Ah the pleasure of rummaging through a crate full of Legos in search of the right brick and the right color - a real Proust's Madeleine !
As you probably know, graphic designers are big kids, and they love to play this timeless construction game. The return in force of a certain "minimalist wave" mingled with regressive geek culture has given rise in recent years to a sudden appearance of creation and various reinterpretations of popular icons based on lego.
Lego itself has cleverly capitalized on this phenomenon to produce a series of highly effective and original posters. (brilliant campaign created by German advertising agency Jung Von Matt) I will leave it to you to guess the characters behind these chromatic ranges :
Even Christophe Niemman , the illustrator famous for his New York Times covers, couldn't resist this construction game, which he skilfully used to depict certain aspects of everyday New York life. These playlets were published in the book "I lego NY", from which here are a few extracts :
This is a "Lego" version of our famous red-and-white graphéine pill, which had recently been turned into a square - as if it were made up of just two pixels - a detail that made this modest creation much easier.
Have you ever tried revisiting logos by building them with Lego bricks? It could create some amazing sculptures!
I'm also sharing with you an attempt to reproduce one of my comic strip characters in Lego. And that's when you realize how difficult the task is, and above all how important it is to have the right bricks :) It's an exercise that, in many ways, can be likened to pixel art.
In a much more virtuoso category, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the astonishing "Lego evolution" photographs by Chris McVeigh. His work presents technological evolution through a succession of Lego brick reproductions of computer and digital devices.
Nice Chris, he even shares a tutorial on how to create your own Lego computer :
In fact, lego is an inspiring brand for creative people the world over. Advertising agencies have understood this, designing "fake" lego campaigns to demonstrate the creative power of their teams. From then on, designing a Lego campaign has become a stylistic exercise, and one that the Lego company is sure to appreciate !
(Sources : http://www.dailyinspiration.nl/creative-ads-for-lego )
Behind this fascination with Lego bricks lies a fascinating legal history. One might even go so far as to say that the history of Legos is one of the most fascinating legal stories I know.
Legos were created at the end of the Second World War, when the use of plastic became widespread, by a Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen, assisted by his son. The LEGO group then sought legal protection from the competition through a patent registered in 1961 on its bricks. But this protection was only temporary, and in 1988, the exclusivity conferred by this patent disappeared. This opened a loophole into which several competitors, the LEGO Clones, sought to slip.
LEGO reacted by trying to change legal ground so that it could continue to protect itself through intellectual property rights, which, as everyone knows, provide much longer legal protection ! Next, it was on the trademark front that the company sought to continue its fight.
It ended in 2010, when the European Court of Justice refused to allow LEGO to use trademark law to artificially extend its patent. It ruled that the shape of the LEGO brick did not meet a need to identify the product, but fulfilled a simple utilitarian function that trademark law cannot protect in itself.
Today, many competitors exist, but probably none will achieve the fascinating notoriety of Lego!
Finally, we'd like to remind you of two articles that have already appeared on this blog, also dealing with legos:
- CyKlop is a "street artist" who turns street studs into lego heads !
- "1,2,3 let's go!" an absurd and poetic tribute to this little lego head !