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Maria Laura Benavente Sovieri

Visual artist Maria Laura Benavente Sovieri collaborated with advertising agency Club de Estigma to create these fun, colourful, eye-catching images to advertise products sold at the central market of Las Palmas located in the Grand Canaria Island. The images were created to make the products look more appealing to customers, created using brightly coloured sheets of paper, Maria manages to present illustrations that almost make the viewer’s mouth water because of her use of bright colours and simple shapes to represent natural foods and beverages. The use of brightly coloured backgrounds match the colours in the foreground while still leaving all attention on the illustrations of the food so not to take the focus away from what is important.
Paper, being such a simple medium to work with shows the simplicity of the food to the viewers, showing them that all the products are natural and healthy, no un-necessary added chemicals or preservatives. The use of brightly coloured paper and simplistic shapes create illustrations that lack realism, this being what makes Maria’s illustrations so successful, they capture the viewers’ attention. The products look more appealing because of their unrealistic character and appearance, they resemble toys a child might play with, which presents an image of safety and cleanliness as a parent would only give a toy to a child if it were safe and clean, this again is a subtle way of telling the viewer that all the food products here are safe, hygienic, natural and healthy.
The bold background colours reinforce the playful persona Maria attempts to apply to these products while keeping all the attention and focus on the foreground illustrations.
They are successful images as they advertise everyday objects in a fun exciting way, presenting the market food as luxury items that are healthy, simple and natural.

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Images from – http://en.ozonweb.com/art/paper-food-sculptures-by-maria-laura-benavente-sovieri

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Banksy

Street artist Banksy, well known for his bold spray painting figures of humans and animals often dealing with controversial topics of interest, is one of the most successful in his area of art.
For my own work I found much inspiration in his figures, particularly those he creates in all black as they fitted so well with the ongoing theme of my own studio practice. Two pieces that inspired me in particular were those depicting the scenes of one, a young girl patting down a soldier and two, that of a young man throwing a bouquet of flowers.
The first caught my eye because of its obvious relevance to my final outcome, the roles of the soldier and civilian being switched, the soldier instead having their rights and privacy taken away and the young girl being the intruder doing so. The soldiers gun being propped up against the wall beside the girl, suggests that she may have taken it from him, attempting to deter any violent, threatening behaviour he may proceed to act out. The calm nature of which the solider is allowing the child to be in the position of power hints at the hidden power behind wars, how they are all controlled by people in positions of power and not by those who are affected most by the conflicts. The image subtly hints at the hidden power behind wars while obviously presenting an anti-violence stance through the innocence of the girl and the power she is being given where in the real world, as a civilian in a country with armed conflicts she would be given none.
The second image caught my eye because of the juxtaposition of the two images. One being of a boy about to throw something, in a violent manner, the other being of a bouquet of flowers, that having connotations of peace, love and happy occasions. The combination of the two images is not expected as one screams violence and fear while the other presents love and peace. The image is made more impactful by the replacement of a weapon with flowers as they not only portray peace but also beauty, showing the glorified attitude western countries apply to violence through games and other forms of media.
Both images take an anti-violence stance with their bold images that shock the viewers, they are created to cause conversation, to make the viewer’s think about their own view and cause a discussion. Both pieces are successful in what they set out to do.

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Hari & Deepti

Harikrishnan Panicker and Deepti Nair or more commonly known as Hari & Deepti, artistic couple from Colorado are well known for their paper craft light boxes. Their collaborative work often takes on images of scenes of nature and the unknown such as dark mystical landscapes of deep sea adventure. These twee pieces appeal because of their simplistic flowing shapes and easy to understand images that successfully tell stories with just the use of one image, leaving space for the viewer’s imagination to take on its roll and create the full story for themselves.

They don’t overcomplicate the pieces by not using coloured paper and keeping the illustrations fairly straight forward which gives these pieces their charm and appeal. The use of the light adds depth to the images making them appear to be a 3D scene rather than an image created from a very 2D material. The light also adds to the adventurous, magical effect that the illustrations have created, adding the soft moonlight on a woodland tale or creating dull light at the bottom of the ocean.

