Penguin – Research and Initial Sketches

This project is a great opportunity to take part in an International competition on designing a book cover. Animal Farm and Noughts and Crosses for the PenguinRandomHouse award. For the brief we need to choose a book of interest between fiction and a non-fiction and design the cover for it. Personally, I quite enjoyed George Orwell’s Animal Farm as it was rather connected to me personally. Romania, as many other countries have been affected and much a victim of the Communists era as well making George Orwell’s book a very interesting read as I was born in the capitalist world, I didn’t truly understand what my grandparents have been through. Even though I was told stories of what happened I never really understood the significance of the era and how people felt back then. So it was also an important read as it helped me to really understand what happened back then.

Animal Farm is a adult fiction or a metaphor written by George Orwell referring and directly criticising the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s Russia. Animalism in referring to Communism where both were meant to fix problems making everyone completely equal where the government owns everything and the people own the government or in George Orwell’s metaphor, animals owned the farm. Orwell chose to relate the events throughout the story to the events that happened in the Russian Revolution, to criticise the Russians, also Napoleon as did Stalin tried to industrialise the place.

The SEVEN COMMANDMENTS as seen in the book.
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shal wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No anjmal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.

Notes:

Later in the story as the communists or “Napoleon” came to power the 7th amendment has been upgraded to  “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.

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To gain some inspiration I went to Folly Farm which is a small zoo along the coast of Pembrokeshire, home to tropical animals and also some farm animals such as horses, chickens and pigs. I took the chance to take some photographs that I could later use as references and really integrate myself into the theme.

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Also in order to draw some inspirations I have looked up some more book cover design ideas from stores and the library as well.

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However, to get a good idea of what’s been done in the past I have looked at some previous designs for the Animal Farm book cover.

So I have gathered a number of favourite designs.

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I like this cover for its colours and tone, showing the pig writing the 7 amendments.
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This is probably my favourite as it displays the effect of the Communist and propaganda through perfect agriculture together with the animal’s silhouettes, it shows the after effects of the Animalist impact on the farm.
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This cover is interesting telling a little story about the plot. Colours skim is consistent and it feels powerful.

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Understanding the Russian Revolution Through Design :

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was one of the most explosive political events of the twentieth century. The violent revolution marked the end of the Romanov dynasty and centuries of Russian Imperial rule. During the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks, led by leftist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, seized power and destroyed the tradition of csarist rule. The Bolsheviks would later become the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

 

Ideation :

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I have gathered up information surrounding the theme of the book including Russian Revolution propaganda ephemera and cover designs and previous cover designs for the Animal Farm book and I started to sketch out my own understanding of the plot and based it around the theme of the Fascist and Communist ideologies.


Sources:

https://understandinganimalfarm.weebly.com/fascism.html
https://www.history.com/topics/russian-revolution

 

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On Display project research

On Display is focused on exploring and developing the subject brand. For this project we are asked to create an exhibition experience based on a chosen theme from the list of themes provided, that includes “Beyond Borders, Brutalist Architecture, Psychogeography, Defuturing and Etymology”. Alongside this we are also asked to create an identity, brand that will be applied on a number of things and that will be visually consistent across different contexts.

As from the start of this project I have chosen the theme Psychogeography, as it seemed appealing to me, it seemed a very cool topic, so I wanted to explore it further.


The term Psychogeography was invented by the Marxist theorist Guy Debord in 1955 in order to explore this. Inspired by the French nineteenth century poet and writer Charles Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur – an urban wanderer – Debord suggested playful and inventive ways of navigating the urban environment in order to examine its architecture and space.

The following text is taken from ‘The most radical gesture: The Situationist International in a postmodern age’ by Sadie Plant and published by Routledge.

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The situationists’ desire to become psychogeographers, with an understanding of the ‘precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals’, was intended to cultivate an awareness of the ways in which everyday life is presently conditioned and controlled, the ways in which this manipulation can be exposed and subverted, and the possibilities for chosen forms of constructed situations in the post-spectacular world. Only an awareness of the influences of the existing environment can encourage the critique of the present conditions of daily life, and yet it is precisely this concern with the environment which we live which is ignored. sda

Concealed by the functional drudgery of city life, such areas of psychogeographical research were seen as the ground of a new realm of experiment with the possibilities of everyday experience.

