be a blessing of sorts as I really struggled to land an idea for this article that I felt confident was going to stick come Monday morning when the comps were due. The article makes two additional reformation proposals which, while not as headline-grabbing as the Air Force suggestion, were powerful ideas nonetheless and I performed a healthy amount of self-flaggelation trying to concoct an image that could potentially encompass all three of these ideas. Ultimately, I failed in that task and Leanne, whether for good or for ill, endured more comps than usual from me on this one. The most ridiculous one below depicts an F-15 landing trajectory flying directly into a black hole before touching down.


Also of interest, the design firm Fogelson-Lubliner, who regularly contribute great pieces to the Op/Ed page, did an excellent spot for the Letters section today on the opposite page regarding U.S. torture and accountability. Good stuff.

UPDATE: Esteemed design guru Paul Sahre and his co-conspirator Sebastian Rether did the Letters’ piece documenting the responses to Kane’s piece. The letters (including one from the understandably nonplussed Air Force Chief of Staff), are all over the board, but the illustration is uniformly awesome.

In Afghanistan, Less Can Be More


The bit I did for today’s Op/Ed page in the Times proposes that having a less overtly American presence in Afghanistan and spending greater energy and focus in training their local soldiers can help to avoid many of the combat-based and diplomacy-based problems that U.S. forces incurred in Vietnam. Arthur Keller, a former C.I.A. operative who was based in Pakistan, is speaking more or less first hand.

Leanne Shapton was a big help in getting this one done. Without any overbearing art direction of any kind, she suggested very simply that I search for a historical link between both conflicts. When Keller (the author) writes about ‚Äúleaving a smaller footprint” in Afghanistan than we left in Vietnam, it became the second and final cue I needed to blaze through comps that night and have art ready the next morning. Given the absurd turnaround times required for art on that page, hindsight is a true albatross when looking back at those things, thinking about how you might have approached the idea differently had you not been under such a tight time constraint. Below is another comp that ALMOST made the grade.