Fall of the Berlin Wall – 20th anniversary (1989-2009)

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I forgot to publish this brand new design!  The East and West Berlin maps depicted as two faces kissing, in the colours of the German flag. I designed it on November 9, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. You can get this on t-shirt, mug, button, tote, blablabla… If the product you like is not available, just give me a ring and I’ll add it.

Mauerfall by Ina Mar

It was fun designing this.

How-Tos and Why-Tos

  1. I used some pictures I had taken back in 2000 or 2001, of two people kissing. Printed them in black and white and cut the silhouettes with the scissors. I know it’s possible to crop them in Photoshop, I just think it’s much more fun to cut around the outlines with the scissors!
  2. I then scanned the two silhouettes in high resolution, manipulated them a little (i love the guy’s profile, but her nose needed some Photoshop surgery)
  3. coloured them in red and yellow to remind the German flag
  4. … then mixed in Photoshop separately each silhouette with a part of of Berlin (East and West). I put the head over the appropriate map, scaled, rotated and distorted it until it fitted the form and dimensions of the map, then erased some parts of the head and some parts of the map, until they could be merged into one form. Had to repaint some details, because the fusion was visible or not fitting in some parts. It was somehow difficult to decide where the head stops and where the map starts. For East Berlin (right), I kept the girl’s chin, because a detail of the map looks like a neck and this fitted nicely together. As both faces are tilted, to counterpoint the chin and create some balance in the overall image, I kept the boy’s complete forehead. I like this tilted line, starting from the bottom of her chin going up to his forehead.
  5. I then repositionned the two forms – I approached the too heads to another, to make sure her nose is hidden under his nose. Just kidding… I let a couple of millimeters distance between their lips, to give this “encounter” some suspense and to symbolize the nearness of East and West Berlin, divided by a single wall.
  6. Last, I created some distressed effects and tactile imperfections in Photoshop. Although there are ready collections of layers and plug-ins available that give a distressed effect, I prefer to create my own effects, so I can have more control on the result. I often work with scanned vintage photographs or with digital pictures of wall structures and painted surfaces. In this case, I used the eraser tool and my instinct: I erased some parts of the maps/heads using different opacities, different brushes and several brush diameters and hardnesses. It’s a very “tactile” technique.
  7. For the slogan, I used a distressed font by Clément Nicolle (Stereotype). I bought this font a couple of years ago, love this guys fonts. The slogan itself, “Wir hassen Grenzen” (we hate limits, in German) – well I’m still not sure if it’s the best I could find. Perhaps it should have been something more “obvious”, so everybody understands it’s about the reunion of West and East Berlin. But I don’t really like obvious slogans. I tried to integrate the words “East” and “West” on the maps, but it didn’t  fit – it took away the purity of this “kiss”. So it will have to remain a design for “connoisseurs”!

Note: There’s no symbolism in the choice of male (West Berlin) and female (East Berlin) – I just chose the silhouettes according to their visual compatibility with the appropriate map – their sex is not recognizable anyway, at least that was my plan…

Don’t hesitate to comment and write here your thoughts.

Ina Mar's Desk

PS. I would like to thank Tomo Usuda for including my work in his article Hybridised Practice Critical Review: Historical ethical aesthetic of digital tech (Blog “Berlin mit Berlin, December 10, 2009)

I move slowly so I can enjoy every single moment of life…

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I usually walk very fast, you know, I am (or pretend to be) a busy busy girl, or rather I am incapable of managing my time… I come too late for work because I wanted to create just one more design. Mostly late for appointments because I decided to do my taxes one hour before the appointment. Then I run to catch the bus, to catch the subway…
And the opposite, if I don’t have an appointment and am just walking alone, it’s for me impossible to walk normally, because I have to stop every two metres to take a photo or take a look at something: one more picture from this side of view, one more from the next side of view, which one is the best? Oh, the next one!

There are some many beautiful details in our every day environment, and they are changing and developping every single day! I sometimes envy people who (due to a disability) are confined to and gifted with a slow walk, because they have the time to contemplate all this during they are walking! This thought made me create the following slogan:

Disability Optimism Women’s Cap Sleeve T-Shirt

I know this particular font is a bit difficult to read, but I love it, it’s so positive, like every word is smiling out the message…

Here’s the message a fellow designer sent me about this shirt:
I loved “I move slowly so I can enjoy every moment of life.” You can’t tell that I have partially numb feet so I walk slowly making sure my foot is on the ground before taking the next step. I don’t look like I am walking differently except slow. Since there doesn’t look like there is anything wrong with me I hear a lot of HMMMPPPHHHHs!!! in back of me. I have nerve damage that fortunately won’t get worse but I’d rather walk a little slower than fall down. And I am not all that slow. Like not as slow as someone that has to use a walker for example. But I do enjoy when someone who is extra indignant has the nerve to say something and I say, “Oh I’m sorry if my nerve damaged feet move too slowly to suit you. Please forgive me for even trying to breath the same air as you.” I often get an apology and hopefully taught that person that not all disabilities are recognizable. My other favorite is, “sorry you didn’t have your lights and siren on so I can get out of the way for your emergency!!!”. I have to say more people are polite then rude, so the rude ones I consider entertainment LMAO.

Thanks Rhonda for your wonderful message!

New Zazzle Gallery

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

I’ve been working on my new Zazzle Gallery and … generally working… that’s why I didn’t post any news since a couple of days.
Take a look at the new Gallery: http://www.zazzle.com/inamar and thanks for your feedback!