“Paper is brutal in its simplicity as a medium. It demands the attention of the artist while it provides the softness they need to mould it in to something beautiful. It is playful, light, colourless and colourful. It is minimal and intricate. It reflects light, creates depth and illusions in a way that it takes the artist through a journey with limitless possibilities.” – Hari & Deepti (http://www.theblackbookgallery.com/artists/hari-deepti/) I completely agree with the pairs choice on material and the viewpoints that back up their choice. Paper being the simplest medium an artist can work with adds a professional simplistic aspect to any paper craft piece, therefore taking nothing away, especially not attention from the piece whatever it may be. In this case I would say this is even more important as the beauty and charm of these pieces weather on their own or as a series comes from their simplicity and ability to tell an uncomplicated story.

The combination of the childlike illustrations, lack of colour and the aid of a soft light, almost resemble a night light reminding the viewer of the childhood, a night light being a source of comfort and security while the illustrations tell a story, associated with parenthood and night time. No matter your age, as a viewer you can get lost in the capturing depth and beauty of these particular pieces while feeling a sense of nostalgia as an adult or reassurance as a child of their comfort coming from the soft light.

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Images from – http://www.theblackbookgallery.com/artists/hari-deepti/

Maud Vantours

If you’re a lover of bright vibrant colours and beautiful images crafted out of nothing but paper then Maud Vantours is the woman for you.  Born in France in 1985, Vantours now works in Paris as a designer and visual artist, paper being her favourite material with which to work.

Her work often takes on a bold and vibrant appearance either to catch the eye of a potential buyer of her quirky colourful iPhone cases or to advertise various globally known luxury brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Lancôme.

In particular a piece of her work that stands out amongst the rest is her set design work for Arjowiggins, being one of leading producers of paper products. They specialise in paper, so it seems only fitting that they have a successful paper craft artist create advertisement set design for the business.  Vantours work features highly crafted images of intricate patterns and one that appears to be of an owl. The work is not entirely clear as to what it appears to be, however this is what gives it its charm. The viewer gets lost in the endless colours and layers that make up these intricate pieces, almost forgetting for a second that these incredible pieces are in fact made of paper. It is apparent through this piece in particular that Vantours is inspired by volume, as the many layers of brightly coloured card creating the illusion of depth and mass to the piece. For this reason, the piece successfully advertises this company as it’s all about paper; every little detail of the image is about fun, modern ways in which paper can be used, it is not shown simply as a material but as an art form in its self.

Another reason the piece is successful is because it is not apparent upon first inspection that the piece is advertising paper, unlike some of Vantours other work, this piece subtly advertises a company while being a work of art without the obvious company brand behind it. The piece feels explosive and exciting, the viewer unsure of what the image is supposed to be of and why it was created is encouraged to then do some digging and find out more about what this image could possibly be used for, especially those with artistic minds, also being Arjowiggins main target audience group.

The piece really captures the fun, exciting aspects of paper encouraging the reader that paper in itself can be a luxury item much like the other expensive items Vantours often advertises through her work. While keeping a sense of complexity that encourages the viewer to follow their curiosity and find out more about the image. The image is therefore a successful piece of art and a fantastic way of advertising for a company whose main target audience will be interested in the creativity and ideas involved in getting to the final outcome of the piece.

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Image from – http://maudvantours.com/set-design/arjowiggins/

Kinnier and Calvert

Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert are responsible for some of the most important typeface and design decisions to date. While their work may not be widely recognised by us all, if you’re a motorist in the UK or various parts of Europe you’ll be exposed to their work on a daily basis. Kinneir and Calvert are responsible for the typeface Transport, created specifically for motorway signs, hence the name. When cars really started to take off in the fifties, the government were concerned about the number of vehicles on the roads and so decided to create the motorway. The decision was made that Britain’s existing road signs were not adequate for the new high speed highways and so Kinneir and Calvert were assigned the job of creating motorway road signs. The first stage of what was to become the M1 was under construction between London and Yorkshire and a lot of new information needed to be displayed. The whole job of creating a clear and consistent system of road signs that would work for a country that were still getting used to cars and these new speeds, fell onto a man and his former student from Chelsea School of Art.

