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Over the last 60 years, we’ve profiled 416 illustrators in Communication Arts and featured thousands more in our Illustration Annuals. On the following pages is work and commentary from just a few of those talented individuals. While styles and techniques have evolved, many of the illustrators’ comments are still relevant today.

Left: Al Parker, cover for The Journal of Commercial Art, 1959. Right: Betty Brader-Ashley, Joseph Magnin print ad, 1961.

 

“I am opposed to all those who manage to survive in illustration without having an idea of their own—the imitators. Almost every month, we have a comment from someone on a trend. A trend is almost always a stream of imitation.” —Austin Briggs, 1961

 

Left: Arnold Varga, ad for Joseph Horne Co., 1966. Right: Milton Glaser, record album insert poster for Columbia Records, 1967.

 

“To me, illustration is only a sometime part of visual communication. Illustration can be fine art, and fine art can be illustration. Illustration can be typography. Illustration can be photography. Illustration can be almost anything.” —Charles Schorre, 1967

 

Left: Franklin McMahon, detail of title painting for the film The World of Vatican II, 1968. Right: Teresa Woodward, illustration of Los Angeles for a Westinghouse brochure, 1969.

 

“Can the marvel of the handwrought and artist-generated really be replaced by science or pseudoscience, working alone or in concert with the camera? Look around. It’s already happening.” —Daniel Schwartz, 1968

 

Left: Jerry Pinkney, S.D. Warren Paper promotion, 1975. Right: Mark English, brochure cover for Decision Dynamics, 1977.

 

“An artist should be a part of his time and relate to his society. It’s historically valuable, like the work of Hogarth, Daumier and Toulouse-Lautrec.” —Alan Cober, 1975


“All kids are interested in drawing. You go into any kindergarten, first or second grade, and the level of creativity is astounding, but it gets killed somewhere in the process of growing up.” —Robert Heindel, 1977

 

Left: James McMullan, poster for the Imperial Theatre, 1977. Right: Paul Davis, poster for the New York Shakespeare Festival, 1978.

 

“The thing is to find something surprising and different in every assignment. There are some people who always surprise you, and that’s why you continue to look at their work.” —Robert Weaver, 1978

 

Left: Robert Peak, Apocalypse Now movie poster for United Artists, 1979. Right: Brad Holland, for Shel Silverstein poem “The Perfect High” for Playboy, 1980.

 

“Style is nothing more than your own special neurosis surfacing on job after job.” —David Wilcox, 1980


“Remember the question you’ll have to ask yourself with every finished illustration: Would this be just as effective if photographed instead of drawn? If so, you blew it.” —Dick Brown, 1981

 

Left: Marshall Arisman, editorial image for Omni, 1982. Right: Heather Cooper, poster for the Stratford Festival, 1983.

 

“I enjoy illustration because it reaches a lot of people. What other age had this? The printed image has changed the way we live.” —Carol Wald, 1982

 

Left: Kinuko Craft, for article “The Education of Reggie Smith” for Playboy, 1985. Right: Cathleen Toelke, Cecilene shopping bag, 1992.

 

“It’s nice when an art director can get you to do something even you didn’t know you could do.” —Melissa Grimes, 1989


“Illustration is a distilled idea. It is the most primitive form of communication.” —Anthony Russo, 1989

 

Left: Joe Ciardiello, musician Stanley Turrentine for Jazziz, 1994. Right: Gregory Manchess, promotional greeting card, 1995.

 

“Stamps are like tiny icons. Only one person can look at them at a time. That’s what I like about them.” —Michael J. Deas, 1998

 

Left: Nancy Stahl, Mercury Printing brochure, 1997. Right: Bernie Fuchs, greeting card for Peaceable Kingdom Press, 1998.

 

“You have to be aware of what’s been done before, what’s good—and why—and then you have to develop your own style. If you copy someone else, you’re not understanding who you are.” —Barbara Nessim, 2001

 

Left: Jody Hewgill, Arena stage poster for How I Learned to Drive, 1999. Right: Tim O’Brien, portrait of Olympic track and field champion Marion Jones for TIME, 2001.

 

“I like art directors who are smart, who know about politics and are interested in what’s going on in the world and help you make a statement.” —Steve Brodner, 2004

 

Left: Gérard DuBois, for a Bloomberg Wealth Manager article on how to find an escape route from the trap of corporate stock options, 2002. Right: Edel Rodriguez, TIME cover image for an article about the new Chinese economy, 2006.

 

“Handmade things give us a touchstone—and sense of humanity—in what can sometimes feel like a very alienating modern culture.” —Marc Burckhardt, 2005

 

Left: Melinda Beck, full-page Target ad for the special advertising section in The New Yorker, 2006. Right: Yuko Shimizu, wraparound cover for The Beautiful and the Grotesque, a collection of short stories by Japanese writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa, 2010.

 

“As an artist, I just don’t see any other choice but to describe all the uncomfortable, ambiguous and messy things in the world, as well as the things that are good and beautiful.” —John Hendrix, 2009

 

Left: Ellen Weinstein, for “The Unbelievers,” a look at African American atheists and how they feel excluded from the community, for the New York Times, 2012. Right: David Plunkert, Baltimore Theatre Project poster, 2012.

 

“A lot of comic artists do illustration because it’s more lucrative, but they don’t actually like doing illustration because you’re at the mercy of somebody else. I actually do love doing illustration.” —Jillian Tamaki, 2011

 

Left: Chris Buzelli, cover of The University of Chicago Magazine for the article “The Evolution of Fairy Tales,” 2013. Right: Victo Ngai, for Tor.com short story “A Cup of Salt Tears” by Isabel Yap, about a strange and bittersweet romance, 2015.

 

“I adore technology, but when I create a piece of art, I like touching it, holding it. There’s a tactile quality that I can’t seem to shake.” —Scott Bakal, 2015

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