Designing Alphabets, Messaging and Meaning.
The alphabetic coding of “The Matrix.”
The metaphors of threading content, digital rain, flow and
the loom of meaning in context
I was talking to a team of students from my college days, reteaching, again some of the subjects of my past — now retraced in the present. We talked the dimensional layering and sphering of ideas in building out a marketing plan —
that is, as a model:
— map out the inner sphere — the core seedling of what the message and promulgation [inner / outer] strategy is, starting at, and from, the center.
Thinking about building a strategy — for marketing a proposition — it gains a kind of transparent form, it slides and interplays and turns — interlacing the textuality becomes the strategy of built environments and more holistic experiences – it flows, slides out.
As you work out into the nature of the brand marketing structure – textual ideas — messaging, becomes built strategy that is a sliding set of spherical messaging and design structures in which the information flows from one part of the sphering to another. Think onion — only that the layering of information is transparently moving from one system to another.
Is the sliding messaging of the text to world environment real?
Sure, if you imagine it.
Working with Warner Brothers, Joel Silver and the Wachowski siblings on “The Matrix” was a highlight in a string of theatrical advertising design encounters. Did we get too real in thinking-through the messaging and layering of context — the sliding coding of the alphabet then becomes the fashioning of sliding and evanescent worlds — it’s real, then it’s gone.
We talked about that in the student session — how does theory become practiced reality? Working in NY with the NYC Girvin team we built marketing models.
As with any marketing, you have to dig in — believe it, love it, of forget about it.
Why be there, otherwise?
Enthusiasm and embracement of the holistic concept of the film’s premise — a coded sheathing of the reality of one world perceived, concealed behind the encryption of a filtered film of transportive coding that layered the folded sino-anglo numeric and alphabetic time of one world
with the digital layering of another.
And when it comes down to it,
perhaps there’s some truth to that promise.
we see what we know, that how we see things is
a coding of characters and layers of comprehension
that flows in an endless flowing input of the sheathing of understanding.
What can you read, really?
When you see, what are you reading?
Or how are you being read?
Understanding is “inner standing” —
like sentinels of perception will be how close we are to the action —
insight, [innsihht] a word from the 13th century means to “see inside,”
a mental visioning, with the eyes of the mind.
We grasp what we see in an electrical interpretation of molecular configurations,
how that information is arranged is how holistic sensation is coordinated.
The closer we are, the more we see
to the detailing of perception in experience.
And being closer, we know more —
we’re here in the telling momentum of now.
Could how we see, and read, be an increasing deepening of
the real, and the veils of patterning that layer one sheathing of comprehension to another?
But could that be a code?
Working with the Wachowski siblings — on the Warner Brother’s lot,
it was GIRVIN Seattle’s design team
challenge to build not only an identity for the film,
but an alphabetic concept that spread from
GIRVIN’s design of the logo for The Matrix,
and as well, a holistic layering of how
the sino/anglo ideographical “fonts” could be defined
in collateral, merchandising and promotional strategies.
That might be the layering of idea, language, messaging in the array of
a mystical alphabet that codes the world.
Like with any mystical study of branding, you start at the numerical midpoint — the M, which is what we did with the Wachowskis, talking ideas with one letter — and started with monogrammatic interpretations of an alphabet — this: the single letter studies of the letter M, and how that could be catapulted to an entire way of translating and illustrating the notion of
the raining alphabet codeworld of The Matrix.
Working iteratively with the Wachowski siblings, we offered sets of interpretations that focused on how a logo could work as a key recognizable design element and linchpin for the movie, but broke that down to subsets of linguistic and graphical translations.
That thematic content found its way into
the visual narration of other aspects of the storytelling,
like the animations of Animal Logic [Sydney, Australia and WB | Burbank].
Or the beginnings of the digital rain in the titling:
These days, we still study the same calling — thinking spherical — orbital and , brand spheres of message, layered and transparently shifting and rotating marketing strategy — hybridizedBackgrounder studies for the alphabet of The Matrix movie.
When it comes to making magic —
the transporting and transformational magical and witchcraft journeys from plane to plain —
a translation of portals from one realm to another,
a visualization of one idea,
that becomes another and another,
the notations of the alphabet, in special glyphs and character interpretations, sigil-like markings,
become that code.
They bridge the mind, the ancient memory,
and the characters of magic
that translate the reading and the read,
from one layer of perceptive understanding, standing in —
to a new realm of seeing in.
It’s been said that the real balance of comprehending how an alphabet works
isn’t in the markings of the letterforms themselves,
but what is not marked,
the spaces that demarcate
the mysteries of what lies between
their strokes. It is the drawing of a cartography, mapping ideas and visions — a coding that takes the viewer from one place — through to another.
My coding always starts with one letter.
Tim | GIRVIN | GirvinOseanStudios
G I R V I N | BRANDING MOVIES
THEATRICAL BRANDING + ENTERTAINMENT
IMAGINATION: AND THE TOOLS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN