Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Vesa Sammalisto and the imposrtance of looking at maps

I found an exciting illustrator last week called Vesa Sammalisto who I know won the ADC Young Guns Award this year. I thought I’d post some examples of his work as a quick post, as I was reminded yesterday when one of my course lecturers told me he always looks for inspiration by looking at maps. I’ve had a very busy week, and a lot of my learning has consisted of abstract, pragmatics and theories relating to getting a project started. I always find that before at the beginning of a lengthy project I have a heightened sense of reflection that is best described as or perhaps mystic.

This mostly comes from a sense that you are about to begin a journey; a pilgrimage plagued by late nights and inhuman amounts of coffee; and that you know that on a brief you learn the subject intensely determining how you present the ultimate product.  So here is a reference to how I imagine Vesa studied a map so intensely to produce these inspired series of poster images. 

What I love about the images is that the build-up of geometric shapes on the different levels of grey floats in a white space. This gives the cities an intensity that relays the topography of each by littering it with iconic idiosyncrasies. The density of the image; which is on some level reflecting the grey, concrete, solidness of a cities structure, I think minimised by the repeated patterns, circular shapes and contrasting lines making the posters enjoyable, as opposed to cold and rigid.

Really great design; especially as a series. To adapt a given formula I think takes hard work and a great idea that normally gets lost and un-credited behind final images. The research (i don’t know how it was done) is what makes these images successful, and what makes these so exemplary.

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