Using humor through illustrations and photography to make a meaningful connections with readers

Chris Mihal, a designer at Variety magazine, covered the issue on how to include humor in designs while making a connection with readers at SND Saturday afternoon.

Mihal took the audience on an informative but hilarious journey through many styles of magazine covers. He talked about his process and how he likes to try new things and have fun with it. There are many ways designers can include humor in their designs, whether it be classic satire, sexual innuendos, or even hidden gems placed strategically in a photo.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.36.38 PM

But sometimes it doesn’t work out the way things are planned.

Mihal made the example of Jonah Hill.

He said, “Let’s do something funny with a funny man,” so Variety staff put Jonah Hill in different scenarios during a photo shoot; however, none came out as expected.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.30.10 PM

Where to draw the line with sex was a topic that Mihal also mentioned. He was tasked with illustrating a cover story on how sex is common on cable networking programs.  How does a designer illustrate this in a tasteful manner? Staff tried a photoshoot with a nude couple, but Mihal wanted to try something different. The end result was a nude male model with a boom mic covering his genitals. The result got the point across, and yet it wasn’t overdone.

Here are more examples of including humor to connect with readers:

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.50.13 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.50.24 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.26.48 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 7.28.21 PM