Beautifully illustrated, bold, spacial renditions of eye-catching but clichéd, questionably imaginative and wholly inaccurate stereotypes.
These cover illustrations for Wallpaper magazine, by Noma Bar (portfolio here), have me mentally contradicting myself, and feeling rather hypocritical for liking. I have to admit, aesthetically the set are fantastic, and I’d quite like to have a copy of each – and the indoor concept plays nicely with the bold, block-colour style, which could otherwise feel generic. And, as Noma Bar’s illustrative style is quite recognized for, the shapes and images play well together, creating some optical-illusion connoting merging of images that do exhibit Bar’s visual creativity (especially with the incorporation of 3D elements). Though, visually, they’re stunning, playful and imaginative, they do prove how much designers and illustrations rely on stereotypes; there’s no way these covers would be as striking without the dominance of over-used stereotypes, but (regardless of the 3D styles) do they do much to present anything other than these rather two-dimensional, stereotypical representations of the countries referenced? Then again, they are beautifully created, and, it could be argued, intentionally playful. But personally, I much prefer his other work, that showcase a huge amount of visual creativity and double-entendres, without relying on outdated stereotypes.