A visual identity and poster created for Bogforum, an annual Danish book fair, while studying abroad in Copenhagen. My graphic identity came from the belief that books allow readers to gain empathy by living in another person's role, walking in their shoes, looking through their eyes.
The logo takes inspiration from the famous Danish simplicity in design, combining text and image to create an accessible and easily scaled mark. I kept the colors basic, just black and white, in order to keep it simple and maintain continuity across uses. The logo, and its use of Gotham Bold, has less personality than my poster; this was a conscious choice, allowing the basic identity to remain neutral and flexible for the yearly poster designs, whose wide variations have become a large part of the fair’s identity.
The primary logo is a black square with transparent letters, so the background can be seen (playing on the idea of the glasses). The logo can also be inverted, either maintaining the transparency or including a white background.
Knowing that each visitor will be handed a brochure with all of the events, times, maps, etc as they walk through the door, I decided to design an app with a more unique purpose. I wanted to create something useful but also playful, with both practical and more entertaining applications. This led to a search tool that makes use of Google's online book database, used for their Ngram Viewer, to search through the books at the fair (as reported by their sellers) and find in which books the searched-for phrase appears. It reports to the user the books containing the phrase, how many times, and where they can be found at the fair. This can be used to search for titles, subjects, genres, to find something expected, or just for fun.
I kept the design in black and white to emphasize the app's nearly limitless potential and bare-bones, wide-open approach. The icon is taken from a corner of the logo, preserving the glasses and the fair's intials; it is recognizable and can be scaled quite small.
In designing the poster, my goal was to create a strong graphic pull and an accessible and legible message. The design features a pair of glasses extending off the page, creating a more three-dimensional effect and visually separating the poster from the logo. The stripes in the background mimic text on a page, flush on one side with occasional indents to represent paragraphs, and staggered on the right side. The lines break their geometry when they intersect the glasses, curling into the shape of a brain. We can look through the glasses' lenses, through the page of the book, into a brain that may be unfamiliar to us. Books allow us to see into other people's minds, to understand their thoughts, actions, and point of view. Books teach empathy, and allow us to see through their glasses' lenses.
In choosing the colors, I attempted to go both bold and unique. The red is modern and bright, contrasted with the clean black and white. The light pink of the stripes is human and soft, honest with its fleshy brain color, but tan enough to recall the subtle texture of a worn page. Together, they make up what is human, allowing the poster's viewer, representing the reader, to see into both the mind of a character and to step into their body.
I abstracted the poster's design, removing the glasses to leave behind the swirling stripes in the shape of an oval. My goal was to change the poster enough that it isn't repetitive, but leave the essence of it there so that it can be recognized easily. The curves break the implied border of the rectangle, creating a dynamism and hopefully making the A4 shape I was limited to more subtle. I chose to use black ink on a natural tan bag to keep the contrast high, the use versatile, and the style classic.