A cover story on the Harvey Weinstein scandal illustrated by Peter Strain for the October 17, 2017 issue of Variety.
Chuck Kerr: On October 5, the New York Times exposed Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein as a serial sexual predator, harasser, and abuser. As the news sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry, Variety editors made the tough decision to make room for our own cover story on the Weinstein scandal, and the subsequent fallout.
I sketched out and pitched two cover concepts: a shadowy, dark image with a shaft of light partially illuminating Weinstein — literally shining a light on the monster he was — as well as a gritty, unglamorous close-up of his face, as the words of his accusers edged into the frame, surrounding him. The team agreed that the second concept was more immediate than the first.
Illustrator Peter Strain was a perfect fit for this — a triple threat of detailed, textured linework, spot-on likenesses, and bold lettering. I asked for two options: one where the accuser’s quotes would be hand-lettered, and a clean option where I could place the type myself. When sketches started coming in, it was clear that Peter totally nailed the serious tone we were looking for.
After working up multiple versions of the cover layout, it became clear that the accuser quotes were distracting, and possibly even gratuitous. We dropped the original concept in favor of letting Peter’s stark, grotesque rendering of Weinstein speak for itself. Time was up on Weinstein’s meticulous game of abuse, and his decades of hiding behind money and power were finally over.
Creative Director: Chris Mihal
Art Director: Chuck Kerr
Illustrator: Peter Strain