Book cover project – Berlin Wall

Book cover project – Visual Communication 2, Sem 2  March 2013

Goodbye Lenin, Wings of Desire, the Lives of Others. These 3 German films have as a common theme the Berlin wall and how it affects its citizens form East and West Berlin,  it was like an additional individual that transformed the lives of the movies’ characters.

“Ostalgie” is a German term referring to nostalgia for aspects of life or objects in East Germany.

The concept for the artwork for the book covers was to used an specific “ostalgie”  from the film and to create a graffiti. Stencils were used to spray the names of the films and photocopies were glued to the wall. For the composition a 6×8 grid was used for the text,  the rule of thirds, trying to put emphasis on the white space on the wall.

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For the Goodbye Lenin’s artwork, a jar of pickles and 80’s wallpaper the Berlin fall brings capitalism into East Berlin, Alex has to make an effort to keep his mother Christiane unaware that the German Democratic Republic  (GDR) doesn’t exist anymore, and everything has changed from one day to another, including the brands available in the supermarket, Alex has to reuse old jars of pickles and fill them up with new ones that are not from Germany but from Holland.

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In The Lives of Others artwork, there are two versions, first one the Kolibri typewriter where Dreyman writes an anonymous article for Der Spiegel about East German secret suicide rates, his friend and black listed theatre director Jerska just died, he gave him a music sheet called “Sonate for a good man” which is the catharsis of all the characters after Dreyman plays the piece in the piano, specially Wiesler who is listening from the attic, the second version for the book cover is the headphones listening “Sonate for a good man” and represents the turning point for him.

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Wings of Desire artwork Marion who lives in West Berlin says; “I am a foreigner here and yet it is all so familiar, in any case you can’t get lost. You always end up at the wall”

The artwork for the graffiti is the image of Marion on the trapeze, which is the moment she receive the news that the circus will be closed, the angel Damiel is observing her and falls in love with Marion, Damiel not longer wants to listen to stories of Berliners but he wants to tell a story himself, to have physical interaction with humans to feel the cold in the hands and taste coffee.

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For the logo the metaphor of the Berlin wall as a bird cage was used, in the west is like and enclosure, they feel like a bird in a golden birdcage, the paradox is that west Berliners have more freedom but claustrophobic and East Berliners haven’t got the restriction of the Wall in terms of physical space but they have no freedom.

Many East Berliners were monitored by the Stassi so they were like in a birdcage also.

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