In the wild – United Way: Unignorable – Christine Tan

Colour is not only a visual element but also a media to convey a specific message, information, and even emotion. As well as typography and line, colour makes an impact in lots of impressive graphic design. In the year 2019, Colour as an effective role of the national integrated campaign of United Way, speak out the message to the world loudly. the United Way partnered with the Pantone Colour Institute, introduced a brand new, eye-catching orange, was named UNIGNORABLE, to raise awareness of the local issues.


The concept of using unignorable colour to draw the viewer’s attention, remind me of a special period in art history, the Victorian period. However, the difference is, instead of using bold, huge scale fonts and bunch of colours, the united way developed a multi-media campaign which contains a series of impressive illustrations, which apply the unignorable colour to convey a series of local issues, include of Homelessness, Poverty, youth employment, social isolation, mental health, hunger, domestic violence, and education inequality.

This series of illustrations is designed by an international illustrator, Malika Favre, she is a French artist base on London, who have work with The New Yorker, Vogue, Sephora, and many others. These illustrations have a distinct style, each of them conveys different messages. By using shapes and one specific colour, the designer plays around with negative and positive spaces, then came up with a series of repetitive, bold and minimal style compositions. However, the most brilliant move that the designer did is using particular object to indicate the theme of the illustration. For example, showing a broken piggy bank among a crowd of piggy bank to convey poverty.

Malika Favre, 2019
Malika Favre, 2019

This campaign is like a group of short stories, the viewer needs to take a second to understand the message, even though the compositions are not complicated. This gives them a chance to take a closer look at the campaign, eventually lead them to what the local issue is.

Work Cited:

United Way Centraide. “United Way and Pantone Color Institute™ Join Forces to Make Local Issues Unignorable.” Cision, 27 Dec. 2018,

Moorhouse, Guy. “Malika Favre.” About – Malika Favre,

“Tackle #UNIGNORABLE Issues like Hunger in Your Community.” UNIGNORABLE – United Way Centraide Canada,

“United Way Colours Local Issues #Unignorable.” United Way Elgin Middlesex, 28 Mar. 2019,

Presto card on the TTC – Songshan Guo




The designs which I choose is Presto card’s adv. Presto card is very close to my live, I use it almost everyday, although I saw Presto’s advs before, this is first time which I think that I like it. I found this design in my condo’s elevator, there is the screen and advs are scrolling. I really like the idea of the design and it works well. Unfortunately, I am not able to find the designer for those designs.

Designer use negative space and it show strong contrast, and the graphic is a hand held the Presto card, this image is made by colour lines only. The lightness and saturation of colour lines is not high, it support the contrast with background and also make audience’s eyes feel comfortable. For the shape of line, there are points at the end of each line, it is the symbol of public transport’s route. I really like this idea, the routs become the outline of hand and Presto card, it mixed people, Presto card and transport that three elements together, it convey the concept clearly. Other thing which I like is this adv reply the production will well, this seem to be a matter of course, but I do not think it is easy thing for advs. The new Presto card which sold now is show below.


Presto Card, 2018

The Design of advs simplify the features of Presto card into three part, colour, logo and text. In the actual card, there is composition of those element, for example, the white and green line make the logo, and the difference of text’s scale. In the adv, logo and text have same scale setting in the central of card. Black background is same as the card, and then the green outline shows the card’s shape. This design separate and enlarge the features of Presto card, audience can remember the production easier.  As the commercial advs, audience can get concept very quickly from this design, also it give people a quick impression of production by simplify the production.

Work Citetion:

“Sign into My PRESTO.” PRESTO,

“… the same perspective, perception.” in Rihanna’s ANTI album ⁠— Shirley

IF THEY LET US PT. 1, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm
IF THEY LET US PT. 1, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm
IF THEY LET US PT. 2, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm
IF THEY LET US PT. 2, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm

