17 January 2017

Look Inside

Look Inside
Look Inside: Cutaway Illustrations & Visual Storytelling, written by brothers Juan and Samuel Velasco, is the first survey of cutaway diagrams, a subset of infographics defined as "illustrations in which the external layer of an object has been "peeled off," in order to reveal the interior." In addition to cutaways, the book also includes images depicting interior structures via cross sections, transparency or translucency, and exploded views.

The book begins with the history of cutaways, such as the "precise and beautiful diagrams" of Ismail al-Jazari, and Leonardo da Vinci's drawings, "whose combination of precision, artistry, and attention to detail are still unsurpassed." Andreas Vesalius' "cutaways of a kind never seen before," and JM Bourgery's anatomical studies "depicted with utmost elegance and beauty" are also discussed, though none of these works are included as illustrations.

While some historical cutaways are reproduced, including several by the pioneer Fritz Kahn, most of the illustrations are by contemporary artists. There are plenty of full-page images, and some gatefolds, though most of the works are undated. There is no contents page or bibliography.

Cutaway illustrations are also included in Information Graphics and Understanding The World. Other books on specific genres of infographics include The Art Of Instruction (on educational charts), The Art Of Illustrated Maps (on creative cartography), Cartographies Of Time (on timelines) and The Book Of Trees (on tree diagrams).