I recently discovered that the person whose illustrations I keep gawking at in the New Yorker is Oliver Munday. So I looked up Oliver Munday, and it turns out he’s hugely talented both as an illustrator and a graphic designer. First and foremost, thanks to the internet for letting me in on that secret, and secondly, thanks to Ollie for making such great stuff.
Part of what makes Oliver’s illustrations so successful has to do with execution. While I’m not a proponent (or certainly my professors at Parsons wouldn’t want me to be) of styling an image in a certain way just because ‘it looks cool,’ the distressed texture of many of his images gives them a unique, almost tactile look. It’s nice!
This technique is also applied to photo-based illustrations, typically adjusted for high contrast or a halftone filter first. And it works incredibly well, especially with the addition of a bold but limited color palette. Oliver pieces these elements together much in the way we might expect to see a physical collage on paper. And maybe that’s what he does? I wonder about his process.
Beyond the artistic merits of his illustrations, however, Oliver is clearly adept when it comes to content ideation. In a recent piece for the New Yorker, he shows the relationship between firearms and schools by manipulating a single element from the built environments of schools throughout the country. The result is simple and profound.
Add to all of this Oliver Munday’s stalwart record as a book jacket designer.
These are only a handful of a number of powerful, graphic titles that Oliver has designed. The jacket above is particularly telling not only of his ability to integrate image and text, but also shows a developed understanding of printing methods and their potential as a secondary form of communication.
In short, Oliver Munday makes great stuff.
Or did I say that already?