Frenchy flags subversion

Flags are filled with national symbols that do nothing more than summoning an emotional connection.
Immediately and widely recognisable, bold and colourful, flags are the most commonly used national symbols in twentieth-century war propaganda.
They are such potent, powerful and familiar visuals, in fact, that graphic designers would often use only the national colours to convey their message.

At the Sirdab, we are fond of flags. Click on the 'flag' tag & see for yourself... However, our pick this time is the French flag.
Parody is another means of contemporary communication often used by engaged artists & activists alike. Have a look at these subverted French flags; the message is, for the most, clear and loud, as the parody used is to generate some sort of awareness around major issues. The emblems designed are highly politically charged.
For more on flags, culture-jamming and spoofs, click on flags.
We bet that you'll find an unexpected archive of 'flagedelic' imagery gathered and brought to you by the Sirdab.

Are you Snoopy, Nosy and/or Gossipy?

Design above by kjapelian

The often spoken proverb, 'HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL AND SPEAK NO EVIL' is one of my favourite sayings ever. This phrase was put into practice in the form of three monkeys carved: Mizaru, with his hands over his eyes, Kikazaru, with his hands over his ears, & Iwazaru, with his hands over his mouth.

These famous monkey trio has been popular for eons.

In English, the monkeys' names are often given as Mizaru, Mikazaru, and Mazaru.
Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolises the principle of "do no evil". He may be covering his abdomen or crotch, or just crossing his arms.

Although commonly spoken, the origins of the three wise monkeys are rarely known.

The main guess is that it is derived from a religious phrase, "If we do not hear, see, or speak evil, we ourselves shall be spared all evil."
It's such a good advice, especially as it is so difficult for people to hold their tongue, not backbite and gossip.

Even the meaning of the proverb is widely interpreted, ranging from not being nosy and spreading rumours to not being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The popular phrase in Japanese translates to: "mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru."
The Japanese word for monkey being "saru." However, some say that the three wise monkeys aren't Japanese in origin even though the source that popularised this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The maxim probably originally came to Japan with a Tendai-Buddhist legend, from China in the 8th century.

Whatever its origins or interpretations are, this is one Golden Rule: speaking unkind, evil, or judgemental words is no use to anyone.

Have a look at these funny reinterpretations of the proverb and simply take it as a reminder not to be snoopy, nosy and gossipy.


Click to enlarge image

This year marks two significant moments in the history of science: the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of the publication in 1859, of his "On the Origin of Species."
Arguing that mankind was descended from primates, Darwin's theory has been facing criticism from those who said that he was rejecting God.
On Darwinian topic, we will be posting graphic variations of the iconoclastic theory of evolution, that is said not to be believed by 2/3 of Americans. Indeed, one poll, commissioned by CBS News, revealed that more than half of the US population believes that God created human beings in their present form.
Would these funny visual interpretations do any good to the theory? Doubtful...

Anyhow, these examples of intelligent designs will bring a smile to some faces; at least, we hope it will, while the battle between evolutionists and creationists keeps raging on till date.



Legendary artist John Van Hamersveld is best known for his poster for the 1964 blockbuster surf documentary/film, '"The Endless Summer" and his album covers for the Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour), The Rolling Stones (Exile on Main Street), Jefferson Airplane (Crown of Creation), the Grateful Dead (Skeletons in the Closet), Kiss (Hotter Than Hell) and Blondie (Eat to the Beat), to name a few.

However, his credentials are endless. Among his other creations: an official poster and 360-foot-long mural for the 1984 L.A Olympic Games; illustrations for magazines such as Esquire, Rolling Stone, Billboard; branding and logos for Fatburger, Contempo Casuals and Broadway Deli.

The iconography of his oeuvre runs deep, from Day-Glo tones to trippy swirls to the grinning “Johnny face,” an icon in itself.

Like an acid trip in ink on the paper of space and time, John Van Hamersveldʼs graphics have transcended the psychedelic ʻ60s and become classic images that are as futuristic as they are vintage.

“Post-Future,” opening March 7 at Shepard's Fairey's Subliminal Projects art gallery, features many of Van Hamersveldʼs classic works juxtaposed with re-imaginings of those images, recent retro- styled pieces and a never-before-seen series of drawings connecting past and present.
Through the show, Van Hamersveld creates a lens, through which the past can be seen and the future can be sourced, where imagery melts into a pool that is both the source and the destination of creativity.
Van Hamersveldʼs book, also titled 'Post-Future,' is set to be released in September.


Bad Typography is Everywhere, says Craig

Sirdab has, for some while now, spotted this artist. Since then, we've been fervent admirer of London based illustrator, Craig Ward, posting several brilliant stuff made available on his online space dubbed 'Words are Pictures.'
Here is a sample from Ward's latest type-based design expressions.
As brilliant as we got used to! A true delight!!