Today’s Obsession: Generative, Down Under

Posted inObsessions

Over the past few years, due to interactive media’s rise in prominence, i’ve occasionally heard rumblings about the diminished importance of the logo in identity design—and it’s a notion I kind of welcomed, kind of doubted.

On the one hand, I welcome the notion because the canonization of mid-century visual design processes points to a potential fault I’ve always had a hunch existed—an unwillingness to move beyond the ideas from that era. A kneejerk acceptance, if you will.

On the other hand, I doubt the thinking. As far as I could see, a lot of peoples’ conclusions of the death of the logo were drawn from experience with the first generations of web entrepreneurs, many of whom famously saw no reason to design their properties with much finesse. Some never grew out of it. (Looking at you, eBay.)

In light of my skepticism towards both sides of the argument, I keep looking to generative art as a method to create visual experiences that truly reflect the things we look at now. Occasionally, I run across a real winner, and this is one of those.

This video popped up on Vimeo a few days ago, and beautifully illustrates a model of logotype creation which works nicely in our interconnected, personally declarative, highly socialized times. It’s a reel describing the creation and interpretation of the identity system for the 2011 Perth Arts Festival.

At its essential level, the identity is generated from a vocabulary of elements on a per-person basis, and each person’s variation is then added to a gallery (and made available to the owner). So in this way, the logo itself is a generated thing based upon the owner, and the identity is the cumulative idea of all of these visual pieces as well as the single image. A lovely graphic way to move identities forward.