"Isle of Dogs Poster"


Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs (2018) is widely considered to be a cinematic masterpiece, exhibiting one of the strongest and unique visual styles of film and photographic history.

However, a western design that attempts to portray an eastern culture is bound to cause uncertainty regarding historical accuracy, cultural sensitivity, and racial power dynamics. In the case of "Isle of Dogs," many argue that the film is an example of orientalism and cultural appropriation due to its depiction of Japan as purely an aesthetic instead of a living culture. Anderson's inclusion of taiko drummers, sumo, haiku, cherry blossoms, and even mushroom cloud as visual fodder in his film strikes controversy, as these references have to do more with assumptions than reality.

The original film poster of "Isle of Dogs" demonstrates these concerns of cultural tourism through the exoticism of Japanese characters superimposed over photorealistic trash. By revamping Anderson's disputed visual style however, I plan to pay greater visual homage to Japanese people, their culture, and their history.

To accomplish these design goals, I analyzed Anderson's aesthetic choices, thoroughly researched pivotal art movements of Japan, and used Adobe Illustrator to synthesize a poster that both conveys the narrative of "Isle of Dogs" and commemorates Japanese culture, all while being cognizant of approving appretiation versus offensive opportunism. Below is my process book which details the steps I took to create this poster.

This design project aims to:

- Explore the relationship between type and image
- Demonstrate the ability to create an attractive design that will sell a product
- Practice creating large scale prints