Friday, June 29, 2012

Graphic Design as Garden Design

I'm a big fan of graphic design.  Good graphic designers are alchemists.  Smart use of font, illustration, and design can transform one's identity.  I occasionally peruse the websites of my favorite graphic designers looking for inspiration for my landscape design.  I came across this recent design by the firm Filthy Media.  They created a branding package for a fascinating new arts and entertainment district in London. 

Here is their description of the project: London Pleasure Gardens (LPG), the major new 20 acre site is opening its doors for the very first time on Saturday 30th June 2012 in the heart of Olympic East London. The colossal project has transformed this forgotten stretch of wasteland into a bonafide wonderland, ready to host a plethora of innovative, world-class art and culture events.



Having received the commission to develop a branding package for LPG, our initial research looked at the pleasure gardens that existed in London between the 17th and 19th Centuries. These were communal spaces where people from all walks of life converged to listen to music, admire paintings, stroll and drink.  Working closely with LPG creative director Hugo Toland, we selected a palette of typography and imagery from this period that reflected the ornate and overly-embellished style of the time. We then contrasted the old with the new, bringing in neon signage for the word ?Pleasure? and setting the logo in front of the London skyline.

I love how they've used silhouettes of Victorian gardens and added a hint of naturalistic planting and NEON-hipster signage to modernize it. I'm enchanted with the Victorian idea of the pleasure garden and even more enchanted with this modern version of it.  This could make a fantastic garden: distressed Victorian ironwork set in a stylized meadow with tents, lights, and other urban-nomadic imagery.  It would be a garden version of Beruit's ablum Gulag Orkestar.









And here is a plan of the actual site set to open in a few days:



16 comments:

  1. I'm trying to find the resemblance from the graphics to the reality.

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    Replies
    1. Fiona's link below shows there is actually more connection between the graphic concept and reality than is apparent from the aerial image I posted. Really, a fascinating concept.

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  2. This reminds me of the work of animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger.

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    Replies
    1. Barry,

      Thanks for the reference. I did not know Lotte Reiniger, but after Googling her, I'm glad I do. I am captivated by the idea of creating a garden with that strong a sense of fantasy, mystery, and even darkness. A garden that looks like a setting for a Grimm brothers fairy tale.

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  3. I'm enchanted by the idea of the distressed ironwork in the stylized meadow! The whole concept of getting inspiration from graphic design is so intriguing. Clearly you are exposing yourself to higher quality graphics than I am. What kind of garden do you envision based on a Candyland game board?

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it cool?! I like graphic design because there's less constraint than garden design (they don't have to deal with an existing site--though they do have to deal with clients). So they have more freedom to create a vision, an identity ex nihilo. I like extracting a mood, a style, or a concept from them and seeing if it applies to a site.

      Of course, most graphic design is not that applicable to landscape, but good design is universal.

      Hmm, Candyland . . . I'm stumped!

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    2. how about graffiti? look at how they boldly outline words and shapes (black outline, white outline) and furthermore alternate darks, lights and brights to be legible from a distance...

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  4. Funnily enough, we have designed the landscaping for this project. It's in the final phase now (at least for this stage of the development) and some events are happening this weekend. We uploaded a few photos to our Facebook page if you're interested: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.438479992849814.97275.103808886316928&type=1

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Fiona. It's a delightful concept and execution. I'm inspired. As the site matures and establishes, I'd love to see more images. Please share.

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  5. Hi, thanks for an inspirational post, this is one of my places to visit, once the 'madness of the Olympics' is over. I live only 3 miles from the Olympic Park, and 3.5 miles from this new garden here in East London, so there might be a post about this on my blog during the autumn :-)

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