High Up. Graphic Design in SF A preview of the designers team work



The concept for our poster is loosely based on two main references: the Myriorama cards, a sort of modular landscape game that was popular in the 19th century, and the cadavre esquis process used by the surrealists for collective drawings. We divided the space of the poster in 6 slanted stripes. The rule we set was to react to the existing placed by the other team by adding something that could connect with it.

In addressing the theme of landscape, our group’s idea almost formed organically based on response to one another’s selection, in the end being more about a formal “landscape” including graphic design, film, and music. Alizarina referenced visual elements sourced from San Francisco, using a green/turquoise color, and Stripe did the same for Milan in red.

The images we took inspiration from are (from left to right):

  • Studio Boggeri, Valtur logo, 1968
  • Wes Wilson, Trips Festival poster, 1966
  • Bruno Munari, Design as Art (Book Cover)
  • Vertigo, film still, 1958
  • Walter Ballmer with Anna Monika Jost, Olivetti poster
  • Bonnie Maclean, poster for a concert with Eric Burdon at the Fillmore, 1967.

Megan Lynch:
These compositions are inspired by the landscape of fashion in San Francisco and Milan. The patterns were created by taking cues from recent collections of both cities, and then composed into an abstract street grid of each city’s fashion district.

Il cielo di Milano si vede spesso ritagliato dai fili del Tram. Il tram, (ne abbiamo regalato uno anche a San Francisco), fa parte del paesaggio e dell’anima di Milano. Il paesaggio di San Francisco, ai nostri occhi e nei nostri ricordi, assomiglia ai manifesti di Bill Graham per i concerti dei Jefferson Airplane, alle loro scritte psichedeliche e ai loro colori chimici.


 lynch-studioFM - 2


In un’era digitale in cui le nozioni di luogo vengono continuamente messe in dubbio, noi vediamo simultaneamente le due città a volo d’uccello. Il doppio uccello è testimone di un viaggio psichedelico attraverso un paesaggio distorto. Il livello grafico propone due metodi di comunicazione, uno umano e l’altro animale, dove l’ape (Apis mellifera ligustica) ci suggerisce lo spirito collaborativo con il quale è stato progettato il poster. 

As the digital age continues to challenge notions of place we view the two cites simultaneously from a bird’s eye view. The janus-headed bird is witness to a psychedelic journey through a distorted global landscape. The graphic layer proposes two models of communications, one human and the other of the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica), suggesting the collaborative spirit in which we developed the billboard. 

Our concept for the billboards was that each would act as a “postcard” from one city to the other. So for the Milan billboard, it would be a postcard from San Francisco to Milan, and vice-versa for San Francisco. 

In each postcard, one team would do the type and one would make the image, which are then combined. For each city, one team are locals and one are not, and so they represented each city as they either know it to be as residents, or imagine it to be as admirers. 

 macfaddenthorpe-pitis1  macfaddenthorpe-pitis2

Mapping the city can happen on a urban scale but also in a more private, intimate way, inside our homes: a domestic landscape. The interior of homes in a way reflects the outside, on a different scale.We decided to talk about small differences, because the inside of homes tells a lot about ourselves and about the way we are and we live. After all, don’t we all LOVE traveling using AirBNB because we get a glimpse  or the reality of other people life and culture?

How do you make breakfast? Are plants and flowers important in your daily like? (and more to come for the SF posters). We discussed via email of what could be worth sharing  and we opted for an intimate map of the city: the inside of our homes, the domestic landscape. We never shared an image of ourselves or spoke over the phone but tried to get a glimpse of each other’s life via specific small details, adding a little bit of irony in the choice of the depicted items. One of us started to make a design and then the other one added or changed or developed the layout and so on. Like… what do we have for breakfast some 9.500km / 6000 miles and 8 time zones away?