Brandon Labbe

Graphic designer, illustrator & type geek.

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The Sirens of Titan

Intro

For my project, I chose The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. It's one of my favorite books primarily because of how weird and unusual it is. It's all about space, time travel, robots, and mind controll. Prepare yourselves... for I'm about to get super nerdy :)

Brainstorming

As suggested by Jessica, I read the book (in this case, re-read) and started jotting down any words that came to mind. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Ideas

Right off the bat, there are a lot of really interesting ideas coming to mind.

  1. Outwardness/Inwardness: At the start of the novel, Vonnegut comments on how humanity has explored all areas of 'outwardness' - referring to space travel. He states that the only area that remained to be explored was inward - the human mind. It might be interesting to do something where the top of the V represented outwardness, and the bottom represented inwardness. An image of stars and planets, funelling into the human mind. (Perhaps too literal?)
  2. Geometrical Language: Part of the story is that the Tralfamadorians (robots), created some of the landmarks on earth as a way to communicate with Salo who was stranded in space due to a faulty spaceship part. These landmarks (such as the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, and The Kremlin) were based on a geometrical language from Tralfamadore. It would be interesting to explore the V being a letter from this geometrical language. Something that looks man-made.
  3. Chrono-synclastic Infundibulum: Vonnegut talks a lot about this phenomenon. These are places in the universe where "all the different kinds of truths fit together".  When Rumfoord and and his dog Kazak enter a chrono-synclastic infundibulum they become trapped, and no longer exist in one place or one time. They exist in a spiral between the sun and Betelgeuse, and are only able to materialize when a planet crosses into that spiral's path. It would be interesting to visualize the V as 3 points on that spiral. Perhaps even visualize a man and his dog travelling along this path.

Style Inspiration / Moodboard

In a recent blog post on Typeset In The Future, Dave Addey talks about the typography of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I definitely want my V to feel futuristic and sci-fi, and I thought this would be a great place to start for a moodboard. 

Sketches

I've sketched out the 3 ideas I mentioned above and I'm quite happy with how things are looking. I think I'm going to move forward with concepts 1 and 3.

In order of appearance:

  • concept 1: Outwardness / Inwardness
  • concept 2: Geometrical Language
  • concept 3: Chrono-synclastic Infundibulum

Designs

I have the first draft of concept 1 complete! Super happy with how this is looking so far, but definitely not done with it. I think I need to adjust the spacing on the stars and planets. The colours were inspired by some of the original cover art. Would love some feedback on this!

Concept 2 is coming along nicely as well! Scrapped the spiral shape as it didn't transfer nicely into vector. Reworked it into something that loosely resembles a space/time warp instead. Open to suggestions on this!

Stay tuned! Any feedback is welcome :)

Semi-Finalized Designs

Still open to feedback on these, but I'm quite happy with how they're looking! I think concept 2 is actually the strongest visually, but for me concept 1 has a bit more of an emotional connection with the story. That's part of the reason why I've taken them both to the final stages.

Comments

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