For our last assignment, I designed a logo for my favorite place on earth – Tel-Aviv, Israel.
I knew that designing a logo is not an easy task at all. As I described it in class, it’s the haiku of design, and as well as haiku, it is a skill might take me years and years to master.
I am not so satisfied with final product, but unfortunately, it was the best one I had along the way.
There’s a lot to say about Tel-Aviv, and a lot of things to be proud of. For me, this city does not only emphasise culture, community, and a relaxed state of mind, but also great history. Therefore, I had to do some filtering, and pick-up only a few topics to focus on. These topics were chosen since I believe that they will be the most attractive for people who don’t know the city, and here they are:
The beach – The beach is a huge part of Tel-Aviv’s day to day life. It is felt everywhere in the city, and gives it a great feeling of freedom and openness. This concept is being presented by the blue and yellow/brown colors on the logo.
Entrepreneurship – The Israeli start-up scene is well know all over the world, and Tel-Aviv is really the heart of this scene. The entrepreneurial spirit in the city is seen not only by the number of start-up companies and group of coders and designers spread across the city, but also in the way people think and talk. This concept is being presented by the orange color on the logo.
Bauhaus – Tel-Aviv, the white city, is full of beautiful buildings that that their architectural design is based on the Bauhaus design philosophy. This concept is being presented by the typography on the logo.
I tried many designs,
but most of them resulted in an unsatisfying result. For example:
On this version (shown above) I tried to use on of Tel-Aviv’s most famous modern design works, presented in the center of ‘The Culture Square’ in the center of the city.
At this point I felt that I really don’t have enough knowledge in logo design, and that this task is way out of my league.
But then, I simplified the logo, and I kind of liked it –
Unfortunately, this version of the logo turned out not to work well on hats, cups, billboards, etc. Damn!
The final logo
This is my final result. It’s simple, pleasing to the eye (i think), and includes all my ideas. Also, it feels pretty modern, which correlates with a movement that could be seen in Tel-Aviv in recent years. Even if these ideas are only symbolic, I feel that this logo might work in real life.
To emphasize these ideas, I will analyze a movie poster designed for one of Anderson’s latest films – Moonrise Kingdom (2012).
A movie poster is graphic design piece that its major objective is to promote a movie. And therefore, by analyzing a movie poster we can get a unique perspective about the way the movie creators (and promoters) looked at the cinematographic outcome.
The Moonrise Kingdom poster composition really tells a story. To me, it’s not only the story of the movie, but also the story of the making the movie and promoting it.
On first sight, it seems like the Moonrise Kingdom poster cherish the regular Wes Anderson symmetry, that can be seen in any one of his movies. In fact, this poster composition shows the growth process Anderson went through as a director, and a story teller, and the confidence he (and his talented crew of designers) felt about this movie before its release.
When we look at this poster, first, our eyes are being attracted to the title of the movie, floating in the middle of the frame in big letters. This alone tells us that, for the makers of this film, and the designers of this poster, the movie or the story, is the most important thing. As if they believe that the story is so good, that it will sell itself.
As you can see, in then center of the piece the designer places the two main characters of the film – Sam & Suzy – played by Jared Gilman & Kara Hayward, two relatively unknown young actors. Anderson (or the designer of this poster) doesn’t promote the movie using his big stars. Instead, he puts all characters at the same level, in terms of graphical hierarchy, and the main character of the story are right there in the middle — this story is not about big movie stars, it’s about two young people and their fantastic adventure.
In fact, we can say that Anderson was so confident about this movie, that on the promotional poster, that was published before the movie premier, the big star do not appear visually at all. Again, it’s all about the story this time.
Between personal development and poster composition
We can clearly use Anderson’s movie poster designs as a reference for his growth has as a director. Let’s have a look a few movie posters from Anderson’s earlier works – From the star-heavy The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), to the latest The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).
On The Royal Tenebaums (2001), we can see the Anderson uses his league of stars as the main selling point for the movie. The actors appear in the middle of the frame, and their name is highlighted at the top of the poster. The movie title appears at the lower part of the frame, makes it easily ignored.
On his next movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), we can see that Anderson (or his promoters) is still somewhat not confident about the story itself as a good selling point for the movie. The poster composition is more focused on star of the show, Bill Murray, than on anything else. The character is placed in the middle of the composition, and our eyes our being attracted to the title of the poster – “Bill Murray”. The title of the movie is blended into the yellow submarine.
Anderson gains a lot of confidence towards his next full feature movie, The Darjeeling Limited (2007). Here, the movie poster composition puts the three fabulous actors as equal, in terms of hierarchy, to the movie title itself. Both the actors and the title of the movie are shown in the middle of the frame, and do not compete over the viewers’ attention. It feels like one cannot stand without the other, which in some weird way, tells the story of this movie, which would not be the same with different characters or different actors.
Let’s jump to Anderson’s latest feature – the Golden Globe and Academy Awards winner – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). As usual on Anderson movies, The Grand Budapest Hotel features a few of the most desired actors in the business. But even though the movie is rich with talented personnel, Anderson shows full confident in his new movie, and world he created. On the movie poster, Anderson puts only the movie title, and place on which the story happens. That’s it. Anderson is fully focused on storytelling and the fantastic world he created. Not only that we don’t see the fancy cast, their names do not even appear on the poster. As viewers, we are totally focused on the amazingly designed hotel, and on the stories that happen inside it.
Let’s get back to the Moonrise Kingdom. This movie is all about teen spirit and adventures. To emphesize that, the movie poster is using a color pallete full of greens and browns, colors that we usually see in the nature.
Also, the poster tones of the blue and yellow, give the entire image its aesthetic youth spirit. The yellow color of the titles is similar to the scounts’ yellow neckerchiefs. This similarity makes the two connected, as if the designer is trying to say that “this movie is about these scouts”.
The handwriting font of the titles on the Moonrise Kingdom poster is usually associated with note taking or a writing of a journal. The usage of this font gives the impression that the movie will tell us about an adventure, as it was written by one of the characters.