By Mark Sinclair


For its May 15 edition The New York Times Magazine devoted several pages to a special report entitled The New Anatomy of Cancer. The section looks at how recent research has changed the way the disease is understood and points to how treatment may advance in the future.

Cover of The New York Times Magazine’s special report edition, The New Anatomy of Cancer, showing a cancer cell (National Cancer Institute) and featuring bespoke stencil type by Henrik Kubel; Opening spread to cancer physician Siddhartha Mukherjee’s article, Doctor Without Borders, with illustration by Cristiana Couceiro (photograph by Ansel Adams/National Archives), shown at top of post

It’s a sobering yet heartening read and the tone of illustrator Cristiana Couceiro‘s work throughout the issue is spot on. Her work renders a difficult, emotive subject that bit more approachable. No easy task at all.

What’s more, her 11 pieces of work in the issue run across everything from infographics to more evocative illustrations.

Section opener to The New Anatomy of Cancer, with photo illustration by Couceiro
New-York-Times-Cancer-Report5-CRsiteOpening spread to Ryan Bradley’s article on the organ and system taxonomy of cancers, with illustration by Couceiro
New-York-Times-Cancer-Report7-CRsiteInfographic by Couceiro showing the location of new cancer cases in men and women, as featured in Bradley’s article

Couceiro’s work remains cool and direct, but visually appealing and arresting, too. It divulges facts clearly (there are numerous graphs and tables in the report), but also sets up articles on a range of subjects from cancer taxonomy to the growth in more targeted treatments for patients.

The consistent design and illustrative approach holds this brilliantly-produced piece of editorial together. Great work from all concerned.

Design director: Gail Bichler. Art director: Matt Willey. Deputy art director: Jason Sfetko. Design consultant/lead designer: Debra Bishop. Designers: Frank Augugliaro, Ben Grandgenett

New-York-Times-Cancer-Report4-CRsiteIllustration by Couceiro detailing cancer development through cell division and mutation from Siddhartha Mukherjee’s article
New-York-Times-Cancer-Report6-CRsiteSpread from Ryan Bradley’s article on the taxonomy of cancers, with two chart illustrations by Couceiro (graph showing the likelihood of receiving a cancer diagnosis in men and women, on left; table showing the deadliest cancers, on right). Organ drawings are by Joe McKendry
New-York-Times-Cancer-Report8-CRsiteOpening spread to Sam Apple’s article on the reinterest in biochemist Otto Warburg’s belief that tumours can be treated by disrupting their energy source, with photo illustration by Couceiro
New-York-Times-Cancer-Report9-CRsitePhoto illustration by Couceiro showing Warburg’s workshop in Berlin in 1931

Read more here:: Cristiana Couceiro illustrates NYT Magazine’s special report on cancer