BRAIN magazine is a leading design magazine in Japan. Every issue of BRAIN, artists & designers are given the simple, yet difficult brief to express a color for the cover image. BRAIN asked Rice Creative to create the cover image for their MAY 2013 issue. Our brief was "Strawberry Red".
Discussions began with color theory. What is color, light, reflection, refraction, etc. We talked matter, molecules. We considered what was strawberry red if there was no light. We moved to senses, like scent. Perhaps it is only a scent. Red is red, but if it smells like strawberry, maybe only then it is strawberry red. Maybe the image could be any color, but smell like strawberries. Scratch & sniff would make it strawberry red. We needed limitations. We decided to show red, & strawberry as a limitation, We kept coming back to the fact that there is no specific strawberry red. Each strawberry is different & has a spectrum of reds on & beneath it's skin. There is no such thing as strawberry red. No pantone, no CMYK, no RGB. The only thing that makes strawberry red, is the context of the strawberry. We began discussing printing with strawberries. The goal became to demonstrate the many of the reds of strawberry red by printing in large scale, with strawberries themselves. It could have simply been a field painting of strawberry derived pigment, but we felt using the pigment to spell the word was even more didactic, like a giant & perfect dictionary entry. The entry could not be reproduced in a dictionary, in traditional print. It had to be created in actual & experienced first hand under a standard type of lighting, close to the lights used for color calibrating. This would be strawberry red.
Cover 3 walls in a giant stencil which reads "strawberry red" in Japanese ( ストロベリー レッド, 苺の赤, or 苺の色 ) And blast huge amounts of strawberries through the stencil with a custom "strawberry gun.” Remove the stencil to reveal the word against stark flat white. This should be done in a studio or gallery, so that the lights can be used to accurately view the result. A projector has been used to create an Anamorphic word, ignoring the natural parallax. Standing back from the composition at one specific vantage point, one can read the word 苺の赤 as large as possible with little distortion. Up close, the word abstracts, and becomes "strawberry fields" where one experiences a full range of strawberry reds. The strawberry gun, is not frivolous, it serves the purpose of distributing large amounts of strawberry pigment over a large surface area in an even fashion over a short amount of time. More surface area of strawberry pigment allows for more experience of the hues.
This is strawberry red.
film by vimeo.com/nadegenguyen