Kinneir and Calvert completely changed road signs by using a combination of upper and lowercase lettering. Before Jock and Margaret’s decision, all road signs were in block capitals, this was already widely accepted for road signs and so their decision horrified the Department of Transport. The typeface Kinneir and Calvert developed were specifically designed to enable motorists to be able read places names quickly and with as much ease as possible. The duo discovered that word recognition is easiest and fastest when upper and lower case letters are combined, so they flow much like when reading a book. Kinneir and Calvert were also responsible for decisions on colour and the thickness of the typeface to enhance legibility. The agreement that all information displayed by motorway signs had to be legible from 600 feet away meant that Kinneir and Calvert tested all these important factors that went into their typeface and roadway signs. The typeface, Transport, has curved letters to create an easy to read and understand at high speeds font. While the decision to use a combination of lower case and upper case shocked the nation because of this drastic change to roadway signs, the decision was actually an incredibly important one. The main purpose of road signs is to communicate information with drivers who are travelling at high speeds and need to have access to this information as easily as possible. While uppercase lettering tends to communicate IMPORTANCE and DANGER, lowercase lettering is a far more approachable way of communicating information with the viewer as it flows in a more natural way allowing the viewer to recognise the word without reading each letter, unlike BOLD UPPERCASE LETERING.

Another part of the job was creating various symbols that could be easily understood and recognised as warnings for ‘men at work’ or ‘children crossing’ or even the possibility of ‘cows becoming part of the proceedings at any time’. One particular image of two children holding hands crossing the road was based upon an image of Calvert herself. According to Calvert this particular image was a difficult one to create as it had to show an action of two children crossing a road while also aiding as a warning for motorists to be more careful. Calvert also says that this particular sign had to be ‘’caring’’ the road sign before Kinneir and Calvert started their work, presented two children crossing the road separately, this simple decision to make the two children hold hands while crossing the road creates a more caring image of the two children, influencing motorists feelings towards the children. If the road sign presents a feeling of care then the drivers know to be conscious of the danger they could put children in by speeding or driving recklessly. While this change is such a simple detail to the image it does actually change a lot, the image is successful in presenting a caring image of two children together encouraging drivers to be mindful of pedestrians around them especially when approaching school grounds or areas where children are likely to be crossing.

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Information from – ‘JUST MY TYPE’ by Simon Garfield. Published in 2010 by Profile Books.

 

 

M.K. Gandhi Institute

The season for Nonviolence campaign caught my eye on Pinterest; originally I thought the ad was for animal abuse because of the blank poster with words written in what appears to resemble blood. When I looked at the poster, the words read ‘stop cruelty to humans’ clearly not an animal abuse ad.

M.K. Gandhi Institute, (New York) created the campaign for the 64-day campaign designed to spread a message of peace during the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  To start the project the creative team researched what people were passionate about and found that a lot people are more passionate about animal rights than most other causes. Based on the research the team decided to use animal activism language to get their message across to the viewers. The aim of the ads being in the style of animal rights posters was to remind people about social injustices committed against humans, that they need help too.

The campaign included TV, radio, print and T Shirts. All mediums involved slogans such as ‘save the humans’ and ‘end abuse to humans, closely mimicking animal rights activism slogans, ‘end abuse to animals’. The close resemblance reinforces the fact that there is a lot of focus on animal rights, and while this is an important cause, there needs to be more emphasis on human rights, and the cruelty and abuse many humans are faced with, but their stories never told.

The strongest part of the campaign is the poster with the words ‘stop cruelty to humans’, written in what appears to resemble blood. The use of this makes the viewer realise the seriousness of the issue, people are getting seriously hurt or losing their lives in areas of the world where human rights is not as strict and people don’t have the protection they need. It enforces to the viewer that while animals need our help, people do too, they need protecting and to do so, more people need to be aware of the issue, as aware people are of animal abuse.

The campaign definitely works, as someone passionate about animal rights, when I first glanced at the ad on Pinterest I originally thought it was a campaign concerning animal abuse, while I am already aware of the seriousness of the issue of human rights it made me think about the emphasis on animal cruelty compared to cruelty to humans. The campaign successfully emphasises the importance of helping this cause and raising awareness about human rights so society are more aware of the abuse people are faced with and their stores not told.

