A Déjà Vu

I was going through my old stash of designs that I did for the school and freelance work years ago and I was beyond surprised to find a CD cover – front, back and spine – that I did in one of my graphic design classes at the School of Visual Arts back in 2005.

We were given a choice of picking our own music albums. I picked one of my favorite back then CDs – film music from the classical retro films, which explains the ‘theme’ of my CD – the graphics and type I chose to use: Charlie Chaplin and ‘film roll’. But this was not what surprised me, or rather shocked me…

What surprised me was the way I chose to do the back cover of the CD – I chose to make the Charlie Chaplin silhouette out of the type – the names of the songs make up the silhouette. Mind me to remind you that it was in 2005.

Now, does it remind you of anything? Because, when I found this old CD covered designed by me for one of the graphic design classes I took at SVA almost eight years ago, I realized that it looked very similar to the movie poster for “27 Dresses” that was designed by Paula Scher, one of the greatest graphic designers alive today, which she did in 2008! So, what does it mean for my self-esteem? Guess!

My 2005 CD cover:

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The back of the CD cover I’ve designed in 2005, where the silhouette of Chaplin was made out of the type – the names of the songs.

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The front, back and spine of the CD cover I’ve designed at the SVA in 2005

Now, this is what Paula Scher did for the film “27 Dresses” in 2008:

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This finding definitely pumped up some blood in my vains and just made me want to be a graphic designer even more, because – just because someone did something years, decades, and/or centuries ago, doesn’t mean that there’s little for you to do.

Just look at the works of the other designers as a reference, inspiration, awareness and go from there. Believe me, if you are a creative person – the craft would come to you at the most unexpected moments. And THAT reminds me of the following quote:

Every designers’ dirty little secret is that they copy other designers’ work. They see work they like, and they imitate it. Rather cheeky, they call this inspiration.

— Aaron Russell

In other words, just because it’s been done before, doesn’t mean you can’t do it better and/or use it as an inspiration for your work.

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