Final Year Project / University Project
Nominated for the Areen Award for excellence in graphic design.
Mastodon is an electronic music collective & community platform, the goal of which is to promote and to showcase the best in electronic music, artists and events across Beirut. The identity and communication strategies of mastodon deal with an escapist fantasy and communal engagement. I’ve attempted to create an escape into the past, present and future, into primitive beliefs and nature, a place where there is a loss of sense of time..
By superimposing and collaging differents natural elements ,which are taken out of their context, into a manmade order, I’ve created an alternate reality, a place removed from life because in reality these visuals do not exist. The layering of these visuals are used in a way to recall the way the music is created. Just like Dj’s and producers take & record different elements, sounds, drum beats and layer them to compose a track. They uses analogue and digital machinery to create their tracks, which I’ve attempted to do as well by combining the natural elements and superimposing them digitally.
Another important aspect of this scene is represented here, where the faces of the DJs are not directly presented to you in the poster. In fact, ive opted not to answer and use the conventions of rock star posters, because the electronic music scene deliberately wanted to break down the usual rock starworshipping in music. Instead of alienating the fan, I’ve approached the visuals in a way to put the promoter DJ and raver on the same level. Personal identities are thus rendered meaningless which evokes the disappearance of the ego. Djs and ravers become one, and form a community. The poster advertises the music instead of the DJ and people can relate to it more easily.
Mastodon also releases a monthly newsletter, to further emphasize this idea of a community platform where exchange of ideas and electronic music is available.
The design of the newsletter itself is a more functional one, as you can see in it’s simplicity. It is designed in a way to provide news and information for an easier reading process. The middle spreads have been designed for the reader to take them out and put them up as posters if they wish to do so. But basically, Mastodon offers many promotional items as part of their deliverables to further instigate this idea of a community platform.
When it comes to the design of the record sleeves, I’ve opted not to use the faces of the particular DJ. This way, the music basically sells itself. Furthermore, the random portraits that I’ve used have a circle cropping their faces. This links back to need of the disappearance of the ego. Who you are does not matter, you lose yourself to become part of something else. The addition of a shrouded figure shows how the individual is eventually submerged in this surreal environment. Moreover, the protective plastic is also designed. While usually they aren’t and are only used for protection, I’ve included nature drawings to furthermore show how the individual gets submerged into a primal past.
The names of EP titles, track name, track artist do not actually correspond to the artist in question and/or are made up for the purpose of this project