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Earth Artefact By Annabel Grant


This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. Here’s the start of my research into the new brief ‘Earth Artefact”. I firstly stumbled across this quote below by the U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1977.


Initial Research: Letter from the President This is the letter that was recorded and sent up with the Golden Record. The letter was written by Jimmy Cater, The President of America at the time in the summer of 1977. The message was recorded as an audio message to make it easier to be sent up and for it to be recognised. The message was recorded in 55 different languages to make sure there was as many people who could understand it at once.


Initial Research: What is the Golden Record? What is the Golden Record? In 1977 NASA launched the ‘Voyager’ spacecraft, designed officially to study the planetary systems of Jupiter and Saturn. On board the spacecraft was a Golden Record, a Phonograph record which contained sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on earth. There are a total of 116 images and a variety of sounds - including surf, wind, thunder, animals and the spoken messages of over 55 different languages, that Dr Carl Sagan and his associates felt represented the variety of life and culture of Earth. On the back of the Golden Record itself is an instructional Diagram. It contains enough information to allow for a correct playback of the documents. Why was it Produced? It was created as a collective cultural artifact for the entirety of planet earth: A time capsule for undiscovered Extra Terrestrial species to learn about our world and its inhabitants. It has unofficially been named the”Murmurs of Earth” by Dr. Carl Sagan, Executive director of the project. Due to both the size and nature of the satellite, there was a small chance of the record actually being intercepted and interpreted.


Roadmap Of Ideas


Artist Research: Copper Leaf Studio Copper Leaf Studios features copper art, custom maps, and etched metal wall art created from hand-cut etched copper and zinc. The designs range from natural imagery to science inspired art, what holds them together are the delicate surfaces filled with rich texture and colour. There is a strong coherant theme which runs accros all of the copper pieces of art which is space, maps and astronomy, these are three areas which I am going to research into. One thing I realy like on these pieces are the thin black lines whre the image is scribed onto the copper sheet. Thiss effect looks very rustic and nostalgic which I think works extremely well.


Artist Research: Antoine Cortineau Another artist who I looked at was Antoine Cortineau a multidisciplinary french creative born in 1982. His work is extremly colourful and strikingly complex. I loved his use of icons to represent the world and is something I really need to think about when creating my illustration. I knew I had to think about the colour scheme and how the piece fits together as a whole. He uses a range of mediums and techniques to create these beautifully busy patchworks of texture, imagery and creative typography. His work has the rare and powerful gift of both instantly communicating a simple key message or brand, but also effectively sharing a much larger amount of information hidden within the fun and energetic worlds of his illustrations.


Research: Semiotics After studying Antoine Cortineau I wanted to research nito semiotics, the study of signs, as his piece he created for ‘queries’ magazine’ really caught my eye. This piece is created using a series of different symbols which he has created himself. Semiotics can be used to descrive signs and sign processes, and how they are communicated accros the world. With this map using a series of symbols which everyone understands, it doesnt cause a language barrier. Which is something I need to consider as any life form in space may not speak the same language as us.


Artist Research: Map Of The Future Infographic I also looked at this infographic – We Will Be Here – Map Of The Future. I though I should look at an infographic incase I went back to my original idea. I found this infographic very interesting and a very visual way to present facts and figures. This infographic has taken inspiration from the design of the 50s, this can be seen by the dull colours and effects given to the imagery. This piece has ‘mapped the future’ by creating an illustrated game where retro-futuristic imagery references are linked with words and concepts that foresee our future.


Artist Research: VW Europe illustrations Russian illustrator Iv Orlov created a series of illustrations for Volkswagen on look at me. The illustrations represent the VW polo in several European countries such as: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom. The car is surrounded by typical colors and sights of each country showcases typical landmarks, objects and people of the countries. One thing which I really like about these illustrations is the different colour schemes which each illustration has. This makes each illustration unique ns is a good way of identifying the different countries, especially as the colours are reminiscent to the colours on their flags.


Artist Research: Maurice Laban In 1959 Maurice Laban created a series of illustrations of various countries from Europe. The now vintage illustrations represent the national costume, iconic buildings and other stereotypes of different countries. Sarah from My Vintage Avenue scanned in the illustrations and featured them on her blog. I really like the style of these pieces due to the simplicity of each piece, again having a very clear colour themes, however the colours are more risky but seem to contrast extremly well against each other. I also like the banner around the name of each country.


Artist Research: MAPS - The world in pictures I came across this project when browsing the London Design Festival website. Atlas, composed 51 maps each intricatly showing the details and curiosities of each country, presenting 6 continents and 42 selected countries. The maps show not only borders, cities, rivers and peaks but also the places of historical and cultural interests, eminent personalities, characteristic animals and plants, ways of spending free time and many more fascinating features. It took Hipopotam studio, made up of Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieli, 3 years to create “Maps�. Aside of creating over 4000 illustrations they designed two type faces just for this book (Mrs White and Cartographer). I find this book very interesting as each map is so intrically drawn with so much detail. For the outcome of my project I really want to create something as delicate as this.


Artist Research: ABC of European cities Hugo Yoshikawa, is a French-Japanese illustrator living in London. He illustrated a complete alphabet using the famous monuments from each mayjor city and made a hand drawn typography collage with it. He was born in 1986 and grew up traveling, living in Tokyo, Paris, New York and Bangkok, this being a reason for his love of cities and architecture. The ABC illustration series of European cities was made as part of an exhibition in Tokyo at the Tokyu Art Gallery in Shibuya. All the letters are drawn with ink and then watercoloured. I really like these pieces and has given me the idea to create my own typography piece.


Landmark Research

Using pinterest I started collecting images of famous landmarks around the world. Which I was then going to draw and create a contemporary map of the world made up of all the landmarks


Making a start on my illustration


Developing my illustration


Developing my illustration


Finished colour illustration


Finished black and white illustration


Making a start on my typography illustration


Finished typography illustration

Earth Artefact  

My ongoing work for my university Earth Artefact project.

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