Remix is anti-aging medicine for media. While we've been cutting, copying and pasting for hundreds of years in our songs, stories and visual art, what used to require scissors, glue and whole lot of mess, now just takes a few key strokes.
Digital media has become another raw material for creatives, like paint, pencil or clay. But unlike other materials, those of remix are not neutral, they carry history. The materials of remix were once made by someone else at a particular moment in time with unique motivations, inspirations and perspiration. At times in homage and at others critique, remixing folds the past into the present.
Remixing in contemporary visual culture is a direct descendent of the methods of Cubism, developed by Picasso and Braque, just before the First World War. Their painting and sculpture presented the world as fragmented and heterogeneous. Shortly thereafter, Dadists like Hannah Höch took this a step further. Literally cutting, copying and pasting, they recognized the figures found in widely available mass media as the building blocks for fantastical new creations and surprising tools of political critique.
Stickers in many ways are ready-made collage ingredients: a way you can leave your scissors & gluestick at home, and just enjoy the fun part of finding the perfect context for your favorite sticky pictures. Unlike cliche characters from dusty pages of iconic magazines, stickers were conceived from the very start as tools of remix. You cannot use a sticker without placing it in a new environment, and in so doing, changing its meaning. The same could be said for digital stickers used in social channels.
As we set out to design Apply's visual identity as a sticker brand focused on creative empowerment, we knew that things like a clean wordmark and tight color palette would be table stakes (thanks Aaron Robbs!). But to live our values, we knew that our identity itself needed to be the subject of perpetual remix, a work in progress, eager to be changed by stickers and more.
Take our glpyh alone, pictured here becoming the rays of the setting sun; or the white glyph, floating above a photochrom landscape, ominously surrounded by pilons, as if a construction site or crime scene; or the black glyph, brought to life as a knight composed of only picture frames & outreached arms. We've started to collect & share these brand remixes with imagery that you're likely to see in future product releases, under the moniker "All Apply" (on our website here). While we've had fun letting our imaginations run wild, we're even more excited to see where you all take it!
- Detroit Publishing Co., Bernese Alps, 1905
- Hannah Höch, Indian Dancer, 1930 (left), Georges Braque, Still Life with Tenora, 1913 (center), Fugees, The Score, 1996 (right). Also Getty Images.
- Detroit Publishing Co., Sunrise, 1905, Photochrom Print (left), Detroit Publishing Co., Bois du Boulogne, 1905, Photochrom Print (Center), Alfred Stieglitz, Lake George, 1922. Enameled frame, 19th c.; Probably United States Pottery Company, 1852-1858, Mottled brown earthenware; Sansovino-style frame, mid-16th century, Pine (right). Also Getty Images.