The definitive article

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 09.22.12

The Guardian have done it again in creating dynamic and impactful graphics to carry a story.  But then I would have been disappointed had the triggering of article 50 for the formal start of Brexit been visualised by the paper in anything less than a dramatic style.

While I have some sympathy with some design criticism on Twitter about a jigsaw being an overused metaphor, I think this doesn’t give credit for the colour treatment making it look like a forgotten 1950s puzzle found in a charity shop. This helps to give the concept greater credence in relation to Brexit. That, and the exaggerated staggering of the typography to form an approximation of the shape of the British Isles. This in itself is a mark of typographic brilliance.


The true dramatic effect though, comes in the way the jigsaw eats into the mast head and the removal of all advertising on the front page. Dedicating a single story to the entire cover heightens the important and historic nature of the event; something that echoes the dynamism with which The Guardian graphically covered the Panama Papers, and for which they received much critical acclaim.

In contemporary journalism The Guardian is second to none in valuing the importance of graphic design in relating important events to its readers. The paper treats imagery as a component of journalism, not just to enhance the words on the page or screen, but as an instrumentally important communicative device in its own right.

The Guardian deserves a round of applause.

Published by Nigel Ball

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design

One thought on “The definitive article

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: