Seeing Is Believing
I was sitting in my endocrinologist's office, waiting for him to come back in the room. I didn't have anything to read, so all I could do was look at the poster on the wall, which bore the title "Understanding Diabetes." I stared and stared at that poster. But by the time the doc returned I was still no closer to figuring out exactly what the picture (which seemed to depict a water slide emerging from a cross-section of pimento loaf) was trying to tell me.
Diabetes is a complex disease, involving different organs, the circulatory system, the endocrine system, the digestive system, the nervous system—and probably other parts of the body I don't even know about. Still, while none of us need a medical degree to stay healthy, "understanding diabetes" in a basic way is a big help.
And yet most visual representations of the disease are either turgidly medical (like my doctor's poster) or absurdly cartoonish, with little happy-faced Insulins and grumpy-faced Glucoses. Design takes a back seat, and clarity goes with it.
That's why we commissioned the illustration here. It's an inside look at this disease we read so much about but never really get to "see." I don't think beta cells have ever looked quite so beautiful.
On a similar note, this issue debuts a series of "How To" articles about food. Rather than just listing recipe instructions, they will take you visually through the preparation of delicious and healthy dishes, step by step. The idea is to give you the tools you need to feel comfortable in the kitchen. First up: salads.
As editors and writers, we spend a lot of time with language. And yet pictures—well, I might not give up a thousand words of a good story for them, but when done right, they tell their own tales.