Draw Me a Sheep!

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“Draw Me a Sheep!”, Zee Engelmayer, 2000.

This graphic design was made by the Israeli artist and satirist Zeev Engelmayer. It was first published as a cover of a local Tel Avivi magazine in 2000, criticising the Tel Avivi tattoos trend as a symbol to the children who were born in little towns and villages and now live in the big and city, revolting against their parents. That was done by taking the little prince, a symbol of childhood and innocence, and presenting him in a new context of adolescence and revolt.

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Typography

The typography in the draw helps to form the criticism of the whole piece. It uses 3 different fonts:

Frank-Rühl is used for the little prince quote. The font Frank-Rühl was invented in 1908 and was the first secular hebrew font. This font was used for many years to print all of the Israeli books and is perceived in the Israeli culture as old and tedious. The original hebrew version of “the little prince” was printed using the same font.

On the other side of the canvas we see a sign, written in both english and hebrew, criticising Tel Aviv residents efforts to get away from its Israeli roots and becoming an international city. I am not sure about the identity of those fonts but they certainly look more up to date than Frank-Rühl.

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Colors

The style of the design is somewhere between a children book and a caricature and it certainly effects the choice of colors. We can see the use of both black/white and a mix of the basic colors. With all that, one color is absent – green. This choice is interesting as in some of the original drawings of the little prince he wears green clothes. The little prince, who stands here topless, stresses the lack of green.

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The original “Little Prince”, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 1943.
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Space

The figures in the design cover most of the canvas, but the interesting thing about the negative space is the difference between the sky and the ground. While the sky is painted with one single color, the ground is composed from a real photo of the sidewalks of Tel aviv, as if the design wants to set us somewhere in the middle between reality and imagination, or perhaps again, between childish innocence and the grownups reality. The same goes when looking at the arrangement of the three main elements in the space, Each one of them gets a third from the canvas width, On the right side is the childish little prince, and on the left is the big city billboard.

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