This month on Monthly Brand I’ll be taking a bit of a voyage. One of my goals for this labor of love blog is to expand myself. To break some of the frames that typically dictate my process, my style, my opinions and my techniques, all regarding graphic design and industry of branding. Much of this is centered around inspiration, since I can endlessly absorb the work of other designers and artists on the internet, in museums and other media. I do my best to allow the flux of stimulation to permeate the beginning of my process so that I can take big gulps of concept before digesting the true nutrition of the brand. This month I intend to do that, but to continue taking it further throughout the process.
It could easily end up being an exquisite corpse of letters and ideograms accidentally fallen on the page. It could be a drawing or an assemblage of objects or paper mache or photorealistic computer aided design. It could be anything, but I will find a medium between my capabilities and my combustable desire to make. I’m not going to allow restraint to creep in this month and continue to quiet down my work.
This may not be the best practice for all clients, but this month my client is a compulsive duo who only consume things that are full of life and peppered with metabolism. Their name is Stratosphere, and the only word that fully describes them is artists. More specifically, they are musicians and performers of mixed media experiences. They’re work is a purposeful collage of audible engineering that evokes visceral engagements like nostalgia, euphoria, displacement and contemplation. It is best to describe their music as multi-layered and resonant in all senses—you can often taste and see and feel the sounds they produce. It develops from a variety of sources such as audio clips of interviews or ethnic music loops, random recorded natural sounds, medical instruments or lawn care machines. Stratosphere makes music from sound, repositions it into video and performance and never stops short of exploration.
The client team is a bit exuberant with the project for giving a single mark to describe everything they do. They’re actually more interested in the balloon of visuals that might be inspired by their work. They have a thousand ideas for what it might look like, but they want an outside eye. They want their identity to be seen from outside of themselves. Even after relinquishing their name, face and mouths to a graphic designer for branding, they’re eager enough to offer a few words to help ignite the process:
That’s not five words, that’s ten. Jerks. But the client knows more about what they want, and who they are than most, without detailing or distilling or really offering any clear direction whatsoever. I suppose I see their work as clear chaos. I see it as beautiful noise. It seems the only real point is to make something full of growth and energy, and to have fun doing it.
Stratosphere is of course fictional, like most clients on Monthly Brand. They are inspired by the works of Dan Deacon, The Books, Crystal Castles, Panda Bear or Tuung. To get a sense of something they might be like take a gander at these clips: