Brilliant design isn’t just about fantastic ideas, it is about honing and refining them and then realising them as deftly as possible. In other words design is a craft as well as an art and even the most inspired creative talents can take years to master their craft.
That’s why I was so impressed when a friend recently Twittered me the link to these beautiful graphic posters for the London Olympics by Falmouth student Alan Clarke.
With the possible exception of some of the stadia, the London Olympics has not exactly triggered an outpouring of creativity. These exceptional posters which pay homage to the golden age of London Transport posters go some way to remedy that. The fact that they were done by a student makes them all the more remarkable.
I love them for their slick simplicity and their graphic strength. Even though most of the series uses hard angular shapes, Alan Clarke manages to inject real movement and excitement into them. They remind me of the old Penguin book covers: classic and timeless.
Just one glance and you can detect a sureness of touch, a consistency of approach and attention to detail that is rare among professionals, let alone students. Using just a few lines and a couple of colours, they brilliantly manage to capture the spirit or feel of different sports rather than merely reporting the mechanics.
Ok they aren’t perfect. I could criticise the lack of consistency in the colour palette, -tennis and sailing use two colours, the others use one. Graphically ‘fencing’, ‘diving’ and ‘tennis’ show the effect while sailing and cycling show the machines themselves.
But that’s just picking nits. These simple posters are beautifully conceived and beautifully crafted. They are simply brilliant