• Graphic design
  • Year of Culture
  • Identity   Advertising  

    Part 1   Part 2  

    The making of the Advertising campaign for the Year of Culture in Moscow

    Overview   Process  

    Starting to work on the series of advertising posters for the Year of Culture.

    Coming up with the first idea. The word “culture” has a high degree of compatibility in the Russian language. There is a huge number of adjectives that work well with it to create stable pairs, phraseological and easily understandable. For example, theater culture, folk culture, humor culture, mass culture, etc. We can find many such pairs relating to cultural life and diversity of Moscow. The idea here is to create posters with adjectives and pictures showing the Moscow types of culture but do it without writing the word itself. Have it only in the logo. Since culture is diverse, the style of illustrations and the text can also be entirely different. But all the posters will be connected by the use of adjectives and the single logo.

    Now for the adjectives. For the start, we can use something snobbish.


    Art director: The text has no emotion, which means we’ll have to convey it via illustrations. Secondly: I would go through all the adjectives and leave only the most recognizable pairs, like physical culture. Garden culture, for example, is sculpture.

    Preparing drafts of the mock-ups.

    Client: We don’t like the concept at all. This advertising must motivate a person to visit a theater or read a book.

    Coming up with a new concept: challenge yourself.

    Drawing sketches.

    It comes out too progressive which is not what we need.

    The art director has a lengthy conversation with the client. The transcript:

    Choosing the slogan “Culture changes us” and builidng the concept around it.

    Inventing different ways to visualize. Starting to generate the posters.

    Showing to the client.

    Client: We truly like the “Culture changes us” idea, we have already discussed it with Artemy and it seems we found the ideology we were looking for.

    Choosing three sketches to start the campaign.

    Thinking of the best way to typeset the mock-up. We want to create a simple composition consisting of a picture and the slogan. It’s important we try out the mock-ups not against a white background of a rendered billboard, but use Yandex.Panoramas to check them in real-life conditions.

    Starting to draw. Cubism, a Picasso painting, would work well for graffiti. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work: the artist died less than 70 years ago, which means his works are still copyrighted. Deciding to use a painting by Juan Gris, the founder of Cubism. Asking the illustrator to continue the painting on the wall.

    For the Mondriaan’s box we use the Mondriaanum concept developed in the studio, replacing office supplies with kitchen utensils.

    Drawing a fridge and magnets.

    The mock-ups are ready, sending to the client for approval.

    Client: This advertising is not easily understandable. Few people have seen the works of Mondriaan and Gris, even less will recognize the Malevich painting in fridge magnets. We need to specify the names of the paintings and the artists so people won’t feel awkward that they didn’t recognize the masterpiece.

    On the other hand, we don’t want to make the ads too evident, leaving no room for thought. We get the idea to combine the explanation and the title. Finding a laconic solution: “Culture changes us with Piet Mondriaan.”

    Everybody is happy. Retypesetting the mock-ups, adding the 0+ age restriction sign, placing copyright and sending the first three mock-ups for printing.

    The work goes&nsbp;on.

    Inventing the Discobolus with a flying disc. Studying the sculpture.

    Taking pictures and retouching.

    Approving the idea with a thug sitting with his feet on a bench in the Thinker pose.

    Getting ready for a photo shoot. Researching the area, exploring the typology of Russian thugs, their species, distinctive features and attributes.

    Studying the sculpture. Noting the position of arms, legs, the head and the back.

    Buying sportswear and conducting a photo shoot.

    Choosing the best picture and creating the final render.

    Thinking up a girl with an ice cream cone in the shape of the domes of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Getting the client’s approval.

    Taking pictures.

    Drawing the ice cream, achieving perfect realism.

    Right before we submit the mock-up, the client sends us a picture of a magazine cover with ice-cream domes. Abandoning the idea.

    Coming up with a child creating a famous building in a sandbox.

    Choosing the Melnikov house. Photographing children and giving the pictures to the technical designer.

    Making the windows deeper to increase the contrast. Decreasing the size of the sandbox and coloring the boy’s short blue to prevent it from blending with the sand. The art director asks to remove the annex and leave only the main building.

    Adapting the mock-ups for vertical and horizontal city formats. Typesetting the vertical mock-up.

    Art director: You shouldn’t break the names into three lines.

    Retypesetting. A problem with the Discobolus arises: Myron’s name brings vague associations with someone named Mironov and it’s not even clear if it’s a name or not.

    Designer: We can write “Myron of Eleutherae.” By the way, the accent in the name should be on y, should we show it in the mock-up? There is a problem with the city, too: in Wikipedia it’s Елефтер, in other publications it’s Элевферы, and Элевтер is a given name.

    Art director: It has to be Элефтер. The reason is that ф and т in the Greek language are read almost like the. That’s why Fyodor is Theodor: the name is the same, only spelling is different. As for the accent mark, you can add it.

    Making corrections and sending to the press.

    Inventing the idea with The Creation of Adam in MacAuto. Approving the draft.

    Taking pictures of hands and inserting in the mock-up.

    Replacing the photo of a hamburger with a schematic, finalizing the mock-up and sending to the press.

    Coming up with the idea of a cake with a Pollock painting drawn in condensed milk on top.

    Buying a cake and taking pictures. Realizing that chocolate sauce, honey and condensed milk smear very quickly.

    Successfully using nail polish and rejoicing at how it shines and holds shape.

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