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In the early 1980’s graphic designer Peter Saville was the Art director/graphic designer of record covers for Factory Records in Manchester New England. He designed a color code graphic wheel that applied to Graphic art in records with the intention of juxtaposing ‘the hieroglyphics off technology with historical classicism” The intention was to make obvious the contrast between a classical image and technological elements. Creating an obscure and secretive bond between music lovers. Please see images.


Image 1. Album cover of Power, Corruption & Lies. New Order

Image 2. Color wheel included in Power, Corruption & Lies. Color Wheel Album Art.


From an outsider perspective the city of Pittsburgh not only represents an important part of the country’s history, but there is also an idea of unity and identity that makes it an attractive place to visit. There is the claim to be one of the most livable cities. And is a city known to be passionate about sports.

The challenge faced in the proposal for the banners is how to portrait the city of Pittsburgh in a bold, unique and contemporary respecting the given rules like “no text” “no logos”. 


We are proposing the overlapping, blend and stitching of three main components: 1. Written color code messages. 2. Images of Pittsburgh’s significant people. 3. Digital Pixelated Background. 

1. Written Color Code Messages. 

The approach taken in the design the banners is to revisit and reintroduce Seville’s color code into a more public and accessible context. We are proposing the display of messages in color-code organized in three horizontal color bars emerging from what we call television glitch. These 3 horizontal bars represent the rivers Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio. The color-code messages are nicknames that the city had been given through time: City of Bridges, Steel City, the ‘Burgh, City of Champions are just a few examples. 

2. images of significant people. 

The color messages are meant to be juxtaposed over images of Pittsburgh’s significant people. Which can be historical, or contemporary characters. (famous politicians, athletes or artist). The example we are providing in the graphics is an image of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. The images in some cases can also be art from local artist.

3. Digital Pixelated Background.

The glitch/tv static looking background refers to the technological paradigms of our time creating awareness that we live in a society based and dependent of a fragile technology. The background is also intended to provide a strong but flexible base to place the selected images of people/art and be able to place the selected color code messages.


The integration between the pixelates background against color code messages and images enables the overall composition to have a strong presence on the intersection of Stanwix St. and Fort Duquese Blvd. and at the same time to blends into the urban fabric when the banners are perceived in conjunction with surrounding buildings.  


The desired effect is to provide the audience with an immediate statement of color and familiar images related to the city of Pittsburgh. Once the banners are studied more, or they become more familiar in the context, the color code messages will create wonder and speculation in the audience about the meaning and significance of the color rectangles. The intention for the proposal is to create meaning that goes beyond first impressions.   


The selection of the “code messages” and the images of characters and art have been proposed as placeholders only. We consider this project a collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh and the presented renders are not intended to be a final product. 

Some of the images we used for this presentation are taken from public domain. We believe in the reutilization and reinterpretation of existing context as a creative process. 

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