Andi Best Freelance Designer

Auto Express marketing illustration

Freelance commission for Auto Express Magazine
Client: Auto Express Magazine

Client: Auto Express Magazine Objective: Raise awareness of the Client's 1,500th issue of its publication Solution: Produce an original illustration that's both intriguing and relevant to the readership, as well as flexible for transposition across print and digital marketing matter.

Marketing illustration

Auto Express magazine 1,500th issue illustration
Auto Express illustration in digital marketing
During the lead up to Auto Express magazine's publication of its 1,500th issue the title ran an awareness campaign with the aim of securing new subscribers.

Following the success of previous illustrated campaigns I'd created for the publisher, Auto Express were keen to commission me for another bespoke illustration to heighten the appeal of the coming marketing communications across multiple channels, including print ads, emails and online landing pages.

The Client suggested some ideas they'd like to trial for the campaign but early discussions and preliminary mockups found they weren't wholly on message or easily adaptable. Instead, after my usual internal development process, I returned to the Client with an alternative idea that the project lead much preferred. Given that Auto Express is the prevailing voice on contemporary road car reviews it struck me to consider how illustration has traditionally played a role in the industry, as far back to the mid 80's when the magazine was first conceived. I could recall from my youth being impressed by the intricate cross-section and diagrammatical illustration found both on the covers and inside the vehicle manuals of the era, depicting the cars' components and engineering. This inspired me to take the clear and prominent message of the campaign and blend it into an engine block exploded-view diagram bearing all the low-grade shading and chrome simulated hallmarks of those original intricate drawings. In an effort to invoke a more striking aesthetic for the campaign I explored taking the artwork a step further by rendering it in a variety of radical, vibrant, screen-print-like colourations, but ultimately the Client opted to uphold the traditional black and white aesthetic of those original manual diagrams.

As a final flourish I ensured that the part-number labels in the diagram were not randomly concocted placeholders, but rather that the digits were actual publication dates and issue number of choice issues spanning the Auto Express collection.
Close up detail for Auto Express magazine illustration
Illustration detail for Auto Express magazine
Detail of Auto Express magazine illustration