megan alison mccrink


Everything you wanted to
know about Cannabis

design, art direction, photo research, production

This was a part of POLITICO’s “The Agenda” issue that focused exclusively on Cannabis and Cannabis policy. The editor wanted to launch a guide to Cannabis for readers not familiar with the topic.

Read it here


Art Direction




wikimedia commons
For this piece, I was inspired by the decorative elements of old almanacs. To achieve an elevated vintage look, I knew I would need to work with an
artist that could make an older visual style still feel modern and fresh. Italian illustrator Lorenzo Petrantoni was the perfect artist for this story.     


illustration by Lorenzo Petrantoni
 
I wanted the illustration to have different elements that worked together on a transparent background. This allowed me to pull pieces from the larger illustration and use them as supporting art throughout the story.

part of the photo research from iStock

I worked with Lorenzo to target specific parts of the story for use as visuals. After we targeted elements for him to illustrate, I conducted extensive photo research to make sure the story elements would all work cohesively in the illustration.


Black and white version, intial sketch 
the final, with added color and modern cannabis elements

We worked through a few color revisions, including an entirely black and white option, before landing on a muted approach to the color that allowed full color elements to pop.


The Build 


I started working on the story design in Sketch so that I could easily get a better idea of the general layout that would work for this story. After that, I closely worked with a developer to load the story onto the server via Google Docs. As soon as this was done, I worked to create the CSS
styles for the page.

an early sketch mockup


This story is responsive. I always consider general breakpoints too.



The Details


Since the glossary would be packed with information, I didn’t want the reader to feel overwhelmed with a slew of questions and answers crowding the page.




I wanted the reader to feel like they had control over their experience and opted to utilize a click and reveal for questions.

Time is important for the reader, so when the answer was revealed, I made sure the first sentence of the answer was bolded. This was a subtle signal that the crux of the answer was in the first sentence and they could opt out of reading further if they chose.



To call back to the original illustration, I pulled out pieces from it and used them as headers for each section.