D&AD VICE Rule Britannia – secondary research

Sometimes when starting projects I get too many ideas and veer off at the research stage so for this one I am going to set constraints to begin with so my work will be more direct and focused. To begin with the ident is short 10-15 seconds so it has to be succint and to the point, and the style should be specific and not a mixture. Also I would like to keep in line with the current ident’s stop-motion kind of style, however possibly doing this with an illustration that is animated in a stop motion film way. I think this would get across more of the gritty, honest themes of the documentaries compared to slick vector motion graphics or actual animation.

I read this brief shortly before we went on a trip to London last year and began thinking about possible visual themes. One exhibit we went to see at the British Museum called ‘Witches and wicked bodies‘ stuck with me and I think could influence the piece greatly. It featured many different drawings and illustrations, however the ones that stuck out to me were the black and white works of Sidney Sime and Aubrey Beardsley. They reminded of an illustrator I’d known before called Harry Clarke, and i thought this twisted monochrome fantasy style would be very interesting if applied to more contemporary subject matter. It would also be a good contrast to feature normal people rendered to look fantastical or horrifying as monsters or witches. I have since researched their work further and have collected a lot of their images, some of the best are below:

Sidney Sime





Aubrey Beardsley





Harry Clarke




Most of these images are from late 19th century or early 20th century, and the style also suggests this, however there is also a current illustrator who I like who uses similar imagery and style:

Sin Eater




What I am going to take from all of these 4 sources is the use of black and white and texture and crosshatching to make shades. Also filling the full page is a theme that runs through them, the images become huge seas of lines of different shapes and weights. I also like how some of them use large spaces of black or white to create strong more graphic images.

I think this would be a nice visual way to represent Britain for this ident. I could include monochrome illustrations of normal British people or British scenes from today, represented in this old gothic style to imply the dark subject matter of the series.

Gin Lane by William Hogarth



In a way I would like to create something that is almost a modern day version of this.