14 March 2007

Future Primitive Guide Gets Southwestern Flavor

I've pulled from all kinds of graphic influence for the Future Primitive Guide. As I begin to flesh out the printed book, after taking nearly a year off of the project, I am back at my roots. I'm back in Illustrator doing line art that will decorate and define the aesthetic of the pages I create. There is a lot of this work that needs to be done to keep each page fresh and alive looking.

I've always been attracted to the Native American artwork of the Southwest. There is a bizarre minimalism, incredible knowledge of geometry, and an observable elaboration on ancient symbology as their skill advanced in this genre yet kept true to the simpler vocabulary handed down to them. Watching this process, I have to extrapolate what might happen to my Future Primitives and their symbology. What lineages of design would they pull from 1000 yrs in the future? From computer graphics? From primitive styled tattoos? From directional signage? From soup can labels?

Even for societies living so close to nature and worshipping natural forces as if they had personalities, the art they create to symbolize these things are geometric. They were making logos and branding their ideas in the simplest symbolic way just like graphic designers do today. Humans have geometry built right in. As I am transcribing these images to transform into my own fictional motifs, I realize the natural geometry they practiced is remarkably close to the Bezier Curves built into the drawing tools of Illustrator. It's not hard to recognize some futuristic echoes in these designs.

The Future Primitive creation myth, found here, has a creator "Ono." Ono appears on a triangular craft and speaks to a boy and girl human trapped on a cloud. Below are the motifs I created to symbolize these things.

Here are some repeating patterns I created:

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