Dazzle Camouflage: JUCO Disrupts The Adobe MAX Logo
Every year we reinvent Adobe MAX to capture the essence and focus and heart of the creative community; and every year, a handful of people from that same creative community breathe new life into the Adobe MAX logo.
This year is no different. Except, this year, we asked the artists to come to us. To work in the basement studio of our San Francisco office. On a bare, mural-sized, dimensional version of the MAX logo. Visible from the first floor, everyone in the building could glimpse the projects in process and watch the work take shape.
Photographers Julia Galdo and Cody Cloud (known collectively as JUCO) talk pattern, and prep, and paint, and photography, and post-production:
How did you and Adobe “meet”? For the project or in life? In life, we met in college, when I first had to digitally prep files. I got through almost all of college working analog in the darkroom but my senior year, for our grad shows, we had to print digitally. Cody doesn’t really do post work. In terms of the project, our involvement with Behance has gotten us paired up with a lot of really superb projects; this assignment was definitely a result of that.
What was your reaction to being asked to design a version of the MAX logo? We were thrilled to be a part of the project. Kashka and friends have been wonderful to work with. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
You’re photographers. And your work is bold and colorful and contrasting. How did that style affect your piece? The team that asked us to participate were expecting this type of work. We had pitched a few ideas their way and it just turned out that Kashka had a specific vision in mind that we were happy to fulfill.
How do your roles as photographers mesh with your roles as artists/designers? And how did that melding of identities and skills affect this project? Well, Cody is far more photographically inclined. I’m more interested in design and art direction. So the two of us working together strike a nice balance between the two. We have creative discussions and then we each go off to our respective corners and start to execute the idea in our areas of expertise.
Tell us a bit about your concept (and at what point you decided to incorporate a model). Kashka really wanted a human element in the piece to distinguish it from the others as a photographic execution… which we were happy to do. The concept is based on dazzle camouflage. Also known, according to its Wikipedia entry, “as razzle dazzle or dazzle painting, it’s a family of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I and World War II. It consisted of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other. Unlike some other forms of camouflage, dazzle works, not by offering concealment but by making it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed and heading. Norman Wilkinson explained in 1919 that dazzle was intended more to mislead the enemy as to the correct position to take up than actually to miss his shot when firing.”
Do you often build your own sets for photo shoots? Was designing the MAX logo a little bit like that? When we first started out we built our own sets more often for magazine editorials, etc. Now we collaborate with really wonderful artists to execute environments for our projects. We still build from time to time, which is a lovely experience to take a small break and do something with our hands. And yes, working on the MAX logo was definitely like that….taking a full two days to prep, design, then paint the space. We both love wearing those hats when time permits.
When you’re working on such a large surface, do you sketch your concept loosely beforehand, or, more precisely, draw it to scale? For this, we made many sketches, and then we finally started working with the mask of the piece—which told us a lot about the way it would all come together. We started putting tape down and from there it just took shape.
So, paint. And tape (a lot of tape). Right? Did software factor into your art at all? The post-production definitely relied on Adobe….we like to treat our images afterwards to achieve the boldest, most graphic outcome possible.
Have you ever attended Adobe MAX? No. We’re really looking forward to it this year!
How was working in the Adobe basement workspace? It was fun. The basement is a bit dark and creepy…. but the building is amazing and the light in the space was nice.
Music/background noise when you’re working? Yes or no? Yes! Music all the time! Overtime!
Finish this sentence: Inspiration always seems to strike… in the shower.
A one-minute look at the method behind JUCO’s masterpiece
Be sure to join us online for the Adobe MAX keynotes October 5th and 6th.
JUCO… on color, graphics, fashion, and natural light in Adobe Inspire’s 5 & 3/4 Questions.