Kavinsky's Outrun - A visual analysis

The album cover for Outrun draws multiple themes/inspiration from a particular kind of lifestyle, such living in Miami in the 1980s. The cover was designed by French electro house artist SebastiaAn.

 

The main elements of the cover include: the central protagonist, the sports car and the lightening bolt giving us an indication to the narrative/theme. The emphasis placed on the red K in the main title attracts the eye, inviting the viewing in. The sense of danger and excitement is visually portrayed from the car’s head lights, the night’s sky – referencing back to the American teenager.

 

Listening to the official soundtrack, synthesisers are heavily utilized throughout the album, these were used throughout the 70s and 80s - a definite nod to the time period set in Outrun.

 

During the rebellious 1950s, American teenagers wanted to get away from their over-bearing parents, and wanted to have fun. Teens would often be out to the cinemas with the boyfriends or girlfriends, pulling up in fancy new cars. Instances of this can be seen in movies and television characters with established archetypes, such as the confident Jock in his jersey jacket.

 

The genres of film include the acting work of James Dean who promoted American youth culture during the 1950s. His most important film was Rebel Without a Cause (directed by Nicholas Ray), where he played a brooding red-jacketed teenager, named Jim Stark. His untimely death from a car crash, transfixed him into a cult figure of timeless fascination.

 

The term American Dream originally came from a historian in 1931 named James Truslow Adams, referring to That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability of achievement. The colonists of America represented the American Frontier, Thomas Jefferson claimed that everyone in America was “entitled to a life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”. It has since then evolved in the minds of all Americans as an ideal to aspire towards, this 'dream' that they could make their hopes/ambitions a reality.

 

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The Cover-art for 'Outrun' video game published by Sega in 1986. The developer behind the game was Yu Suzuki and Sega AM2. It was a commercial success when it was released, selling over 20,000 arcade cabinets with the game installed in it. The red sports car makes debut, and is actually a Ferrari Testarossa Spider, which is strikingly similar to the car on Kavinsky's 'Outrun'.

The Cover-art for 'Outrun' video game published by Sega in 1986. The developer behind the game was Yu Suzuki and Sega AM2. It was a commercial success when it was released, selling over 20,000 arcade cabinets with the game installed in it. The red sports car makes debut, and is actually a Ferrari Testarossa Spider, which is strikingly similar to the car on Kavinsky's 'Outrun'.

Hotline Miami is a game which was influenced by music score of Outrun. The game's narrative is incredibly visceral, with a teenager donning an animal mask. The lead character is named Jacket and is lead astray into the underworld of the Russian mafia. The fast paced nature of the game allows the soundtrack to really shine, achieving great harmony. The teenage hero is also your typical archetype character, trying to save his girlfriend from certain doom. The pink-neon typeface in the poster is also synonymous with Miami, referring back to the nightlife of the city, and when the drug wars were rife.

Hotline Miami is a game which was influenced by music score of Outrun. The game's narrative is incredibly visceral, with a teenager donning an animal mask. The lead character is named Jacket and is lead astray into the underworld of the Russian mafia. The fast paced nature of the game allows the soundtrack to really shine, achieving great harmony. The teenage hero is also your typical archetype character, trying to save his girlfriend from certain doom. The pink-neon typeface in the poster is also synonymous with Miami, referring back to the nightlife of the city, and when the drug wars were rife.

Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. In this poster there is a feeling of tension, and immanent action. Gosling has his eyes transfixed on something, purely focused on the job at hand. The typography from Drive and Kavinsky's Outrun do share some similarities regarding the design. The poster evokes a type of broodiness, within the central character – something just isn't right.

Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. In this poster there is a feeling of tension, and immanent action. Gosling has his eyes transfixed on something, purely focused on the job at hand. The typography from Drive and Kavinsky's Outrun do share some similarities regarding the design. The poster evokes a type of broodiness, within the central character – something just isn't right.

