Editorial Illustration GIFs for Political Coverage
Reportage GIFs, Brooklyn Magazine, NY 2017
Design Process + Brief. Developing GIFs for Breaking News
For the first week of Trump’s presidency, Brooklyn Magazine published a complete list monitoring every single move that the Trump administration was making. These lists were long and ghastly. Once the list was complete, I had 45 minutes – 1 hr to research, select and develop what should be the cover GIF for the day’s atrocities.
GIFs and Illustration are increasingly appropriate in Ui based journalism to break through feeds and take advantage of the ease of moving image reporting. Because GIFs and animations can be more time intensive to make, the format is not usually associated with breaking news journalism as it often takes not just one image, with appropriate licensing and editorially rigor, but an interaction of images and type. Unfortunately, commercial advertising has thus dominated our feeds with branded / partner / and sponsored content mini-docs, editorial coverage and electric animations / GIFs.
This was a fun collaboration to see if we could make breaking GIFs to accompany the lists which has less emphasis on visual perfection and more on tone, humor, political satire, strategy and journalistic rigor.
Insights GIFs for Covering Twitter Dialogue
We found that the GIF format was particularly useful for covering visual dialogue and debates from Twitter and the Senate hearings. Although most users don’t have the attention span for sitting through a GIF animated Twitter dialogue, the GIF format lended itself well to referencing the importance of social in some of these political moves. For example, the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S.’ legal defense fund, got a boost of $24 million USD in donations after the proposed travel ban on people coming into the U.S. from predominantly Muslim based countries. One of the most interesting aspects of the story was the role of social and technology in exponentially growing the donation numbers because of a celebrity donation match that happened over twitter, spurred by the pop artist Sia and matched by Judd Apatow, Rosie O’Donnel etc.
February 1, 2017
News Neil Grosuch’s nomination to the Supreme Curt.
Visual Reference The deep reds and cherry woods of the sanctity of the U.S. Supreme Court architecture and uniform.
Design Politic As a human rights advocate, I could tell from the Internet’s response to the Grouch that this was bad for humanity. However, even as a reporter I didn’t know the details of why Gorsuch was really such a threat to social justice. So we decided to use the GIF to straight report the facts on Grouch’s voting history: ant-abortion, anti-lgbtq, pro police in police brutality cases etc. without much satire or manipulation, but with a light nod to Sandra O’Connor’s historic swearing in to the Supreme Court to remind us visually of the traditions we are stepping on by instating Gorsuch and the repercussions on the balance of the court.
January 31, 2017 ACLU American Civil Liberties Union Donations Surge 24 Million
News Although the weekend had been exhausted with rallies in reaction to the immigration ban on U.S. citizens, green card holders and all humans from 7 Muslim countries, we decided to focus on something positive. Because of the overwhelming response by the legal community, especially the ACLU, to counter the illegal ban, the ACLU surged to 24 million USD in donations.
Visual Reference The ACLU visual identity using our ever flaming Statue of Liberty in all of their materials, which I borrowed to reference both the ACLU and the idea that lady liberty just got fucking pay rolled.
Design Politic Fun. Money Shower. Take a break from the devastation to celebrate the cause of justice just booming it’s resources. Here we also developed the potential of the GIF to extend the reportage of the article by covering the twitter match session triggered by musician Sia, matched by Judd Apatow and Rosie O’Donnel that contributed to the massive swell in ACLU donations.
January 30, 2017 Betsy DeVos’ Confirmation Hearing as Education Secretary
News Motherfucking DeVos. The most under qualified and corrupt education secretary has her confirmation hearing and in a very questionable and shakey process, made it through to confirmation. In that hearing, DeVos managed to literally sidestep a clear cut question about whether or not guns should be in U.S. schools by citing the potential need for guns to combat … grizzly bears….Devos. DaFUCK ????
Visual Reference ?! Questioned Exclamation happened all over this piece. DeVos’s nomination is a continual shower of shock and surprise, or as the kids say : ?! . We referenced the absurdity of her response by using classic American School House imagery and antiquated grizzly bear woodblock engraving from … the ‘pioneering’ days when if ever bears threatened the safety of our classrooms….I mean ..DevosDaFuck.
Design Politic Similar to the Graham & Aclu Gif, we furthered the idea of the GIF’s potential for dialogue by breaking out the Q.A. dialogue from the hearing. To use the GIF medium as a space to visually walk through the dialogue.
January 27, 2017 Trump’s proposed wall between the U.S. & Mexico
News Mexico’s former president,Vincente, penns the brilliant hashtag #fuckingwall as the war to fund Trump’s proposed wall wages on. Trump threatens 20% tariff on Mexican imports. Mexico says fuck you. Day 7 and a trade inpass is proposed on top of the already proposed physical wall to control the border.
Visual Reference Wiki satellite image of the Tijuana border to illustrate the very physical line between the the US & Mexico. Using Vincente’s #fucking wall hashtag to contextualize the issue, and Lindsey Graham’s hilarious Twitter response to show disapproval of Trump’s actions/proposals even from the conservative right.
Design Politic Using the animated potential of GIFs to further cover dialogue, particularly on social media and twitter.
News Neo-Nazi and white supremacist, Richard Spencer, gets punched in the face again
Visual Reference An homage to the rich history of punching Nazis in the face. Neo Nazi White Supremacists like Spencer have been masquerading in society under new branding, “alt right” in the age of “brietbart” media, somehow seemingly normalized, and slightly right leaning, without wearing their true affiliation on their sleeve.
Design Politic Don’t be afraid. Squash Fascism
Brooklyn Magazine, NYC. NY