Lydia Harden Bull


Bachelor of Design Illustration Publication Typography Print Speculative Design history
AD20 Award
Marx Design Internship Award
For excellence in Branding and Communication Design

Ditto: A Study of Bootleg

This design is visual experimentation of counterfeit culture, branding and imagery. In the creation of this project, I used my illustrative skills alongside my graphical and typographic knowledge to create a sizable body of work. Ditto became a personal journey of underrepresented aspects of design and art. A way to appreciate the self-produced and distribution of handmade goods that come from an economic system built on exclusivity. It brings me joy knowing that this project could continue on in the future, evolving just as the knock-off market does.

Ditto is an archive of visual explorations and writings stemming from a core admiration for all kinds of bootlegged goods in popular culture. Bootlegging has no intention of marketing itself as the real thing. The aim of a bootleg piece is not to copy existing pieces, only to creatively appropriate brands, mimicking the original but making it the designers own, resulting in a unique looking product. It is about accessibility, ensuring that everyone has the chance to enjoy the same experiences regardless of where in the world they are and income level.

In this piece of conceptual design, there are writings by various collaborators describing different instances of obvious mimicry within popular culture, from children’s toys, blockbusters and fashion. Alongside this discussion are my own experiments with creating bootlegged illustrations. I also attempt to create some light plagiarism in a medium that is not commonly given the copy cat treatment, the world of type design. Personally, this was an intriguing project as it looks at the process of copying as a valid creative medium in pursuit of authentic design.