Mars Re-brand ICON Magazine
KittoKatsu was asked to rethink an existing brand for the RETHINK department of the British ICON magazine. After some deliberation, we decided to reimagine the cliché-ridden planet Mars, previously known for little green men, planet-destroying Martians and its hostile, cold living conditions.
In a world where travel to Mars is possible, we invite the viewer to „Take a trip“ and „Find out for yourself“ to throw their preconceptions overboard and form their own picture of the red planet. The design plays on familiar clichés and places them in a new context.
(the full text of the article below)
Stereotypes seem to be necessary evil. Created by our brains, they are a useful technique to help us sift through and categorize information more quickly and therewith make sense of the ever more complex world around us – when you hear a bear coming, you better be frightened, no questions asked. In many cases though stereotypes and prejudices are unfounded and lead people to discriminate and jump to (wrong?) conclusion.
When thinking about planet Mars, all kinds of stereotypes come to mind – we’re thinking about the ancient god of war, dust storms, little green men, the face of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s opponent’s head exploding in deadly Mars atmosphere and Matt Damon growing potatoes.
For some reason, Mars with its dramatic red color, has always been the planet in our solar system to particularly sparked people’s imagination. We have read and seen countless stories surrounding the hypothetical Mars inhabitants, most of them ugly looking, hostile creatures that were out to invade earth and destroy us all –most famously the long legged machines in H.G.Wells’ War of the worlds. Then there were the friendly Martians and little green men with their antennae, the stereotypical portrayal of extraterrestrial life until today.
After the first actual space probes landed on Mars, stories shifted from alien invasions to a more scientific view of the planet. But thinking about all those films of the recent years, from Total Recall to Ghosts of Mars, the image of the red planet didn’t necessarily get any better.
In our Rethink project, it was our goal to give Mars a ‘clean slate’ and to ask people to discard all their preconceived ideas and associations with the planet (aliens, chocolate bars, space suits…) and to rather ‘Find it out for themselves’. With our bold and colorful campaign, we play with cliché and stereotypes to provoke and attract attention, while juxtaposing it with a key visual that is literally Mars as a blank canvas that wants to be filled with new images and ideas.
ICON magazine, issue 167, 5/2017