One of psychogeography’s principle means was the derive. Long a favourite practice of the Dadaists, who organized a variety of expeditions, and the surrealists, for whom the geographical form of automatism was an instructive pleasure, the derive, or drift, was defined by the situationists as the ‘technique of locomotion without a goal’, in which ‘one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there’. The derive acted as something of a model for the ‘playful creation’ of all human relationships.

“The sudden change of ambiance in a street within the space of a few meters; the evident division of a city into zones of distinct psychic atmospheres; the path of least resistance which is automatically followed in aimless strolls (and which has no relation to the physical contour of the ground); the appealing or repelling character of certain places – all this seems to be neglected.”
Guy Debor

 

La Route des Alpes 1937 by Tristram Hillier 1905-1983
La Route des Alpes 1937 Tristram Hillier 1905-1983 Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1944. The reimagining of the city proposed by psychogeography has its roots in dadaism and surrealism, art movements which explored ways of unleashing the subconscious imagination.

 

As I understand, psychogeography is the art of getting lost while finding and encountering new and interesting things around the geographical urban environment. This is somewhat a link between culture and cities. The idea of how are places making us feel it is quite an interesting concept, as not everyplace gives you the same feelings. As with this, the idea of finding new and intriguing ways of exploring an environment really fascinates me.

I believe there are a lot of creative solutions to be explored around this theme and how it could be influenced into a more modernist yet cultural approach.

This documentary talks about the Situational international exhibition, the uprising students of Paris communicating through graffiti or other graphic languages based on Guy Debord’s ideas including Pshychogreography. It is interesting learning how it all started from a small movement and begun to be such a big thing today, developing into a more interesting subject. Also as a graphic communicator I believe there are a lot of ways to use graphics and the new technology as a tool to communicate the subject in a rather contemporary and creative matter.

Some interesting Psychogeography designs that inspire me.

As I researched along I have found some interesting designs based on the theme. Most of the artwork I have found are about mapping using new exciting ways, most of them are clichés but still have an element of individuality and unique marks within it. Others, seem to be exploring the theme further trying on some collage and 3 dimensional shapes for a technique. Yet they all seem to have that element of abstract in them leading me to think that it could be a lot more to be done with this. This are my most favourite Psychogreography designes that inspired me.

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Few Apps examples made for the Urban Drifting:

So, I have also looked at some different technologies, app designs and websites including logos surrounding the theme of Psychogreography, so here’s what I have found.

Serendipitor is an alternative navigation app for the iPhone that helps you find something by looking for something else. The app combines directions generated by a routing service (in this case, the Google Maps API) with instructions for action and movement inspired by Fluxus, Vito Acconci, and Yoko Ono, among others. Enter an origin and a destination, and the app maps a route between the two. You can increase or decrease the complexity of this route, depending how much time you have to play with.

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Dérive app is created as a simple but engaging platform that allows users to explore their urban spaces in a care-free and casual way. It takes the ideals of the Situationists and merges it with digital means in order to create a tool that would imply an exploration of urban space in a random unplanned way as a game. Too often in urban centers we are controlled by our day to day activities thus closing off urban experiences that exist around us. Dérive app was created to try to nudge those people who are in this repetitive cycle to allow the suggestions and subjectivities of others to enter into their urban existences.

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Drift helps you get lost in familiar places by guiding you on a walk using randomly assembled instructions. Each instruction will ask you to move in a specific direction and, using the compass, look for something normally hidden or unnoticed in our everyday experiences.

