The Look Of Funny: How The Onion’s Art Department Works

The Look Of Funny: How The Onion’s Art Department Works

This story was originally published by

When many publishers are laying off photographers and turning to trite stock imagery, The Onion is going another way.

SHARE
THIS



The absurd scenes and photos that look like bad stock art? they’re all designed from scratch.

An Onion article titled “New Law Enforcement Robot Can Wield Excessive Force Of 5 Human Officers” includes a remarkable bit of artwork, which you can see above: a muscled, armoured tank-like robot armed with guns and probes and sprays and hammers, using all its weaponry to attack the business-casual-clad attendees of a beige-carpet trade show. To create it, The Onion’s art department built a digital robot, staged the scene with real people, then combined original photography and digital art with pre-existing stock photography to achieve a perfectly surreal, violent scene. All to illustrate a joke that can be told in a 12-word headline.

This is hardly an isolated example. At The Onion, a fake news website and one of the great satirical outposts of the past 50 years, nearly every image is original: either a graphic created in-house, a photograph taken in-house, or an image so manipulated by Photoshop as to not represent any real event that has ever happened. The tiny graphics team at The Onion pumps out about 50 original pieces of art per week at a time when your average Internet publication arts stories as quickly as possible: with images the subject provided, or photographs from stock agencies and wire services. Nobody sits down and creates original art for a two-sentence post. Yet The Onion does, over and over again. Why bother?

As Stephen Colbert or any great satirist will tell you, a key to satire is to always stay in character. In The Onion’s case, that “character” is an absurd, alternative world invented to comment on the real one. Every aspect of the fake world has to ring true for the trick to work. That includes the visuals. When nothing you publish is real, every single image has to be made from scratch. “We want to make sure that we’re making our Onion-world fully realised and very real,” says Ben Berkley, managing editor of The Onion. It’s all in service of the joke.

Read the full article here.

Latest News

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban

Australia’s leading health and wellbeing brand IsoWhey has launched its latest national campaign, ‘#YouGotThis’. Created by Urban, the campaign highlights the real-life struggles Australians face on their weight management journey. A journey made easier through perseverance, and a little help from IsoWhey. The #YouGotThis campaign is IsoWhey’s biggest marketing investment to date, with executions running […]

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe

In this guest post, creative and strategy director at WE Buchan, David Coupland (pictured below), takes a look at the fallout from Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign and says what it also does is show the importance brands now play in our lives… Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Optimise Branded Keywords
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How To Optimise Branded Keywords

In this guest post, CEO of Delacon, Michael Center (pictured below) talks the value of branded keywords for marketers and offer his tips on getting the best from yours… Branded keywords are an essential part of the digital marketing strategy for many large businesses. Trading on the recognition and equity of a brand’s name, some of the country’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Expertise First, Influence Second: When Influence Is A By-Product Of Expertise

In this guest post, Taryn Williams, CEO and founder of influencer and creative talent marketplace theright.fit, explains why influence should be a by-product of success, not the foundation for it… Like any form of advertising and promotion, influencer marketing is not without its controversies. Earlier this year Australia’s Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, ordered […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience

Ford Australia has unveiled a new innovation that showcases the iconic Ford Mustang through a collaboration Facebook and Instagram. The interactive campaign invites Facebook and Instagram communities to take part in a live poll to identify Australia’s ultimate Mustang design. Targeting performance car fans, along with design lovers and image-conscious consumers, Ford and its partner […]