The artist behind Rihanna’s 2016 ANTI album, Ray Nachum, is known for his sculptures, experimental paintings, and installations. Rihanna collaborated with Nachum over a year to create a total of seven pieces for her upcoming album – ANTI, which is also the first album to use Braille in its packaging. Nachum won 2017’s 59th annual Grammy awards for best recording packaging for the art and art direction. Nachum started his series of paintings – Blind in 2011 to study human perception and sight; he blindfolded himself for 196 hours over seven consecutive days. Nachum took many lessons from the experience of experimenting while blindfolded and told MTV “…Sometimes, in order to see, you need to close your eyes.” (Fleischer). The driving inspiration for the ANTI album comes from Nachum’s Blind series, for the meaning and Chloë Mitchell’s poem “If They Let Us”, as the content. The album includes Nachum’s Fire Paintings, where he sculpted his poetry in Braille onto canvases with charcoal-covered frames bordering the paintings, and he invited people to interact with the paintings while blind. The result was his experimental paintings becoming an interactive piece with their fingerprints of charcoal smeared and smudged across the canvases – Nachum says in an MTV interview, “It’s kind of like an oversized self-portrait.” Rihanna also let Nachum listen to the music from ANTI, and it “definitely” influenced Nachum’s choices in creating this artwork (Fleischer).

Both the front cover and back cover of the ANTI album consists of many “layers.” (Fleischer). The focus on the cover is an image of Rihanna as a child from Barbados. At the same time, she is holding onto a black balloon, a gold crown is covering her eyes, and in the background: a flood of red covers about the top half with a layer of Braille going across the surface (in the physical album, the viewer can feel the raises of the Braille). The colour palette of using red, black, white, and gold as the focal point is simple, allowing the viewer to perceive the inner intentions and meanings of the album. The portrait of Rihanna holding the balloon has a glitch effect, creating a motion movement-trippy like experience for the viewer. Nachum tells the Rolling Stone the black balloon is “…lighter than air, [it] embodies the possibility of escape and human need to transcend physical reality”. Nachum explains to Vice, the crown symbolizes “… power and success, which blinds people to the real values and important things in life”. The crown is the only component that is not composed to be 2-D, which lets the audience recognize its portrayal is significant. Nachum says to MTV in an interview, “… [Red is] very bright and dramatic, and that symbolizes the music,” which is immersing in the background with Chloë Mitchell’s “If They Let Us” poem in Braille. The content of the poem is notable to Rhianna’s motif, being powerful yet misunderstood.


Anas, Marielle. “Rihanna Cover Artist on How He Crafted 'Anti' Imagery.” Rolling Stone, 25 June 2018,

Cragg, Michael. “Rihanna Unveils Album Cover That 'Changes the History of Album Art'.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 8 Oct. 2015,

Fleischer, Adam. “The Artist Behind Rihanna's Anti Cover Tells Us How It Came Together.” MTV News, 8 Oct. 2015,

Nachum, Ray. “ABOUT.” Roy Nachum, Accessed 10 Feb 2020,

Nachum, Ray. “Series Page: Crown Copy.” Roy Nachum, Accessed 10 Feb 2020,

Sargent, Antwaun. “[Exclusive] Decrypting Rihanna's Braille Album Art.” Vice, 14 Oct. 2015,

Taylor, Elise. “The Artist Behind Rihanna's Anti Cover Explains What It Means.” Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair, 14 Oct. 2015,

Vancouver Olympics: A Graphic Design Success, Aly Singh

Vancouver Olympics: A Graphic Design Success

In preparation for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, the skills of graphic designers and Vancouver locals Elena Rivera MacGregor and Gonzalo Alatorre were relied upon to create a fitting logo for the games. A task trusted upon them due to their win of a nation wide contest. Rivera MacGregor runs a prominent Vancouver design company and Alatorre is known as a recipient of a “lifetime achievement in applied arts award by the Government of Mexico” (Creative Engine). Their work for the 2010 games is a notably Canadian example of graphic design.  It is a symbol to be shared nationwide which portrays the strength, unity, and pride of all of Canada’s diverse regions. 

The unmistakable symbol of the Olympics is the five, multicoloured, interlocking rings dating back to 1912. The original design was created from the Stockholm Games by the French aristocrat and intellectual Pierre de Coubertin. These rings are symbolic of the five inhabited continents interlocking to represent the “universality of Olympism” (Glantz Design, 2019) which at its core is about nondiscrimination and inclusion. The never-ending circles represent continuity with the idea of welcoming the international community. This symbol can be considered a huge success of graphic design as it is both unchanged and widely recognizable more than a century later.  The host country for each Olympic games is tasked with creating its own individual logo that incorporates these Olympic rings. This

logo of the Olympics when first introduced
The Logo of the Olympics when first introduced in 1912 (The Olympic Rings, 2019).
The unchanged logo for the Olympic Games over a century later.
The unchanged logo for the Olympic Games over a century later (The Olympic Rings, 2019).

host logo should be simple yet distinctive as well as representative of the home country. 

The Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic design appears to fit the criteria of a simple yet striking and memorable logo. A country as large as Canada, with its ten provinces and three territories, 9.98 million square kilometres, and a population of over 37 million people, is difficult to portray all in one design. The chosen design is that of a multicoloured Inukshuk, which is “a traditional stone sculpture used by Canada’s Inuit people” (CBC news, 2005), sitting atop the writing ‘Vancouver 2010’ and the official Olympic rings. Although some argued that the use of the Inukshuk was cultural appropriation, it remains an important symbol of Canada’s Indigenous history and this ongoing pride shows the growth of our country. The different colours used in the stones of the Inukshuk were purposely chosen to indicate the different geography, climate and culture of such a vast country, in an effort to include the entire population. The green and blues represent the coastal forests, mountain ranges and islands, the red being a nod to the maple leaf, and the yellow representing the sun. Although difficult to represent the entirety of an expansive country like Canada, in the words of designer, Rivera MacGregor, it was concluded that “the Inukshuk was in fact one character that could pretty much tell the whole story” (CBC news, 2005). The Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 were considered a success both in Canada and abroad, the logo playing a part in this. This logo is distinct, memorable and truly Canadian, overall a graphic design success. 

Official Logo of the Vancouver Olympic Games, 2010
Official Logo of the Vancouver Olympic Games, 2010. Designed by Elena Rivera MacGregor and Gonzalo Alattore  (Kaste, 2010).


Works Cited

“A Symbolic Logo: History of Olympic Rings.” Glantz Design, 3 May 2019,

“Gonzalo Alatorre, Founder and Creative Principal.” Creative Engine,

Kaste, Martin. “Vancouver Olympic Logo: A Smiling Marker Of Death?” NPR, NPR, 18 Feb. 2010,

“Population Estimates.” Statistics Canada,

“The Olympic Rings.” International Olympic Committee, 31 Jan. 2019,

“Vancouver 2010 Logo Unveiled | CBC Sports.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 24 Apr. 2005,


Emily Smith- Lucky Charms

Lucky charms cereal first made its debut in 1964 by the company “General Mills”. The designer of the iconic cereal was John Holahan, he wanted to create something similar to Cheerios but also add a personal element to it, so, he added marshmallow pieces resembling his favourite candy; circus peanuts. (Morioka,2014)  The mascot for the cereal is “lucky”, a happy go lucky leprechaun who likes to travel the world.  The original advertising for this cereal was one of the most expensive for this company since they used colored commercials and ads. (morioka, 2014).  They also promoted the cereal using collectable silverware sets, passport cards and even a kit to grow vegetables throughout various decades (Morioka, 2014).

The design of the cereal has evolved over time but still has kept the basics of its original design. The box has always been a bright red and includes a bowl of cereal its in design. The boxes through time have been more magical by making the cereal flow on the milk in a rainbow like fashion instead of just in a bowl. Their mascot, “lucky”, has also had some redesigns. IN the most recent one, he has been rendered in a more modern and detailed way. I feel as though each redesign of the character it has been done so in a way to fit the trends and styles of the particular era it came out.

The cereal is marketed towards kids and suppose to give off a magical and exciting feeling, hence their catch phrase “their magically delicious”. The design makes people feel “childlike” and like they can do and go anywhere.

Works Cited:

Morioka, Lynne, et al. “The Ultimate Guide to Lucky Charms.” A Taste of General Mills, 18 Mar. 2019,

John Holahan, 1964
John Holahan, 1964
unknown, 2010
unknown, 2010


In the Wild




Tommy Guerrero album cover “A Little Bit of Somethin’”