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Images from – http://www.commarts.com/exhibit/season-nonviolence.html

Ferdi Rizkiyanto

Global warming is a heavily talked and debated subject. Everyone wants to come across as doing their bit; no one wants to seem like their using too much electricity or polluting the earth. Campaigns and advertisements for the issue are everywhere; they’re overdone and often include various animals in dying habitats.

Freelance art director and digital artist, Ferdi Rizkiyanto created a global warming awareness ad featuring a penguin pulling the plug on a lamp. Overdone? Yes. Effective? Yes. While the concept of the ad is used again and again, a helpless animal trying to warn humans of the effect we’re having on the planet that we share with these helpless animals is overdone, it still works.   The ad doesn’t stand out as a fantastic advertisement because the idea isn’t new, while its effective and gets the point across to the viewer which is the main aim it does not have anything about it that is cleaver or a new idea to make it stand out and really wow the viewers, it’s just effective. For an advertisement this is the main priority, it’s not meant to be a piece of art, while some are, this one is simply an advertisement that works.

While I don’t feel amazed by this ad, Rizkiyanto created I will admit it is effective and meets all the main criteria of a successful advertisement for global warming awareness.

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Image from – http://ferdi-rizkiyanto.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/global-warming-ad.html

Y&R Dubai

It was only on the second glance that I realised the clever thinking behind these advertisement posters against violence and abuse. Scrolling through Pinterest I noticed these ads created by Y&R Dubai for KAFA, an organization aiming to put a stop to gender based violence and abuse in the Middle East. The realisation at what they had done made me actually vocalise my amazement at how clever these advertisement really are. The ads present the viewer with the image of a woman who appears to have been attacked in some way, leaving each woman with a form of wound on their face. The wounds are in fact the sound waves of verbal abuse words such as ‘whore’ or ‘slut’ showing the viewer that abuse is not only physical but also verbal.

Verbal abuse can be just as damaging to a person’s health as physical abuse can be and this ad puts emphasis on this fact. While this is often not realised or taken seriously when a victim makes complaints or speaks up about verbal abuse, Y&R Dubai make the viewer realise that it can be just as damaging to their health and while they may not appear to be hurt the same way a victim of physical abuse is, they can feel just as hurt and scared by this form of abuse. The posters are very simple; each one appears to have the same minimalist appearance, with a different model. This puts all the focus on the wounds rather making the viewer notice this first. It is only when the viewer looks again at this campaign that they realise the wounds are in fact sound waves for various verbal abuse.

The simple appearance of the posters and the clever aspect of the verbal abuse wounds not being obvious upon the first look means that these ads really make the viewer think about this issue, it’s something not many people consider to be a serious form of abuse because there are no physical wounds from verbal abuse however it can have the same effect on victims causing them to feel trapped in a violent relationship. These ads make the viewer consider the seriousness of the issue that they would not necessarily have considered beforehand.

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Images from – http://www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/design/kafa-words-hurt-16574405/

 

APAV – Victim support

This victim support advertisement created for the Portuguese Association for Victim Support shows images of women, men and children of all ages being silenced. The images portray a victim with a blank expression, some have a black eye or a wound across their face, others don’t, showing not all victims of abuse have visible wounds to see, it can be hidden. In all the images the victims are being silenced by a hand gesture across their mouth, when the viewer looks at these posters they can see that the hand does not belong to the victim, whether it is a woman with a man’s hand silencing her or a child with an older persons hand silencing them the viewer can see that they are not silencing themselves, there is someone probably the attacker silencing them so they cannot speak up about the abuse they are suffering from.

At the bottom of the poster the viewer can see the words ‘silence hurts’ showing that people need to speak up about this issue as the victims need support and are not getting any. The campaign aims to show the viewers that there are victims of abuse everywhere, some do not show any wounds or bruises, and they are kept hidden and fear to speak out about this abuse. While the image of the poster is clear to me, I have viewed posters like this for abuse victims over and over again; the photo-shopped bruises and cuts across models faces don’t have a strong effect on all viewers. It’s the kind of poster you can walk past without a second glance, the dull colours and bleak facial expressions of the models creates a poster that does not stand out it blends in, while it could be argued that this is raising awareness of how abuse victims are hidden and often don’t speak out about the abuse, for me it shows that the posters are not standing out in public, they are over done style posters that do not grab the viewers’ attention as well as some posters for abuse victims out there do.

