Design History and Styles: Analysing the Use of Design Fundamentals

Image to analyze:

What fundamentals?
Shapes are the most prominent fundamental used. Shapes are distorted in an unnatural perspective and create a bizarre world. One could discuss whether lines and colors are the most prominent fundamentals, but I think they play a secondary role, but they play well together. Lines are drawn by hand, thin and shaky, and are also used to subtly give elements structure. Also, a screening effect or a shading is used adding a 3D effect. Colors are flat and few but give an illusion of many because of the use of shading.

What style?
The style bears resemblance to the comic book style of the 70s and also the Psychedelic art movement. Robert Crumb or Gilbert Shelton are icons from the underground or alternative comic book genre from the same era. They created odd worlds with distorted shapes and weird take on the political, social and spiritual topics. One exception though; the expression in this illustration is light and not dark as in the mentioned artists works.

Beauty or self?
This illustration expresses beauty. The gestalt is eye-candy. It is obviously used in a commercial and its lifespan is believed to be very short. There’s no message here except the apparent text. The illustration doesn’t have an underlying statement other than “I can draw a cool style”. Which also he/ she does. Technically very good, but the “self” is gone. The soul is not there. It gives me a feeling of an overused generic drawing style with no extra layers.

Recreating the illustration?
If I was to recreate this illustration I would think message first. Then story. Then composition. Then Shapes. Shapes determine the line. The lines determine the coloring.

Well, that’s how I see it.

The story I don’t know. Sorry.

I would work on the composition. The perspective must be fixed. It stretches wrong. I see what the artist try to do, but he got it wrong now. It should be a fisheye or a corrected three-point perspective. I would also remove lots of details. I don’t mind details, but not if they are keeping you distracted. Is the beard important or the garbage bin or the spray? Dunno! What’s the cat thinking? And why?

Colors also. Now they fight each other. A complementary palette has opposite colors drawing an equal amount of attention. I would use an analog palette. With one prominent color and the rest shaded or at least not craving for attention.

Lines I would have made thicker. Especially on the main character to make him stand out more and also create a sense of depth and weight. And thinner lines on the small stuff.

I would have removed the big black background too. What is it? Another dimension or a wall?

The expression of self? Don’t get me started!



Disclaimer: This article is written in my sleep. Using my both my left feet. I know – I’m coming down hard on this piece. Sorry …


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