Noma Bar: Wallpaper Cover Illustrations

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I much prefer his other work, that showcase a huge amount of visual creativity and double-entendres, without relying on outdated stereotypes.

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Minus18 Campaign: Another Perspective

These posters by Minus18, Australia’s largest LGBT teen support network,  intended to tackle different attitudes within the realm of homophobia. The message is bold, and communicated perfectly through the use of almost purely text. They challenge certain views perfectly (the idea of “flaunting it” I think is paticularly notable) and I really hope they get the kind of acknowledgement Stonewall’s “Some People Are Gay…” campaign had – as these are at least as powerful.

You can grab hold of these designs and more to print here.

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Designer: Super Serge

Thank you to Emily (fantastic blog here) for introducing me to this great designer; Thomas Girault – whose CSS Award-winning portfolio website you should definitely check out here. His work is a  mix of photography, digital illustration, bright colours, patterns and text – creating some stunning compositions and visuals that feel both incredibly abstract and modern, while at the same time quite retro and aged through the black and white photography and textured backgrounds. I would absolutely love to see some large prints of his work.

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Designer: Thomas Østerhus

Another contemporary designer I’ve come across for inspiration –  Thomas Østerhus, a norwegian graphic designer (portfolio here – definitely worth checking out just for the welcome image, even.) Really nice typographic work – some great aesthetics, and some really powerful concepts as well – I’m not entirely sure why, but I was a little captivated by the “word of mouth” piece, as well as “form”. Some really nice branding/identity for Bella Centre as well – like the less fixed use of the arrow logo image, used across different forms and combined with photography (but without the London 2012 logo/MTV logo changing logo-fill cliche)

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Designer: Chris Bolton.

Another fantastic design portfolio that has inspired me recently – work by Chris Bolton (website here). Really great combination of some more conceptual work including “Truly”, a fantastic exhibition design, and a mix of quite corporate and small time design projects – with a really pleasing aesthetic style. I especially really like the range of CD packaging designs, with some sometimes quite abstract and experimental visuals (a nice change from the mainsteam-pop convention of images of the artist dominating packaging and seeming to distract from what the music’s really about) – “Aeroplane”, with the combination of quite abstract, atmospheric watercolour/dye colours, and minimal but beautiful type – love work that uses the best of physical and digital elements.

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Reflections #3

A cover/poster design concept I made for my next (planned) experimental film, Reflections #3 – inspired by the idea of distorted reflections of reality, and representions in different media from fashion photography and mainstream film to pornography, that affect our own views of ourselves, image, relationships and sex – and influence our obsessions with “beauty”, romanticized relationships and manafactured sex. This idea first inspired me to experiment with scanning mirrors – in creating the abstract, fragmented image that I decided to use as the dominant image, with the red-shard motif something I hoped to carry on into the mise-en-scene and framing of the film. Definitely one of my favourite cover designs 🙂

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