Designer: Jonathan Barnbrook
Size: 841 x 1189 mm
Printing Process: Digital
Number of Inks: 4-Color Process
I have to confess that I was giddy like a schoolgirl upon hearing that Jonathan Barnbrook and Vaughan Oliver were assembling a collection of British design luminaries to create a gallery full of posters. That it tackled the touchy subject of the exclusion of designers in the conversation of the London Olympics, especially given the contentious logo for the games, only served to spice things up a bit. "We really felt that graphic design had been overlooked," Barnbrook explains. "The London 2012 logo is not exacly the best piece of design either," he adds with relish. "I believe almost no designers, and certainly most of the population of London dislike it."
In retaliation, they did what they know best; they designed. Filling the void with sheer and utter brilliance, and experimentation and wit, and occassionally, failure, like any quality design process should contain. You can read more about it in Tony Seddon's excellent piece here.
Upon viewing the set, I was immediately drawn to one of Barnbrook's creations. Few designers are able to make the simplification of elements so damn complicated, and he brings all of that in spades on this one. Combined with his evocative and moody palettes, use of visual layers, and daring typography, this poster is vintage Barnbrook.
Trying to capture the "spirit of cycling," he showcases his "love of the industrial design, where some of the bikes are so beautiful and truly show the aeshetic of what is 'now.' Merging the bike and the rider, with their specially contoured helmets, reminding me of those modernist and constructivist concepts of the man and machine becoming one." Drawing from those same eras with the "posters of the '20s and '30s, which for me were an era of incredible poster design. Where the image maker also drew the lettering and integrated it into the dynamic of the image in an absolute manner," he marvels.
"Finally," he smiles, "as a Brit, it is one of the few sports that we are good at—allowing for another chance to celebrate!"
The perfect ending to an epic correction in recognizing the very best of British design.
NOTE: Poster of the Week runs every Wednesday. Check it out each week!