In 1984 as imagined by George Orwell, most of the world is under the control of an immensely powerful totalitarian state called Oceania, ruled by an entity called the Party. Its ideology is Ingsoc (English Socialism), whose doctrines include devotion to the leader, Big Brother, and destruction of individualism and independence. I have long been a big fan of the book, and I wanted to create how I’ve always imagined this world would look.
Visual referencesOrwell wrote his book in 1948. Nazi Germany was a fresh memory, and the brutal reality of Stalinist Russia was becoming clearer. The symbolism of these regimes (swastikas, red, hammers and sickles) were a starting point for designing the symbols of Oceania and Ingsoc.
The ‘world’ of 1984I expanded on the national symbolism of Oceania by looking at historical styles such as Constructivism and Bauhaus, and taking inspiration from the Hauntological aesthetic of Ghost Box and Scarfolk.
Orwell also makes mention of writing machines, so I imagined the typesetting to be mechanised, using a monospaced font which I named ‘Newtype’ (after the impoverished form of English that Orwell called ‘Newspeak’).