Designer and illustrator Steph Davidson currently works at Bloomberg Businessweek creating visuals and designing layouts for the publication, which has pushed the boundaries of editorial design in the last few years. Steph’s portfolio is chock full of funny, clever illustrations, gifs and images, that play upon internet trends, current affairs and topical news stories. “My job is illustrating, designing feature layouts and commissioning illustrations, all of which are enjoyable,” says Steph.
“I work with a small team, James Singleton, who does fantastic coding and webgl and design, and Thomas Houston our manager who is enthused about experimental art and design so it’s a lot of fun. I’ve started cataloguing our art direction here."
Steph started out in digital advertising, which gave her the chance to practice sketching ideas out at a fast pace. “As for animation I look a year of postgrad computer animation. Don’t go to school for computer animation – just learn everything on greyscale gorilla and digital tutors,” advises Steph. Many of the creative’s ideas come from “surfing the net” by looking through Tumblr, Twitter and message boards, “I’m also very deep into Google bookmarks and meta tagging,” she explains.
Aside from her Bloomberg work, which has seen her create a 90s net art-inspired cover last year, as well as the 404 error page, Steph has an ongoing weed cartoon that has appeared several times on Bloomberg’s website including an article about weed for pets. There’s a freedom in Steph’s work that’s hard not to lap up and this raw approach is something Steph hopes to continue. “I think a lot of news organisations try to look slick and refined but in our department we try to have fun and be experimental. It doesn’t always work but it looks different.”