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Compulsive Copying - A Visual Series

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An explorative series in conceptual visualization, using the repetition of single symbols to form new inspirational elements.

For as long as I can remember, I have been doodling and sketching away with almost everything that sticks to almost anywhere it fits. In my early teens, I started with computer graphics and then the detail-oriented individual within me came out, and my doodling became more controlled because of how easy it was to make everything align, scale and modify to the pixel-based screens.

I miss the compulsive sketching, and sometimes I still do some doodling with pen on paper.

I always talk about the importance of visual literacy and how crucial it is to expose ourselves to visual shapes, abstractions and detailed cues to better decipher and read visual communication.

It gave me the idea to start a series on computer-aided compulsive copying of visual artifacts and symbols to explore and to be used as inspirational material for any visual-based foundational research work like branding/identity, UI, typography, layout, art direction, illustrations, and much more.


Let's ⌘+C to ⌘+V

The first graphical symbol in this series is the so-called 'four-pointed star'. A very beautiful icon and shape on its own, and a highly versatile symbol that adds a magical twinkle where ever it is used.

four-pointed star

Copying a symbol unleashes a ton of options and interesting variations to play with. The most common one is to put symbols in rows or circular shapes.

Another example is to use a symbol in patterns or grids, you can also distort a symbol by rotation, direction and motion.

Copying symbols is great when exploring typography styles. It's easy to identify and construct the basic shapes of alphabetical characters. A letter symbol could easily be associated with a logo mark, which could come in handy when designing identities, for example.

Add colour and let it conceptually bake... 

If we do some further exploration, without using any text or information, we can let our minds fill in the blanks of what a symbol could represent and even imagine the context it lives in.

When we introduce colour and background to our symbols or bring them into contextual environments like 3D renders or mockups we apply an extended conceptual meaning to the shapes we've created that nourishes new ideas and usage.

I urge you all to explore the visual realm of shapes, symbols and figures to get a better understanding of the material you're working with and discover the possibilities that are hidden within the material itself. Why? Because it'll unlock perspectives that will fuel your creative mind and give you new ideas down the road.

Until next time, stay golden and keep copying.