Quirkology design identity
I completed my degree course in Graphic Design and Illustration earlier this year. For my Final Major Project I produced a design identity for an exhibition at the Science Museum in London. ‘Quirkology’, or ‘the science of the curious’ is all about the more curious aspects of human behaviour, such as whether our personalities are shaped by our names, the role of luck in our lives and why teaspoons disappear from communal kitchens.
The theme I chose for this project was Alice in Wonderland inspired. Alice in Wonderland is a classic childhood book, it is wonderfully quirky and full of imagery and concepts that seemed to apply perfectly to this project. I started with the Mad Hatter’s Tea party, making the perfect cup of tea, and my early designs were based on a patterned cup and saucer from which elements of the exhibition would appear from the steam. The patterns were later transferred to a Q shape which became the design identity.
My Quirkology poster is based on the patterned ‘Q’ for ‘quirkology’. The patterns are a collection of references to the design theme and the exhibition. The black and white chequered design suggest a chess board (an Alice reference), the stripes on the arm of the ‘Q’ the tail of the Cheshire cat, the swirls are suggestive of the mind working and the cogs link to the science bit.
The Q theme transferred nicely to the exhibition programme, tickets and other signage. The programme looked like this:
The exhibition programme is an extension of the Alice in Wonderland theme. I wanted the programme to reflect the ‘quirky’ nature of the exhibition and add to it the slightly surreal take on life found within Alice. I liked the idea of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and a tea cup and saucer seemed to be the perfect symbols from which to develop the programme illustrations.
I had great fun making my promotional items for this project. I hand-painted a lovely large teacup (the size of a bathtub kind of cup) with the patterns I had developed and to fill the teacup I designed a set of ‘Quirky Teas’. The packages maintained the ‘Q’ design but the central colour changed to denote different flavours. The flavours developed the quirky theme: ‘Strawberry & Black Pepper’, ‘Blueberry & Clove’, ‘Jasmine & Lime’ & ‘Cherry & Liquorice’.
The following are illustrations for a children’s poetry book, which also formed part of my degree work. I wanted to make the subject matter fun and accessible, to work as a good introduction to poetry for young children.
I wanted to show the bear with his stomach extending as he digests the child, with just his eyebrow giving away his evil malevolence. Including an image of a child seemed a little grotesque so I didn’t, it needed to be kept light and cartoon-like to be funny.
The Awkward Child
I experimented with various versions of this illustration and a lot of strawberry jam (as well as pictures of my daughter trapped in the jam jar). Eventually I decided to keep it simple with the messy hand prints suggesting where the child had been.
Ning Nang Nong
This wonderful Spike Milligan poem is packed full of animals and noise. The illustration and the typography is designed to reflect the general cacophony suggested by the poem, lots of noise and confusion.
Up the Stair
This illustration was created using collage and water colour paint, I then played with it digitally and had fun adding some increasingly frustrated typography. It is designed to give the impression of heading up the stairs, but of course with nobody there.