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When Head Shots Won’t Do

November 4, 2012

Dog Ear Consultants

Forbes Magazine’s Top 20 (yeah, that’s Bill Gates in the upper left)

It’s a problem we all face from time to time: flat, boring head shots of our alumni. It’s particularly problematic in the back of the book for each issue, where Class Notes sections typically feature collections of short alumni profiles.

Adobe Illustrator’s live trace tool can easily convert photos into graphic illustrations.

Instead of scrambling to find photographers all over the country to snap alumni portraits (and breaking your budget in the process), one alternative is to hire an illustrator to interpret alumni-supplied head shots into graphic art. Or, for an even more budget-friendly option, your art director can use the Live Trace tool in Adobe Illustrator to convert the head shots into vector art in-house.

Forbes Magazine recently gave its top 20 wealthiest people feature story an interesting look by using illustrations of high-power executives instead of photos. And the most recent issue of Wit Magazine includes an alumni how-to feature that uses the same technique for a series of successful alumni:

In addition to giving boring old head shots a cool graphic pop, illustrations can often make a feature story—or even an entire magazine section—feel more cohesive than a series of dissimilar photos.

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