The strapline and helpline number for the campaign are so small you can barely see them at the bottom of the poster, while sometimes this works I don’t feel these images are bold enough to be the main focus of the poster with very little explanation of what cause they are advertising.

While some campaigns similar to this have created a successful bold impact on myself and hopefully other viewers, I feel this one does not, the mixture of dark dull colours and an image that is not entirely clear to some viewers, with the added tiny print at the bottom of the image creates an unclear advertisement that blends in too well with other surrounding campaigns unable to create a bold hard hitting effect on the viewer that a campaign like this should be creating.

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Images from – http://www.creativeadawards.com/hurt-woman/

Amnesty International

“It’s not happening here, but it’s happening now” This Amnesty International Switzerland poster campaign puts the issue of human rights and abuse literally right in front of the viewer’s eyes. This award winning campaign, created by advertising agency, Walker, based in Zurich, consisted of 200 individual posters with a scene of human rights abuse from around the world with the background matching the surroundings exactly. Advertising campaigns for ‘’touchy’’ subjects are never easy, Puis Walker wanted to create a campaign that didn’t create ‘’drama’’ on a serious issue of human rights.  “Advertising for touchy subjects doesn’t profit from exaggeration. What was needed here was the simplest truth being told in the simplest way. Something no one can argue with is harder to ignore” -Puis Walker (http://www.dandad.org/learning/case-studies/amnesty-international-it-s-not-happening-here-but-it-s-happening-now)

What this campaign does brilliantly is exactly what Walker set out to do, create something you can’t ignore, that human rights abuse is going on around the world, the campaign’s strapline “It’s not happening here, but it’s happening now” shows the viewer that while we might not be directly affected by this issue and we might not be witness’ to this issue, other people are and it’s happening now. The backgrounds of the posters mimic the viewer’s surroundings, again putting emphasis on the fact that this issue is currently going on while we go about our everyday lives, waiting for our bus or walking down the street. Scenes of issues as serious as human rights abuse juxtaposed with local surroundings, surroundings that the viewers of these campaigns are not aware of and not exposed to do not have the same affect, we see them on the news, they’re terrible of course but we are not exposed to that environment, it does not directly affect us and so terribly it does not seem as big of an issue, by creating a scene going on in the viewer’s familiar surroundings, it makes them realise that this is not okay, if they were to witness these acts of violence they would be horrified, making them realise it is no different if it is going on in their own town or another country.

The images used for the campaign were taken by reporters who had actually witnessed the scenes, because of the images realistic horror, they caused some controversy, would parents be offended when seeing these images as they take their children to school? Of course some might be. However this is the effect of the campaign that is so strong. They’re real and it’s a real issue going on, why would be cower away from this issue? Surely the hard hitting images of abuse need to be released to make people aware of the issue and more likely to stand up against it.

These 200, bold, effective posters were created by only two graphic designers in the space of three weeks. The main issue they faced was “a technical issue when photographing the background settings, Walker recalls. ‘As the poster frames themselves could not be dismantled for the shot, we had to find a way to photograph the background from the visual point of the viewer, without having the actual poster frame covering it. It took a couple of days to figure out.’”  Clearly they overcame any issues faced, as the final posters appear to be very realistic, at a glance it is hard to tell if the background is a photograph of if it is clear and only the foreground image is actually there.

The campaign, only released in Switzerland, created a global impact, talked about on over 400 blogs and creating media coverage in countries as far as Brazil, India and New Zealand, the campaign did exactly what they set out to do, raise awareness of this issue, not glaze over it or dramatize it, just simply give the viewers the facts and information in as simple a way as possible, causing global discussions about the campaign and awareness of the serious issue.

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Images from – http://www.dandad.org/learning/case-studies/amnesty-international-it-s-not-happening-here-but-it-s-happening-now