SA Visual

SA Visual

Illustrating science since 1845

Looking toward the Future: Introducing SAVisual


As Scientific American‘s design director, I realize the weight this office brings to bear on me. SA has published groundbreaking art and graphics since its inception in 1845. From the first etchings to today’s 3-D illustrations and photography, it is an incredible legacy.

In this blog we will call out great art and design from our hallowed pages and elsewhere in order to elevate science visuals to their proper place. Where would we be if we failed to depict the things we cannot visualize in our mind’s eye? As a child, I read books such as Man’s Reach into Space, by Roy Gallant and Lee Ames, and watched Star Wars. I looked at the art and tried to figure out how to draw it. Today I am fortunate to be able to facilitate the same type of art in our pages, bringing new life to concepts that are challenging to visualize. I don’t get to do the art (well, at least not all the time), but that doesn’t mean that I am not intimately involved with the process. I imagine that my predecessors were the same in this.

Hopefully, the art we showcase here will inspire the next generation of artists to draw things that are scientific, because by visualizing these things we can build them.

In the spirit of looking forward I looked at Scientific American‘s past covers and pulled a few of my particular favorites. I hope you like them, and keep checking back here for new (and old) art, graphics and videos from my staff and me.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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