Peter Judson: Jacobin (detail)

Work / Illustration

Check out this striking new work by Peter Judson for American leftwing publication Jacobin

Alright, we admit it – Peter Judson has made a lot of work we’ve been really into this year, and he’s had the props on the site to prove it. But why should we be made to contain ourselves when he keeps producing illustration of this calibre? Why, we ask you?

On to the next one then, a splendid commission for American left-wing publication Jacobin, which describes itself as a “magazine of culture and polemic.” Happily for us they gave Peter almost free rein to work his Memphis-inspired magic on the new issue’s website, which now has a suitably slick scroll and illustrated elements that tie in with articles from inside, not to mention a host of intricate landscapes and interiors in a Sims-inspired computer desktop format. We spoke to Peter to find out more…


Peter Judson: Jacobin cover

How did you feel about being commissioned by a publication dedicated to America’s radical left?

It was really hard because I’ve have quite a few posters of my idol David Cameron in my bedroom. His puffy sausage face just makes me melt; I have a dream where I shrink down to the size of a large ant, lube up my naked body and then slide around on his shiny cheeks whilst he gently whispers Conservative reforms until I get tired and fall asleep feeling venerable yet safe at the same time. In reality I spent about two or three hours reading their articles and seeing what they were about and I haven’t lost any sleep.

What was your brief? How did you go about working on it?

The magazine had the title Paint the town red! and three sections; Infrastructure, Architecture and Workers. So the brief (which was brief) was to create a cover and three spreads based on these themes. We decided a nice way of tying the issue together would be to make it feel like a journey.

What gave you the idea to work to the format of a computer desktop?

There is an article about Sim City and I thought that it was a great metaphor for how all political movements – evidently in their own vision – have the same essential goal of creating a better world. Which in the digital sense is what Sim City allows you to do. It also meant I could put in loads of small touches like designing icons for each article which feature on the sidebar and beside each article. The ones that are pushed down relate to the articles that feature in each section. The scroll bar also scrolls down with each section. I hope that the readers who spot these touches may say or think something like “Ooh! that’s a nice touch.” And maybe smile or feel warm.

What are the challenges of working on a magazine cover?

I don’t think there are any differences with a cover, an editorial piece or any other commission for that matter aside from the fact that it feels like it’s more important for some reason. But in essence it’s exactly the same. Get a brief, play with the brief and create something in response to it.

When you find yourself absent-mindedly doodling, what do you draw?

You. Sleeping.

Sorry! No recently I’ve been drawing a lot of crazy things like kettles. “Crikey, that sounds super exciting! Much more exciting than Nick Clegg bathing in a bath with Steven Spielberg full of tiny rabbits that resemble Mark Zuckerberg’s favourite employees,” I hear you say. And yes, you are right. Household goods are bringing me untold happiness at the moment.

What’s your dream commission?

Damn I haven’t been asked that since my university interview. I’d probably say at the moment it would be to design a building, inside and out. Or if TFL commissioned my Bus, Stop and Enjoy Yourself project.


Peter Judson: Jacobin


Peter Judson: Jacobin


Peter Judson: Jacobin


Peter Judson: Jacobin (detail)


Peter Judson: Jacobin Website (screenshot)


Peter Judson: Jacobin Website (screenshot)


Peter Judson: Jacobin Website (screenshot)


Peter Judson: Jacobin Website (screenshot)


Peter Judson: Jacobin Website (screenshot)


Peter Judson: Jacobin Website (screenshot)