Album Artwork by Margaret Kilgallen

I stumbled across the musician Tommy Guerrero on one of my endless YouTube spirals, in which I scour the depths of the “instrumental chill-hop” playlists and suggested videos in the sidebar for an eternity, searching for the perfect soundtrack to draw to. I knew I had finally found the right jams to match my vibe, when this album cover popped up on my screen. I was immediately drawn to the warm colour palette, the bold line drawings of the characters and the “Old Western” style typography used in the album name “A Little Bit of Somethin’”.  This album artwork was done by Margaret Kilgallen, a painter and printmaker from Colorado. Kilgallen had a BFA in studio art and printmaking from Colorado College, and went on to have a few solo exhibitions in New York and California during 1997 through 1999. Unfortunately, Kilgallen did not have a lengthy art-career or a large body of work, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001- and opted to forego chemotherapy so she might carry her unborn-child to term. She died three weeks after giving birth. Fortunately, her work is still being displayed in various galleries across the US, and has had retrospectives written on her.


Kilgallen’s album cover for Tommy Guerrero has many influences. The hand-painted Old Western font gives a “folksy” feeling to the cover.  Kilgallen was also inspired by Mexican artists, and employed the use of warm colours and imperfect perspectives that showed the craft and handmade quality in her work. The choice of these design elements lend themselves to the genre of music she is trying to emulate in the album cover. The warm tones match the warm guitar chords, the sharp line-drawings and mix of styles are reminiscent of the music on the album, it IS a little bit of something, and a mix of many things. The type at the top is just as stylistic as the illustrations, and the album cover reads like a sequential narrative. The stylistic choice to leave Tommy Guerrero’s name in a sans-serif, hand-lettered font at the bottom of the composition expresses that Guerrero is not the main focus, as the focus is on his instruments and music, not his voice. Overall this graphic design made me interested in the album, from just observing the cover I could tell I was about to listen to something with warm, beachy vibes and I promptly added it to my ever-growing study playlist. Thanks for visiting my blog.






Graffiti Stickers – Nicki Startek



Nicki Startek

Downtown, the core of a city, they’re everywhere you go. Every lamppost,  mailbox, and dumpster. Graffiti stickers, also commonly referred to as slaps, are interesting unintentional pieces of graphic design stuck on just about anything.


There is great efficiency in having premade art that is readily adherable to almost any surface. Stickers became a turning point for the infamous vandals DJ NO and TESS, who were associated with the vandal group X-MEN. These vandals ran a rampant campaign through New York City in the early 1980s and are often credited with popularizing the use of stickers for tagging (“Stickers NYC”)Graffiti, being a mostly illegal practice, meant artists that only used slaps are not identified on public platforms. One outlier to this problem is well-known artist Shephard Fairey who became a face for the slaps scene with his Andre the Giant has a Posse campaign. To this day the movement’s iconic sticker that depicted a graphical rendition of celebrity Andre the Giant’s face accompanied by bold, red highlighted type reading “OBEY”(see fig.1) is a massive part of what sticker culture is today. The directness of the sticker offers the viewer to consider the details and meanings of their surroundings, making quite the powerful statement (Bertschmann). You can find this sticker in cities across the world, thirty years after the campaign hit the streets of Providence, Rhode Island.

Figure 1: Shepard Fairey 1989
Figure 1: Shepard Fairey 1989


Today there’s an oversaturation of random slaps, mostly anonymous, self-promos of social media or knock-off slaps of vintage favourites. Essentially anyone can make one and stick it wherever so long as they don’t get caught of course. They are a form of advertisement, considering it isn’t unlikely to find an actual business using stickers to grab second of your attention as you wait for the crosswalk signal. Common characteristics of slaps include typefaces that are bold or hand-drawn graffiti fonts like wildstyle (see fig.2)Type is then often accompanied by an illustration that might be hand-drawn or reproduced. Some stickers are printed in a large quantity while others are hand made using packaging labels or scrap sticker paper. Since there are no rules or structures of design it makes these stickers quite unique and collectable. People will go out of there way to collect from specific artists and brands and then trade with others. This collective craze is the reason an artist’s sticker might end up in a city thousands of miles away from their own. The next lamppost you pass just might have some value stuck to it.

Wildstyle. Anonymous artist.
Wildstyle. Anonymous artist.

Works Cited

Bertschmann, Maddie. “Obey: The Art of Phenomenology.” Stakeholders: Uncensored. November 26, 2014, Accessed February 11, 2020.

“Stickers NYC.” Beyond the Streets. March 13, 2019, Accessed February 9, 2020.


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