Established in early 2020, Co-Exist create and sell ethically sourced, environmentally friendly products inspired by the marine ecosystem. The proceeds of these sales are then contributed to ongoing marine research and conservation efforts across the globe.
A key goal identified early into the initiative’s conceptualisation, was to produce unique artwork for their products. Designs were sourced from numerous artists who were given considerable creative freedom, myself included.
In terms of approach, I wanted to avoid creating singular, disconnected pieces and instead, determine a theme that could be explored through a variety of designs.
Pollution at the heart of life
As you might’ve heard – pollution is a major issue in marine research and conservation. Given the environmentally friendly approach to product sourcing adopted by the team, it made sense to use this as a conceptual starting point.
I produced a series of rough drafts that experimented with pollution in a variety of ways, with two in particular standing out.
The first we named 50/50; top-down illustrations of animals where one half would be comprised entirely of rubbish. The items would be depicted in such a way that they maintained visual consistency with the other half of the subject. Their form is accurate, but only upon closer inspection does the viewer learn come to appreciate the reality of what’s before them.
The second concept was called X-ray and works on a similar principle. In this case, we’re given a view of the animal’s internal organs which have been replaced completely with rubbish. Again, the general shapes and forms are correct, but what they actually depict only becomes clear when the viewer invests more time into analysing what’s infront of them.
Co-Exist’s head honchos felt these concepts struck the perfect balance of being visually unique and conceptually relevant, while maintaining a style that was suitable for the target audience.