Editorial illustrations accompany text to further elucidate aspects of the content and to add visual interest. They may be a direct visual translation of the text, or be more conceptual, capturing a concept or feeling associated with the content in less literal ways.
Editorial illustration projects allow the illustrator to take a look at a subject through different lenses. Often this involves juxtaposing elements in ways that are unusual. For example, the illustration at the top uses a jigsaw puzzle metaphor as a way to think about how genetic studies allow scientists to piece together clues to help us understand the natural world.
For another example, the second image was commissioned as a cover illustration for The Scientist Magazine – the subject was the challenges faced by scientists using microarray technology to measure gene expression levels.