OLD Media Moves

How The Economist covers come alive

October 22, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

Bo Franklin, a social media writer at The Economist, interviewed motion graphics artist Nino Bennett about how he makes its covers come alive each week.

Here is an excerpt:

How do you put an animated cover together?

At the beginning the animations were seen as a bit of a gimmick, but soon I started to work much more closely with the cover team and their illustrators, resulting in them layering their designs and drawing specific things. The Economist goes to print on a Thursday, and usually by Tuesday a cover idea will have been agreed. So we’ll discuss how to animate it, and I’ll ask the illustrators to work on different parts.

For example, if there is a person on the cover, the artist might draw the hand and the arm separately, so that they can move independently. Not only that, they’ll also layer the images, adding detail to the background.

By Wednesday night the cover is finalised, and on Thursday I send my version to a team that includes senior editors, the cover team and the newspaper’s art director. Everyone is very meticulous. On last week’s Catalonia cover, for example, the protesters’ mouths were taped shut. I added a soundtrack of protesters shouting, which led to a debate over whether the taped mouths meant it should be silent.

Read more here.

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