The UK wide Customs Union backstop : Why a backstop is essential to protect the peace in Northern Ireland - Cover Design
On behalf of the IIEA, I was asked to design a cover for Blair Horan's publication on the significance of the backstop, and it's role in protecting peace in Northern Ireland post Brexit. Given the sensitive nature of the publication's subject matter, I had to approach this task in a particularly sensitive manner. It was stressed in the design briefing to avoid any depictions of violence, or border controls in the illustration. Having previously studied the history of conflict in Northern Ireland, I was acutely aware of the potential to cause offence, if the design was not handled in a tactful manner.
With this in mind, I took a simple, abstract approach to the cover design. I played with negative space and contrast to give the suggestion of the EU and the UK, with their contrasting views on the solution to the border issue with Northern Ireland. The dotted line represents the backstop - the spaces in between symbolising the space for compromise, without a hard border. The dove spreads it's wings across all sides of the debate, conveying the shared goal of maintaining peace in Northern Ireland.
As designers, we often have to be mindful of how our work may be interpreted by other cultures. Much of the design work I create for the IIEA is political in nature, which means I have to be extra vigilant in ensuring the pieces are not perceived in a negative light. I found this project to be an interesting challenge in that respect.
Brexit: Myths and Realities Regarding the 'WTO Option' - Cover Design
The second instalment in the series of publications produced by the IIEA regarding Brexit. This cover design presented a number of challenges. Firstly, the cover had to keep the same visual identity as the first piece in the Brexit series. Secondly, narrowing down the concept for this design proved to be quite a challenge. Although the publication primarily discusses the potential impact on trade (if a no-deal Brexit were to occur), it was made clear to me in the initial briefing that trade wasn't to be the focus of the cover design. Rather, the IIEA wanted the design to communicate the concept of "an uncertain future."
Working with the silhouette style of the previous publication, I played around with the visual of a "light at the end of the tunnel" / "a journey into the unknown." I combined the "opening" of the tunnel with a simple question mark symbol to communicate this uncertain future lying ahead for the UK, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Overall, I believe that this cover design fits in with the established visual identity, and succeeds in capturing the essence of the publication.