Understanding Semiotics

The concept of Semiotics is about the usage of signs and understanding how they impact on us. They are all around us, from road signs to stop signs, to traffic lights. 

They are a form of visual linguistics that have immense sway in our daily lives. 

For a quick exercise. .here is the Grey alien. It is an iconic image, and well known type of 'alien'. The signifying word here is Alien. The image/illustration itself is the signified or icon.

For a quick exercise. .here is the Grey alien. It is an iconic image, and well known type of 'alien'. The signifying word here is Alien. The image/illustration itself is the signified or icon.

What do you see in this sketch? Do you see just a mask, or more specifically an infamous character from a well known comic book? How has this particular icon, inspired a well known internet/hacker group?

What do you see in this sketch? Do you see just a mask, or more specifically an infamous character from a well known comic book? How has this particular icon, inspired a well known internet/hacker group?

A common site in shopping malls, and other convinence stores.

A common site in shopping malls, and other convinence stores.

A destructive force of nature, that destroys all in its path. What is it?

A destructive force of nature, that destroys all in its path. What is it?

The Typographic Work of Jessica Hische

Hey!

 

Thanks for sparing the time to check out this little space! This marks my first official blog entry to my website. This place will be where I share my thoughts on the work of established Typographers and Illustrators in the creative industries. I'm currently based at New College Nottingham (NCN) doing my Foundation degree in Graphic Design (Illustration) which i'm currently enjoying - the challenges, learning curves and the importance of social networking!

 

Over the course of my summer holidays this year, I compiled research into a multitude of designers & illustrators, and one of whom who grabbed my attention was Jessica Hische.

 

Jessica's contributions within the graphic design realm is extensive, she has a book out titled In Progress which is a sneak-peak into her creative working process. Which is currently on my Amazon wish list this year.

To see her folio of work, you can visit her website here at : http://jessicahische.is/working

 

Since discovering her work, I was inspired to try my hand at typography and calligraphy which came with varying results. These exercises are a great way of creative problem solving, figuring out how to approach a certain type or font - which takes a steady hand and patience.

 

There must be a few of you out there who like me, do tend to procrastinate and put things off like you do. .You know that feeling, oh I'll do it later at x time, its something we all have to take responsibility of, and learning to forgive yourself more importantly. All those awesome personal projects, sketches and doodles that we LOVE to do because they make us feel good, but at the same time we still have that assignment by Ted we need to be working on!

There must be a few of you out there who like me, do tend to procrastinate and put things off like you do. .You know that feeling, oh I'll do it later at x time, its something we all have to take responsibility of, and learning to forgive yourself more importantly. All those awesome personal projects, sketches and doodles that we LOVE to do because they make us feel good, but at the same time we still have that assignment by Ted we need to be working on!

Here is an example of some practice calligraphy I came up with last week. I did use a guide reference in illustrating this font, specifically the Gothic style. I've always admired Ye Olde Medieval texts and illuminations, the artistry present in them and the symbolism. My affinity and appreciation of all things Medieval definitely came from my Mother who is quite the history buff. Just imagine those hundreds of years ago in Medieval Europe. . .monks and scribes having to HAND illustrate several hundred page plus tomes, and bibles for the monarchs and ruling bodies. Sometimes it could take between 6 months to a few years to illustrate a tome or illuminated manuscript.

Here is an example of some practice calligraphy I came up with last week. I did use a guide reference in illustrating this font, specifically the Gothic style. I've always admired Ye Olde Medieval texts and illuminations, the artistry present in them and the symbolism. My affinity and appreciation of all things Medieval definitely came from my Mother who is quite the history buff. Just imagine those hundreds of years ago in Medieval Europe. . .monks and scribes having to HAND illustrate several hundred page plus tomes, and bibles for the monarchs and ruling bodies. Sometimes it could take between 6 months to a few years to illustrate a tome or illuminated manuscript.