One name. Two cities.
From the iconic monarchy to the well-organized architectural arrangements, the transport system, the uniformed government identity, and so on, London conveys an image of immaculate order. This can be evidenced by any cursory Google search on the name of the city or just by looking at the city’s merchandise designs. Such images reinforce the prevailing narrative of a structured and unsullied metropolis. Nevertheless, only seeing pictures of the city, is much different than actually living it. London's chaotic spirit is also at the core of its identity. It is a city that never stops moving, a city that always has something happening. The bustling streets filled with people from all walks of life create an electrifying energy that is contagious. London's chaotic spirit is its driving force and its undeniable charm.
Through the lens of design and visual communication, and with these two faces of London, I undertook a short journey of photography, and analysis to portray the structure but also the chaos of this emblematic city. To accomplish this, I have produced a dual publication. The first book focuses on a structured perspective while the second sheds light on the city from a more chaotic viewpoint.
For both covers of the book, I decided to use the name of London abbreviated and divided in two, positioning two letters on each cover. Therefore, showing with a visual example the title of the book: LNDN: One name. Two cities. The first cover embodies a pristine appearance while the second portrays a worn-out and street-like one.
The typeface for the covers is Albertous. A typeface originally modeled to resemble letters carved into bronze. Also, iconically used for the street name signs in the City of London, City of London Corporation, and London Borough of Lambeth. In my pursuit of augmenting the concept of contradiction, I opted to unveil these letters that were originally fabricated to reflect the appearance of bronze-carved letters, using a vacuum-forming process such that they protrude instead of being etched.
I THE ROSE
The initial book represents "structure". Named after "the rose" which is the designated flower of London city.
II THORNS AND ALL
Inspired by British punk fanzines, this second book represents the other side of "the rose".
I opted to design my own font for the "chaotic" book in order to capture the eclectic nature of the city. This involved capturing not only the iconic signage and locations of the area but also more mundane details like shopping lists discarded on the sidewalk and handwritten signs. After manipulating these images, I proceeded to create types out of wood and rubber, functioning like stamps, to give the book a "handmade" quality akin to punk fanzines.