Scientific American: Speech Recognition Software

In October, I was asked to do a pretty odd-but-interesting editorial by Scientific American. The premise was the improving quality of speech recognition in computers and other digital devices. I had been wanting to work for the folks at Scientific American for a while, and I was super excited for the project (although I had no clue what I was going to produce).

I had met Michael, the AD, earlier in the year at the Society of Illustrators, and I knew from his personality that we would probably have the best time working in a humorous approach. That was fine by me as I feel that is a vital part of my own personality :)


It was decided to go with the imac sketch. I assume the choice was made as it focuses more on the reception of sound as opposed to the delivery from one's mouth. This is why I always think it's important to explore two or three themes in your sketches; you want to give the AD options in case your initial reading of the article was off. In my opinion, doing three sketches of the same idea with just different compositions isn't really exploring the subject matter; and where's the fun in that?

I was quite partial to sketch #2 (tongue of text), but it was stated that this may be too similar to the Rolling Stones logo and may confuse readers; although not intentional, I find it interesting that the association was made since that logo is a great example of turning sound (music) into something visual, tangible and relatable. In writing this and reviewing these sketches from months ago, I may take sketch #2 as I visualize it as a fun image; those lips could be a fun challenge, too.
The final image went forward without any hiccups (except an attempt at a flesh-tone imac: eww), and I was happy to add another non-figurative image to my portfolio. Thanks to Michael and Caitlin for a fun project, and I hope we get to work together again!

Enjoy the Day,