Brief: Wanting the very sought after and award winning Noma Bar to create a cover for Diplomat magazine
Noma’s images are clever, slick, minimal and humorous, his trademark style is a unique combination of caricature and pictograms. Perfect for a cover on Defence.
We created Diplomat’s first split run cover on the subject of defence for the February 2012 issue. The two images I choose use a single color and it was Noma’s idea and excitement that persuaded me to use Pantone 805 for both the covers. It reproduces as an orange/peachy highlight. The pictures do not in any way do the color justice.
Soon after the cover had been printed Noma agreed to an interview…
My first questions to the Israeli genius is how he views the world, is he always looking for the visual story in shapes and colours or is he able to just be and let his mind rest? My question is soon answered when a part of the brick wall we are sitting by unexpectedly falls off. Picking up the brownish concrete, Noma looks at the sugar bowl in front of us and places the fragment on top of the sugar. The piece of wall looks exactly like the brown sugar and if we had left it no one would ever have known the difference!
This is an example of how Noma’s mind works and shows the beginning of how an image is created. The onlooker MUST pay attention as there is always more than one message in his work. Sometimes his images are political and at other times there is a sexual undertone but always the images are subtle and clever.
Noma places the rogue piece of wall on the floor and I continue with my interview.
Noma likens himself to an athlete; he lives what he does and is utterly committed to his work. He tells how his “Pointed Sense” print, featuring two dogs saying hello (the only way they know how), came to life. Whilst walking in the woods he saw the two dogs, one black and one white, and faster than Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan could say ‘Sssstt’ their greeting was immortalized in graphic art.
Noma has been working incessantly for the past 12 years. “If you want to last more than a year in this business you have to be committed and organize your time”. Just like graphic design legend Milton Glaser, Noma draws every day (read my Milton Glaser interview here). Noma also has the same reaction to computers as Milton does… “the computer is a tool that is all, it is not a brain! Knowing what you want from the computer is the only way of getting the best results.”
Noma proceeds to let me have a sneaky peak at his latest commission… eight limited-edition covers for April 2012 issue of Wallpaper magazine. Each cover image takes on a different country to fit the theme of Global Design.
These incredible 3D covers are part painted in a studio and part actual products which are used to create scenes which are then photographed. These covers are beautifully thought out and if you’re not looking twice Noma isn’t happy.
I struggled to see the second image in the Italian cover but instead of getting frustrated Noma was excited that I needed more time to uncover what was hidden.
Eventually there is a huge “ahhhhh” from me as I see the two men on the scooter. This is the normal reaction to Noma’s images, they make you work but they are definitely worth the effort.
Noma obviously enjoys seeing people react to his work, he smiles and enthusiastically goes on to show me the next image.
His ideas are endless, new books in the pipeline and fantastic ideas for up and coming exhibitions. I have been sworn to secrecy so alas can not say anything else apart from how excited I am to see what Noma will do to surprise us all in the coming months!