Responses by Aistė Jūrė, creative director, NEW! Agency
Background: Eureka! is an independent bookstore with a meticulously selected collection of books. As the owners are great readers themselves, you can ask them for any book recommendations. Because of the quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19, the bookstore faced hard times and there was a risk that they might close down. The challenge was to help them survive.
Reasoning: We, as an agency, had already been involved in a number of projects that encourage reading, including the “Become Someone Else” print campaign for used bookstore Mint Venetu and the national Book Start initiative, in which new parents give their children their first books. So, we were in search of a new angle how to show that books are worth grabbing.
With no chance of “actual” traveling, everyone has been “dreaming” about globetrotting adventures. Hence, we thought about a classical insight: Why not “dream travel” with the aid of a book? With this in mind, we created a series of illustrations with six travel destinations—Italy, France, Japan, the United States, Latin America and Space—and twelve book recommendations overall. We wanted prospective readers to be able to empathize with their future “journeys,” so we collaborated with illustrator Justine Shirin to create a vibrant everyday life snapshot from different parts of the world.
Challenges: The campaign was held at a very strict schedule: different destinations were shared every week. That said, the illustrations had to be drawn accordingly.
Favorite details: While creating the illustrations, we aimed to create images that would hint at where readers could travel. Not wanting to state the obvious, we did not use the traditional elements that usually represent the different countries—for example, the Eiffel Tower for France. Instead, we used subtle cues to designate each place, and made it easy for readers to feel what the atmosphere of the trip is like. Also, in each illustration, we included at least one book as a key element that transported readers to another place.
Visual influences: Justine takes her inspiration from her previous experience in the architecture and interior design fields. Following these professions, Justine combines modern architecture and contemporary design with mid-century furniture. Recently, she started bringing people into her illustration as well. In the case of the Eureka! illustrations, the mood was created using both these elements: figures and space.
Specific demands: We were happy to choose an illustrator whose drawing style has naturally influenced the initial creative idea. Justine’s illustrations tend to inspire a feeling as if something has happened, some kind of scenario or story. They are full of mystery and even a hint of crime. Although they are very static, there’s a sense of a narrative. We saw this as a unique advantage of hers, so the working process went smoothly and we quickly gained a mutual understanding, which was the result we hoped to achieve.