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Sources:

https://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/a.evans/psychogeog.html
http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hillier-la-route-des-alpes-n05447
Pictures found on Pinterest.
http://popupcity.net/trend-9-the-revival-of-psychogeography/
http://deriveapp.com/

 

A branding introduction

The first year of university has been challenging yet absolutely enjoyable. With the start of the level 5 we have been introduced to a more in-depth insight into “branding”.  Our course tutor, David has talked about the in-depth meaning of branding and how it is approached by different brands. He talked to us about the main things related to branding, such as product, marketing and identity and how from there the list can go on and on. He’s also specified a list of different themes affiliated to the different products such as the size of the products, colours, the use of language, packaging materials and the main selling points environmental angles, emotive hooks, use of science and well being. As for branding the target audience is a very important thing to consider. Who are the target audience? Male, Female, Eco conscious, Teenagers, etc… 

Branding is the process of creating a name, or an image for a company. It is the strategy of creating an image and a name that carries a message across the different platforms, mostly through advertising campaigns with a consistent visual language. A brand is mostly the way to stand out in different markets. For example, imagine different companies selling the same product without a brand identity. It will be a bloodbath, for example; a name like Coca cola or Pepsi is what defines and differentiate the two competitors from each other. It allows the consumer to choose the product that they really like or enjoy the most. Branding helps with promoting a company’s product in different ways, such as the logo design, the message they give throughout an entire advertising campaign their slogans, stamps, website and everything else that the company might use to promote their identities. Most of the time the company that really stands out is the type of company that really knows how to bring their message across into an aesthetically yet clever manner. The company that understands the needs or wants and have a close relationship with their consumers are the ones to stand out in the market.  

However, here I will show you a few brands that I have researched in order to get a clear understanding of what they do and how they make sure to dominate the markets throughout their branding and advertising campaigns. What makes them better than their competitors and how do they do it.


So Evian 2013 campaign “Baby & Me” is focused towards linking its product with youth and energy. Babies are playful, dynamic and cute. The link is clearly being made between the product and the youthful vitality, a very desirable trait. People want to be young and healthy so thats what Evian provides. It gives the idea that their water brings you back to your youth times. Their campaign is being displayed on a variety of things such as vender machines, advertising posters, banners, billboards, stores and mainly on TV advertising as well as many broadcasting websites such as youtube, Vimeo, etc…

Evian, is very good with interacting with their audience through their campaigns. They offer a good amount of entertainment while they are advertising their product. Unlike their competitors they really understand what people desire. Also Evian sponsors different events, and sports people. Evian as a brand is very stylish, also it is based on minimalist principles. Their colourful campaigns are extremely entertaining and fit in just right with the modern society.

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I think we’ve all heard of Google. Google is a huge brand specialised in technology specialised in internet-related services and products. Google is mostly based on handling information and data across the world. They are also the big providers of the online platforms such as the main google engine, maps, email, satellite view, online storage, electronics such as google pixel, online courses and many other things. 

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However, looking at google as a big brand they are clearly dominating lots of different markets, their confidence and way to bring a message across really sticks to our minds, its eye catching, simple and very memorable. They made sure to put themselves in people’s top priority list. So what makes google so great, lets have a look at a few campaigns that are part of Google’s brand identity and promoting examples that they do to promote their identity.

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So here are some clever google campaigns.

google_outside_adsThe Google contextual search

pikadillee-blog-fullLondon underground, Google voice search for mobile. I mean this to me is a good example on how effective google is. Pih-ka-di-lee sur-khus = Piccadilly circus. Yet google still gets it!

places-blog-fullGoogle location search and Google Zeitgeist 2013

Google chrome have also got a bunch of videos that are gone viral and on the Television as well as over 1 million views on youtube. Google chrome for everyone.

So here is my favourite best google campaign attributed to their new handset. These google campaigns by DROGA5 are so clever that managed to interest millions of fans across the globe in a very short period of time.

Google is people’s brand, their brand identity is targeting all types of audience from youngsters to adults and elderly. Their style is very consistent across all platforms, yet totally dynamic and very flexible. Their modern yet minimalist features makes life easier to billions of people and their clever marketing campaigns is what I’d call fantastic, it interacts with their audience and it puts a smile on people’s faces everyday through their clever slogans and adverts. Google aims big!


Sources:

Google images