Designer Beans

This project was part of my art history module during my first year of university, we each were given a tin of beans and were given the name of an important artist, designer or illustrator, the artist I was given was Alexander Rodchenko. We were required to research our artist/designer and consider their main style, materials they used, their approach to their work, as well as their personal opinions and the social contexts that inform their practice. Then we had to affect the tin in a way that represents your designer/artist, communicating their work or concepts in an effective and efficient manner. The label had to include space for the name of the artist/designer, a short quotation/statement of no more than 30 words that informs people about that person, their attitude and their views.

For ideas I looked at the work that Alexander Rodchenko had done before, I focused mainly on his constructivism work and the posters he did.

This is my first design idea based on the Plakat poster from 1924.

This is my second idea for the baked bean tin label I based it on a combination of a couple of pieces of Rodchenko’s work. I also translated the tagline ‘Different sauce, same on toast’ from the original Sainsbury’s label. I also kept with the idea of a picture of the tin with baked beans in front of it.

I decided to go with the first design idea that is based on Rodchenko’s Plakat poster from 1924. I decided to take my own photos of baked beans and the tin to use on the label.
While looking at ‘Plakat’ for inspiration for the label I noticed that he mainly uses primary colours, black and white. I kept a simple colour palette for my design by using orange, yellow, red, black and white. Considering that Rodchenko is a Russian designer I wanted to put some of the writing on the baked bean tin in Russian so I looked for a Russian translation for the words’ Baked Beans’ I looked on the Heinz website as they are a well known company and I found a translation and some images of a Russian Heinz baked bean tin. With the text used on the label, I wrote the words ‘baked beans’ in Russian by hand and scanned it in and drew round the letters in photoshop. I neatened up parts of the letters and tried to keep it looking handwritten similar to the typography used in the posters designed by Rodchenko.

I started the design in photoshop by drawing the outlines similar to ‘Plakat’. I filled the different sections with colours that corresponded with the original baked bean tin label from Sainsbury’s. After writing out the Russian for baked beans and scanning it in then drawing the letters I realised how hard it was to draw the different characters in Russian so I decided against putting in the ‘different sauce, same on toast tagline that is on the Sainsbury’s can. For the baked beans and tin I wanted to put on the label I decided to take my own photographs, I took several photos of the tin and beans to make sure that I had enough if some turned out bad. after selecting the parts of the photographs I wanted to use I made them black and white to go with Rodchenko’s style of photography.

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