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ISTD PASS

Typography

A typographic interpretation of A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Awarded a PASS from the International Society of Typographic Designers 2016.

Anthony Burgess was a novelist, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. He is perhaps best known for his dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange ⁕, which recieved limited critical acclaim.

In the original version of the novel, we are introduced to the teenage protagonist, Alex, who leads his gang of droogs through a series of ultra-violent acts before he is arrested and sent on a course of conditioning therapy by the state. Burgess was inspired by observations he had made of Anglo-Americal society around 1961 and the states propensity for the scientific conditioning of offenders. The book was intended to be a comment on the complexities of dealing with offenders for the greater good of social stability.

However critics saw the book as promoting violence, this was further exacerbated by the release of Stanley Kubrick’s film, which was reported to have triggered a series of copycat attacks.

Burgess created a complex and conflicted picture of how Art and real life interact; the aim of the work produced in response the ‘Eyewitness’ project is to question our relationship with Art and how Art can act as a lens with which we can view ourselves and society as a whole, to ban it is to ban debate and potentially human resolve.

Concept
Using the content of two articles written by Burgess as an eyewitness account, the project is to communicate the lasting controversy, which surrounds A Clockwork Orange. The articles provide the main typographic content for the work but iconic moments from the books are used as a way of contextualising Burgess’ reflections.

A Clockwork Orange has polarised audiences for decades. It’s content has been deemed inaccessible because of it’s extreme use of Nadsat slang, making it all the more intriguing as the content for a typography project. Oppositional forces, good vs evil, fiction vs reality, utopia vs dystopia, optimistic vs pessimistic are referenced in contrasting colours and approaches, formal structures are distrupted and subverted in order to present a visual undercurrent and unsettle the viewer.