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Whether it’s an F1 race car, an iPhone or the Death Star, people just can’t seem to look away once they get a glimpse of what’s underneath the covers.

From the mesmerizing illustrations over the past two decades from Stephen Biesty (as seen in his collection of Cross Sections books) to more modern uses of CG to create exploded views of various product designs for marketing purposes, there’s something about seeing the inside of a complicated assembly that just never gets old.

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More recently, renowned information designers and creative directors Juan and Samuel Valasco curated what just might be the most comprehensive collection of cutaway infographics starting with the earliest known cutaway illustrations and working forward to today’s more modern cutting-edge applications.

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In addition to the eye-popping visuals, the Velasco brothers, who have years of editorial and art direction experience, also provide insight into the history and theory of cutaway illustrations and the powers of visual storytelling.

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Says the publisher, Gestalten:

Works from Jewish-German physician Fritz Kahn’s imagine the human body as a mechanized factory; Kahn’s visual metaphors show conveyor belts and offices instead of veins and valves. Exploded images of classic sports cars allow Fabian Oefner to show every piece of the automotive puzzle from the body shell to individual tiny screws. Richard Orr’s scientific pieces represent the natural world and continue in the genre’s traditional thread of handmade illustrations; whether a beaver lodge or an arctic circle landscape, Orr presents a vivid natural world or layers and scientific hierarchies … Including work from both centuries past and the cutting-edge present, Look Inside is an unparalleled compendium of cutaway techniques and their wide-ranging applications.

Look Inside is available now for $60 directly through Gestalten and on Amazon.

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Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.