The inaugural Network Ecologies 2015 symposium, hosted in Scarborough UK, brought together a host of diverse speakers from across the world to address the role that artistic producers (authors, film makers, poets, photographers etc.) can play in raising awareness of environmental problems within contemporary culture.
The purpose of the 3-day symposium was to explore the relations between art, science and politics, in an attempt to identify innovative approaches and methodologies with the potential to transform how environmental discussion could be represented in the social imagination.
With this in mind, creating a logo and visual identity that would embody the ethos of the event was a challenge, but one that I was happy to be tasked with.
After sketching a selection of iconographic and overlapping ‘Venn diagram’ inspired ideas, I was struck by the recurrence of the letter ‘o’ within each word. Further experimentation with this formed the foundation of the final logo, built upon with geometric letterforms and stacked alignment to create a triangular formation.
Negative space within each ‘o’ reinforced the triangle even further, and custom rotated counters within each ‘e’ continue to mirror the angle. The perfectly circular bowl and loop of the ‘g’ are also intended to resemble the infinity symbol and connote the ongoing relationship between the three categories.
Lastly, the triangular tittle/dot of the ‘i’ selected for the strapline and supporting text continues to echo the triple theme. Three really was the magic number!
This will be an annual event, so my next task is to design a supporting website that will enable delegates to discover more about the key themes, programme calendar and keynote speakers, as well as to register interest and/or attendance.
This is the (long overdue) follow up to my previous post about one of three books that I designed and co-authored with environmental activist and photographer, Conohar Scott, and environmental scientist, Will Mayes, that is part of the work of our publishing collective Environmental Resistance Press. All 25 copies of this, along with two other books, have now been distributed to various academic institutions and libraries throughout the UK and Europe to promote and provoke debate.
Mynydd Parys & Afon Goch ‘Parys Mountain & Red River’ | 13” x 11” 50pp and perfect bound book printed on Revive 100 Silk
The large format of this book is designed to accommodate six spreads with throw-outs that, by their sheer scale (they are too big to fit on a double page spread), communicate the disparity between the recommended levels shown in the key on the left and measures of the elements, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Cadmium and Arsenic, discovered to be present in the water or sediment samples gathered on location at this Welsh mine, and shown with the photographs on the right.
At the back of the book, three pages are also presented with French fold in order to represent the unbroken flow of data compiled from analysis of the Afon Goch ‘Red River’ by the Environment Agency over the last decade.
Scott’s photographs capture the dramatic and surprising beauty created by the unnatural orange and red hues of the Mynydd Parys landscape – colours that are more closely associated with images of the Australian outback than north-west Wales – but also closely document where remediation is required in order to repair decades of damage caused to the environment by open-cast mining.
I’m particularly proud of what this book communicates, but also for the time, energy and attention to detail I have given to getting this book to press. I hope you find a copy one day (if enough people request it, more will be printed) and enjoy learning about this strange and unusual place.
Environmental Resistance is a UK based collective that I’ve been a member of since mid 2013. We currently comprise of specialists in photography, graphic design and environmental science and our work is carried out on a not-for-profit basis with funding mainly derived from educational institutions and grants. Our objective is to educate, promote and provoke in order to improve the visibility of environmental struggles and to protest against incidents of industrial pollution in the landscape. Our projects also provide me with an alternative perspective to my other freelance endeavours.
These three publications (of which the intention is to publish a total series of 10) are currently on the digital press and due for delivery next week. In this release there is a very small run of 100 books in total – 25 x Project 01: Almásfüzitő: An Index, 25 x Project 02: Mynydd Parys & Afon Goch and 50 x Project 03: No Al Carbone, Brindisi.
All of the typesetting and graphical elements for each book (apart from the cover illustration shown for Project 01) are my contributions to the collective so far. The greatest design challenge of each project for me has been to find a way to represent the scientific analysis in a coherent manner for a non-scientific community, whilst combining the data sympathetically with the photography. Project 03: No Al Carbone, Brindisi is also in Italian and English, which, at times, required some lateral thinking to maintain visual consistency and balance.
All books will be printed on Revive 100 Silk, which is 100% recycled, carbon neutral and conforms to both FSC and European directives, to be as environmentally conscious and ethical as possible. The aesthetic quality of the stock is also very high – enabling excellent colour matching and rendering for type and image.
Although the budget is tight, Project 02: Mynydd Parys & Afon Goch has to be perfect bound in order to accommodate six spreads with throw-outs – designed to communicate the scale of the sampled elements from water and sediment samples compared to the recommended levels shown in the key – and three with French fold that represent an unbroken stream of river data provided by the Environment Agency that live at the back of the book.
Each project has brought a variety of challenges at each stage, so I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the completed books. I’ll update with more images once they have been delivered!
The brief for these invites was ‘art deco, balloons and sausage dogs’, which isn’t a combination request that I receive every day, but they are three of Louise’s (the birthday lady) favourite things – especially sausage dogs – or more importantly, her sausage dog, Alfie (aka Sir Alfred Moon).
Picasso’s famous drawing of his own much loved pet ‘Lump’ formed the beginning of the sausage dog part – with the addition of a top hat that only the smartest pooch about town can wear, of course. Balloons feature in a typically art deco inspired geometric pattern, as no kitsch-y string is welcome here.
I’m happy to say that Louise was delighted with these, as were those she invited, sorry, Sir Alfred Moon invited. It’s going to be quite a do, I reckon!