Cutaway Illustrations and Visual Storytelling
The cutaway illustrations in this book allow our eyes to see what usually remains hidden. They open up houses, bodies, and objects, and allow the individual parts to comprehensively explain the whole.
Looking at the outside of things such as architecture, anatomy, or vehicles does not usually reveal much about their internal structures and functions. To learn more, we need to see inside them. Look Inside features infographics that cut up or take apart their subjects and make them transparent. The resulting cross sections and interior views present precise detail in multiple layers.
Look Inside starts with a discussion of Arnhem Land, the earliest known cutaway illustrations, showing that even 28,000 years ago, humans had a fascination with how things internally work: the processes that are hidden from the human eye. Including work from both centuries past and the cutting-edge present, Look Inside is an unparalleled compendium of cutaway techniques and their wide-ranging applications. Works from Jewish-German physician Fritz Kahn’s imagine the human body as a mechanized factory; Kahn’s visual metaphors show conveyor belts and offices instead of veins and valves. Exploded images of classic sports cars allows Fabian Oefner to show every piece of the automotive puzzle from the body shell to individual tiny screws. Richard Orr’s scientific pieces represent the natural world and continue in the genre’s traditional thread of handmade illustrations; whether a beaver lodge or an arctic circle landscape, Orr presents a vivid natural world or layers and scientific hierarchies. The luxurious collection within Look Inside was curated by renowned information designers and creative directors, Samuel and Juan Velasco. The Velasco brothers have provided invaluable and inspirational insight in the history and theory of cutaway illustrations and visual storytelling.
Juan Velasco worked as Art Director at National Geographic for many years, has won multiple awards from the Society of News Design and Malofiej, and has served as the Graphics Art Director at the New York Times. He is the founder and creative director of 5W Infographics, a company based in Madrid, New York, and Washington, D.C. A detailed portrait of the information designer can be found in Gestalten’s A Life in Illustration.
Samuel Velasco is an original founder of the daily newspaper El Mundo, the second largest daily newspaper in Spain. After solidifying the role of El Mundo within the European infographics rise, he relocated to the US and became a graphic designer at Fortune magazine. He is now the creative director at 5W Infographics.