Sound and vision blog

10 April 2014

Sound & Vision # 5: Amine Gebrehawariat

Over the past couple of months Graphic Media Design students from the London College of Communication have been producing coursework inspired by sounds from the British Library collection. The students were given their pick of recordings from the site, and asked to produce graphical works in whatever form inspired them, for a project we called (logically enough) 'Sound & Vision'. Some of the students' work is being featured on this blog over two weeks.

Our fifth student is Amine  Gebrehawariat. The African sounds that have inspired his poster designs can be found on the World and Traditional Music section of the Sounds website.


My name is Amine Gebrehawariat, and I am a third year student at London College of Communication studying Graphic and Media Design. I’m very interested in campaign advertising and it's the area I hope to get into after my degree.


For my project, I decided to visualize the sounds from the African archives using the different textile patterns from these different countries. I’ve worked with more than one sound. I’ve worked with sounds from eight African countries; Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Benin, and Sierra Leone. After hearing the different sounds, I felt that they sounded similar.


Through my visuals, I wanted to show the distinction between sounds from the different countries. Using the patterns, I manipulated them to visuals the beat and rhythm. I felt that this gave the sounds identity, and it made it easier for people to recognize and identify where they’re from. Also, African textiles are commonly stereotyped as being the same, so this fact also inspired me to use the patterns and to show the distinction between both elements.


I really like the idea of visualizing the sounds without using the actual sounds themselves. I felt the illustration of the sounds was just as good, and it also gave the sounds their own characteristics and made them visually interesting. As well as visualizing the sounds, I went down the original route of the brief, which was to promote the sounds to a new audience. This was my initial reason to have a series of posters format as my final outcome for this project.


I can strongly visualize the posters being placed in public spaces, for example public transportation where they’re accessible to a mass audience. I also included the BL sounds website, so that people can know where to go to find the sounds.

Amine Gebrehawariat


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