Lorenzo Bernini’s Fictional Brand Archive is a dream for any design-savvy fan of films, TV or games
Originally designed and curated for the Milano-based designer’s Masters thesis, Lorenzo Bernini’s Fictional Brand Archive is a meticulous, engrossing digital catalogue of fictional brands featured across culture – from the silver screen and television serials to video games. Studiously archived, each aesthetically analysed brand details its principles, where it’s featured and how it was used – a feat Bernini describes as the most complex and time-consuming element of the project. “I started by making a long list of the fictional brands I wanted to include,” Designer Lorenzo Bernini tells us, pulling on the brands he could remember or any suggestions made and collating all the information he could. “The most difficult part, however, was gathering all the necessary images to show each fictional brand application,” he recalls, “often this meant watching a lot of films and series back and even re-playing some video games,” hoping to find every innocuous moment where “a piece of paper, sign or poster showed the identity of the fictional brand” in some way or another.
Discussing his favourite featured brands, Bernini reveals how difficult it is to make a single choice for the number one spot. “It’s hard to choose,” he remarks, instead opting to highlight one for each medium showcased. “Aperture Science from the Portal video games might be one of my all-time favourites,” Bernini suggests, praising the manner in which the game and its designers playfully exploit the visual stereotypes of corporate brands. “E-Corp is a very grounded and extensively developed brand,” he continues, “that plays a central role in the narrative of the Mr. Robot series,” playing directly into the show’s themes, “and, finally, Weyland-Yutani from the Alien series is one of the very first well-thought-out and structured fictional brands,” Bernini notes, having now withstood decades of exposure, sequels and prequels. “It remains creepy and fascinating to this day,” he adds.
Having consumed the vibrant multitude of fictional identities, the task of curating led to Bernini meticulously tackling the visual language of the project itself, opting for a supportive and practical graphic layout – championed by the use of Dinamo’s Diatype as the hero typeface. “The functional/minimalist aesthetic of the site was chosen to emphasise the content,” he details, “and ensure a clean and user-friendly experience,” hoping to focus purely on the fictional brands themselves and the impact they offer. “I wanted to let them fully express their communicative power and allow visitors to easily navigate the archive without distraction,” Bernini suggests, setting out with the goal of achieving as much whilst somewhat referencing Unimark’s old brand manuals. “They use a very systematic and minimalist approach to showcase the firm’s world-renowned brand identities,” he tells us, “the New York subway one is great.”
If you’re a big film fan or perhaps have a suggestion for a brand that could feature, don’t forget to get involved. “There’s a link to a form on the info page of the website,” Bernini concludes, “where anyone who wants to suggest a missing fictional trademark can do so.