Using Artwork in Design. Oracom example | WebReference

Using Artwork in Design. Oracom example

  Oracom example

In practice, symbolic and decorative features are often mixed in a single image.  An interesting example is the artwork created for Oracom promotional brochure by Dmitry Kirsanov Studio.  It is built around a piece of art (Fig. 2) symbolizing the company's main areas of expertise, satellite communications (represented by a dish antenna) and computer technology.  As a symbol, this graphic is simple, compact, and focused on the outline of objects.  To carry out its decorative function, it enhances the basic outline with cloudy strokes that model the shape of the objects, introduce a distinct texture and define the general color scheme for the entire brochure's design.


Figure 2

  Fig. 2:  Artwork used in a promotional brochure for Oracom, Inc.  

  After the image has performed its symbolic function on the brochure's opening page, the rest of the composition makes extensive use of its decorative value.  Now, recognizability of the objects in the image does not matter any more, and the compact, streamlined spherical outline of the entire drawing would be an obstacle in combining it with other elements.  Hence the decision to cut the original image into strip-shaped parts, with each one being large enough to guess its place in the original, but at the same time open-ended and loose to fit the overall scattered style of the internal pages.

On the last page, even the partial recognizability was sacrificed for the sake of the pure texture's impact.  Contrasting with the regular lines of crisp letters, the fuzzy cloud borrowed from the bottom of the original image's computer (see Fig. 2) was enlarged and additionally blurred at the edges to make its texture even more expressive.

So, the entire brochure uses one piece of artwork throughout, although in different roles and in differently formatted fragments.  This technique is perhaps the most popular in modern design, since reusing graphics over and over has many advantages (besides the obvious consideration that hiring a professional artist to make a lot of different images could be quite expensive).  First, this enhances a sense of integrity in the composition; second, it provides a pleasant intellectual incentive to try to identify different parts as belonging to the same source.  Finally, remember the relation of serialization to generalization discussed above: creative variations of a single image help to explore its decorative value and diminish symbolism which is irrlevant everywhere except the front page of the brochure.


Created: Dec. 11, 1998
Revised: Dec. 11, 1998