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The commercial graphic design side of Star Wars

Mark Tomkins
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Back in February, we wrote an article that asked the question ‘Does graphic design have a place in the commercial world?’ – The evidence out of this article discovered that the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’. Not only does it have a place, but with lifestyle products all being brand-lead, the look and feel of an image (all of which achieved by the skills of graphic designers) are very often what sell the product.

We wrote about how a particular graphic designer, Jason W. Christman from Oregon in the US, and how the science fiction phenomenon of Star Wars had created a worldwide industry in the production of graphic novels and pieces of art that were not only stunning but had become lifestyle products.

image1On Sunday 17th July we visited the long-awaited Star Wars Celebration Exhibition at London’s ExCel to both witness the sheer scale of impact from graphic design into the science fiction arena and to meet up with Jason who was exhibiting at the show.

We managed to grab 10 minutes of his time to talk about how he felt graphic design played a role in the promotion of such events and genres. He explained that, by designing and producing pieces of art that celebrated the genre of Star Wars he was meeting the needs of those who had an interest in both the story but also the creative aspects. Artists are also branding out and producing new styles that, whilst keeping true to the Star Wars theme, introduce a new slant and visual aspect.

Jason has recently produced some large pieces of his work that perfectly echo important scenes from the films whilst standing on their own as exceptional examples of how graphic design clearly does have a place in the commercial world.

We were also very privileged to have been given a rare ‘artist’s proof’ copy of his new piece of work that reflects on the one of the iconic scenes in Star Wars, entitled (in Jason’s own hand – pictured here writing the title) ‘Great kid, don’t get cocky’. If this means nothing to you we suggest you immediately watch Star Wars (A New Hope) and await these pivotal words exclaimed by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) himself.

In summary, graphic design quite clearly DOES have a place in the commercial world and for a long time to come.