Things Under the Sun- Conextual Sources

In this project I have looked at a number of illustrators and designers to take inspiration from. On the trip to Pembrokeshire we were asked to take a book out from the library; I took out Nigel Peake’s book “Maps,” I was initially drawn to the graphic and informative way he had approached the landscapes he was representing. Peaks combined a mixture of lines, colour, hand written type and symbols to create a new approach to maps. What drew me to the piece even further was the way he used the lines to create a pattern which in turn made a sense of space.
I also like how the book itself was small (possibly pocket size) so you could even carry it around as it was actually a map, even though using the book as a map may be quite confusing for the audience. It reminded me more of a small piece of ephemera (this was confirmed further when I went to order myself a copy and it was a whopping one hundred and seventy six pounds), that the whole book was a piece of art. Of course the pages where pieces of illustration in there own right but together they came and created something that was more impressive than them alone.

Double page spread from Nigel Peake’s “Maps”

Looking at more of Peake’s work I grew to like his use of line and pattern more and more. In his piece sheds he manages to create a series of quirky buildings (sheds suggested by the title) the lines give each shed the feeling of a sense that it is made up of wooden panels (each line indicating the side of the panels). This is also part of a similar publication to “Maps” the format does not seem to connect to the subject matter as well as it does with “Maps.” This leads me to thinking that the format wasn’t intentional to be carried around like a map that it was just part of a series together as long with his publication “Bridges”.

Sheds by Nigel Peake


The way Peak used lines is similar to Peter Saville’s use of line in the Joy Division’s 1979 album cover for “Unknown Pleasures.” This was based on a diagram taken from the Cambridge of Astronomy (1977 edition) of the signal from the first ever pulser (a early stage in the formation of a black hole) observed. This creates what looks like a mysterious mountain range of white lines onto a black background. (Link to video of Saville talking about this design)

Looking at more of Saville’s record sleeve designs I like that overlapping print of the three/four CMYK printing process colours on the New Order record “Total from Joy Division to New Order”. CMYK is basically the colours that are used in the most common commercial printing process. The colours are cyan (a bright blue), magenta (a pinky red), yellow and key (black which is not even considered a colour because it is more of the absence of colour- all light absorbed whereas white is when no light is) and with these you can make practically every colour. I like the idea in the design that they have been stripped back to the separate parts and then they are coming back together again to create something new (says something about the band at this moment in time, after the death of Ian Curtis’s). I just find the layering and overlapping interesting and something I would like to explore.




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