Design Evolution: A Handbook of Basic Design Principles Applied in Contemporary Design / Tim Samara / January 2008 / Rocport
Designer / Design Studio Name: Un mundo feliz
Principals, partners, or directors: Gabriel Martínez, Sonia Díaz, Galfano Carboni, Fernando Palmeiro, Javier García and Ignacio Buenhombre.
Location (City and Country): Madrid, Spain
Years in practice: 7
Number of employees or partners: 6
Industries served (if applicable): Social, political and cultural causes
Title of case study project: Gno! (Guantánamo no)
Medium or media: Web and postcards
Specifications: (for print, please include size, printing method, special finishes or binding, number of colors, paper stock / for web, please include platform, programming language, softwares, etc.)
Photoshop, Freehand and Flash MX
Client Name: Fundación Signes
Client’s Business, Product, or Service: Promotion and design development
Client’s Location (city and country): Barcelona, Spain
Client’s goal in initiating the project:
A Project of graphic dissent against Guantánamo´s prison
Who is the audience? General public and designers
Is there anything specific about the audience that influenced your approach to the project?
We wanted to get to everybody so we thought it was very convenient to create impact images and clear and simple messages.
Was there a particular idea you felt was important to get across?
We worked with ‘cliché’ graphic concepts: bars (jail), eye (TV, Big Brother), Mickey´s silhouette (USA), hand and heart (Peace), fist (fight), skull (death). We related the above to straight texts: Guantánamo is not an illusion, an icon of lawlessness, end torture now, the Caribbean paradise, nightmare on paradise, terror paradise, incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment…
How long did the project take, from start to finish? One week
How many people worked on the project? Two people
Of those involved, how many were graphic designers? Two designers
Of the total timeframe, how long did you spent in exploration and developing concepts?
Do you begin sketching by hand, by cutting and pasting, digitally, or in combination?
Hand and digital sketching
Do you have a sketching technique or method that you feel is uniquely yours?
Our working method is based on collecting images during two years. We use and mix those images continuously. We edited a CD last year “Revolution dingbats & motiondingbats” using two icon fonts and 46 mini films. At the end of this year we will publish a book collecting 400 vectorial drawings and 200 mini films for free use.
Do you keep an ‘idea library’ or a ‘picture file’?
Yes, because this type of design requires a quick response. If we have a suitable image related to the message, we use it with minimal changes every time it is necessary. If we don´t have it we create it ex profeso.
Where did the ideas for your approach to this project come from?
Our major influence is the ‘topic’ ideas. However, we review them and add our own input.
Do you consider the relationship between this project’s message and visual form more direct or more abstract, and more literal or more conceptual?
We prefer a straight message and straight visual form.
Do you make a lot of different variations that you keep and compare, or do you keep altering and re-altering the same version or file?
Usually we make some variations.
How many concepts did you present to the client?
In this case, all we produced.
Is that a usual number of concepts for you to present, and why do you present that many (whether it’s one or several)?
Depends on the client and the time we have
Is there anything special you do when you present to a client?
We try to be as clear as possible
Did the client request any specific changes or did you alter the direction of the concept based on client input?
When it is reasonable
Did you incorporate any elements from a discarded approach in the direction that you pursued?
Only if it is needed to explain the developing of the project
How many times (approximately) did you show changes to the client? Was that more or less than usual, or about right?
Once. Usually there isn’t more time.
Of the total project timeframe, how long was the period of refinement or revision?
One day or less
Briefly describe the visual aspects that support the idea or message you intended to communicate (shapes, composition, type of imagery, color, etc.). Please be as specific here as you can—for example, “I used a thin network of lines to communicate…” or “The grouping of elements is irregular and aggressive, which communicates the idea of…”
We seek to be clear and straightforward …At times to be aggressive is a good approach, others it’s better to be more stuble. But all depends on particular circumstances.
Is it important to you to that form and composition be especially refined? If so, is there a particular element or detail you feel exhibits a high degree of refinement?
The main problem is to mix image and text and highlight what is more important in every case.
How did you select colors for this project?
White, black and red are the colors we use most. At times to be less dramatic and add a stuble touch we use pink tones.
Why did you use the typefaces you used?
Usually we use typefaces with high impact
How did you organize the various parts of this project—in terms of contrasts, pacing, ordering of content, etc. (please respond as applicable)?
1. Research and documentation, 2. Concept and visualization
Did you use a grid to structure the layout(s) or not, and why?
Yes, it helps to organize the graphic space
Consider the answers to the above four questions… are these common ways for you to make such decisions, or did this particular project lead you to consider these decisions in another way?
This is the usual way we work
Did you make any such decisions unconsciously, or without much reflection, and why do you think they were the right decisions?
We try to be conscious and objective, but sometimes the speed we work at makes impossible to control our design at 100 per cent
If you chose illustration over photography (or vice versa) for this project, why did you?
Illustration allows us more graphic resources…. But many times we start with photography.
Did you create the imagery yourself or did you hire an illustrator or photographer?
We did it ourselves
Whether illustration or photography, how did the style and/or medium of the imagery help convey the ideas you wanted to communicate?
Illustration is faster
Are there any specific problems that challenged you, and how did you overcome them?
What do you feel makes this project unique, from a visual standpoint?
In Spain this type of project is unique.
What do you feel sets this project apart from others in the same genre, or from other clients in the same industry or area of service?
It is straightforward and does our bit as designers and interested people to state their opinion about questions of public and social issues.