Visual Commentary

Studio philosophy

This studio engages with editorial illustration for interactive and social media.

Though it can be argued that broadsheet newspapers are in decline, the published lifestyle supplements, political or economic magazines, are specialist yet popular additions to our everyday reading. These journalistic themes are often accompanied by stark visual commentary - editorial illustrations that provide humour or satire, social and political reference, that informs or provokes thought and response.

The popular editorial illustration can be, among other things: thought provoking commentary, contentious, argumentative, political, inflammatory, sentimental and emotive through style and construction. Editorial illustration reflects the cultural zeitgeist. You are designing an illustrative ‘narrative’ for a digital publication - broadcast for interactive and social media. You are to choose one of the controversial topics below and develop illustration that challenges both popular and alternative opinion and presents the facts in a provocative and emotive way. Any researched and accompanying facts have to be intellectually and resourcefully composed and display knowledgeable working practice - appropriate syntax, texture, colour, scale, tone, hierarchy, contrast, negative and positive spacing and juxtaposition.

Project Brief

This illustration will be commissioned through a live client basis and supplemented by appropriate study trips, visits and contemporary exhibitions. You will work with one of the two aspects of the theme below.

The Nation’s Crisis:

  1. Debt: will Britain go bankrupt? Despite what the doom-mongers would have you believe, it’s extremely unlikely. The critical indicator is the government’s debt to GDP ratio – i.e., how much we owe compared to how much we make. In the UK, it’s hovering at 71.3%. We’re in hock to the tune of a hideous £990 billion, which is a credit card bill nobody wants. But our GDP is £1.39 trillion, which isn’t too shabby.
  2. Is the UK facing a Pension Crisis? Today, 1.8 million pensioners are already officially in poverty – and 60% of single pensioners in UK have a total annual pension of less than £10,000.
Visual Commentary


Course Graphic Design BA (Hons)
Illustration BA (Hons)
Motion Graphics BA (Hons)
Where CR501A, 41 Commercial Road
When Tuesdays, Fridays
Tutors Adrian Beasley

Studio images

 Work in progress
Visual Commentary Work in Progress


Haythem Mohamed Ali
Moses Adesanya
Leon Bartholomew
Iain Boswell
Alex Courtenay-Brown
Erika Del Rosario
Ashleigh Field
Indra Gersone
Darya Goloskokova
Nadine Heimhofer
Melanie Kramer
Matthew Miller
Anna Nguyen Minh
Fernanda Previato
Chloe Saunders
Marina Semencuka
Dominik Szynkiewicz
Ahmed Terro
Korinna Veropoulou
Elson Vieira
Shaunagh White

Hira Aslam
Anais Borely
Callum Chambers
Cecile Broedsgaard-Jensen
Djordje Misa Mesarovic
Joe Palmer
Aston Reeves