Research

Exploring the Frontiers of Visual Identity Design as Envisioned by Science Fiction

Original Entry 02.24.2020

Enemies of Reality

Category

Resistance Movement, Terrorist Group

Scenario Date

Year 2107

Enemies of Reality is a radical human resistance group, fighting the oppressive government of Robo-City 16. It is engaged in hacking and counter-propaganda, and has increasingly resorted to terrorist tactics like assassination.

Identity Designed by

Josan Gonzalez

Source

  • The Future is Now 2 (2017 art book)

Overview: Symbols of the Enemies of Reality


Intro: Enemies of Reality

The Robot Rebellion ushered in a new era for Robo-City 16, which saw the creation of the four ministries, led by two humans and two robots, and the introduction of the K3n3-DY Program, which created and designated a Robo-President. The Directives were also established, creating guidelines for human and robot coexistence:

1) Humans and robots are equal before the law. 2) You shall not question the decisions of the Ministries and the Robo-President.3) You shall not blend metal and flesh. 4) The safety of The Machine is the supreme directive.

Peace and prosperity came at a cost, and not everyone was content with the way things had changed. Some feared the power of the ministries, and the corporations that were aligned with them. Surveillance and police brutality crushed any form of subversion. In spite of broad human acceptance of the situation, this eventually led to the formation of a radical resistance group known as the Enemies of Reality, led by a character named Sai, who we follow in the book.

Much thanks to Josan Gonzalez, aka Deathburger, for answering my questions and sharing the inspiration behind the symbols and logos he created for The Future is Now 2.

<p><strong>Figure 1.1</strong> The Enemies of Reality are led by Sai, a cyborg woman whose story we follow in <em>The Future is Now 2 - Neon Rising</em>.
</p>

Figure 1.1 The Enemies of Reality are led by Sai, a cyborg woman whose story we follow in The Future is Now 2 - Neon Rising.


Symbol Usage

<p><strong>Figure 2.1</strong> Here the E insignia is seen on Sai’s armband, and on the subversive poster she is pasting to the wall.</p>

Figure 2.1 Here the E insignia is seen on Sai’s armband, and on the subversive poster she is pasting to the wall.

<p><strong>Figure 2.2</strong> When the police raid the Enemies of Reality hideout, we see the E insignia on the computer monitor.</p>

Figure 2.2 When the police raid the Enemies of Reality hideout, we see the E insignia on the computer monitor.

<p><strong>Figure 2.3</strong> As the rebels head out on their mission, we see identifying symbols on their clothes, and the E insignia on a poster.</p>

Figure 2.3 As the rebels head out on their mission, we see identifying symbols on their clothes, and the E insignia on a poster.

<p><strong>Figure 2.4</strong> As the rebels fall to the forces of Robo-City 16, we see the Enemies of Reality symbols on their clothing and armor.</p>

Figure 2.4 As the rebels fall to the forces of Robo-City 16, we see the Enemies of Reality symbols on their clothing and armor.

<p><strong>Figure 2.5</strong> As Sai navigates the underground of L3n1ngrad in the Eastern Frontier Federation, we see the inverted triangle on her shirt.</p>

Figure 2.5 As Sai navigates the underground of L3n1ngrad in the Eastern Frontier Federation, we see the inverted triangle on her shirt.

<p><strong>Figure 2.6</strong> When the rebels of multiple nations join forces, we see the Enemies of Reality well-represented with insignia.</p>

Figure 2.6 When the rebels of multiple nations join forces, we see the Enemies of Reality well-represented with insignia.


Design Analysis

The Enemies of Reality use an inverted triangle and the letter E as symbols of their resistance movement, independently as standalone marks or combined with other elements to create insignia. We see them used on the clothing and body armor of characters that identify with the group, and on things like posters and computer screens.

I asked Josan Gonzalez, the creator of The Future is Now, what the thinking was on the symbols, and he explained that the inverted triangle represents the fight against established power and subversion. This is particularly evident when we compare the mark to that of the government they are trying to bring down, which uses an opposing triangle shape in its mark (Figure 3.1).

The inverted triangle is also a feminine shape and ancient symbol of female divinity, and Josan was aware of how it could take on that meaning as well, given the power and leadership exhibited by Sai and other female characters in their fight against an oppressive government. He also saw this being reinforced by the inverted triangle’s containment inside a circle, with the circle being interpreted as a mother/lunar symbol.

As I was researching these connections to existing symbols, I came across an interesting coincidence — the inverted triangle in a circle can mean “machine stop” in some contexts (Figure 3.2). For instance, in the past it was used on the interface of dictating machines. While unintended, the connection between this symbol’s use in machine controls and how it is used by a rebellion against control by The Machine strikes me as a fitting one.

In addition to the inverted triangle within a circle, we also see the letter E used within the triangle and independently, as a somewhat less ambiguous symbol — the E standing for Enemies of Reality. The E appears in serif and sans serif forms, drawn in the sort of informal way you might expect from a ragtag group of rebels.

Regarding the usage of these symbols and insignia in the story, Josan had an interesting point to make about the way they are worn on rebel armbands and clothing, in a similar manner to what we see from those in power (Figure 3.3). He wanted to drive home the point that “in the end [the] rebels are also a violent militia; their acts are not too different from what we call terrorism, so there is a reminder in these symbols that they could also end up crossing to the other side where the ‘repressors’ are.”

In this light, we see that the identity not only opposes, but also mirrors that of the Ministry of Information. It illuminates a dynamic between the two forces, and raises the question of what the rebels will do with their power if they can win.

<p><strong>Figure 3.1</strong> The symbol of the Enemies of Reality uses an inverted triangle, directly opposed to the triangle that represents the Robotic Union’s Ministry of Information, which they are fighting.</p>

Figure 3.1 The symbol of the Enemies of Reality uses an inverted triangle, directly opposed to the triangle that represents the Robotic Union’s Ministry of Information, which they are fighting.

<p><strong>Figure 3.2</strong> In Henry Dreyfuss’ 1972 <em>Symbol Sourcebook</em>, I found the inverted triangle in a circle also represents “machine stop” in some contexts — though unintended, it is an interesting and fitting connection.</p>

Figure 3.2 In Henry Dreyfuss’ 1972 Symbol Sourcebook, I found the inverted triangle in a circle also represents “machine stop” in some contexts — though unintended, it is an interesting and fitting connection.

<p><strong>Figure 3.3</strong> The way symbols are used in some of the same ways, by the oppressors and the oppressed, is meant to allude to the possibility of the rebellion becoming the monster it fights as they resort to terrorist tactics.</p>

Figure 3.3 The way symbols are used in some of the same ways, by the oppressors and the oppressed, is meant to allude to the possibility of the rebellion becoming the monster it fights as they resort to terrorist tactics.


<p>Cover image for <em>The Future is Now 2 - Neon Rising</em></p>

Cover image for The Future is Now 2 - Neon Rising

The Designer: Josan Gonzalez

AKA DeathBurger

Illustrator, Architect and Grand Maker of Pizza. Head Archivist of The Ministry of Information of Robo-City Prime, Robotic Union. Designated by The Machine to manage the New Citadel 9, an independent publishing house that releases all The Future is Now related books, prints, original art and merchandise.

Rituals performed at:

Dynamite Entertainment, Boom! Studios, Dark Horse, Games Magazine, Agat and Cie Films, Medium Corp, Editora Aleph, Wired Magazine, Avex Music Group, Paramount Pictures, RoadSec, Harmonix Systems, Metallica, Mondo, Pearl Jam, CDProjekt Red.

Ocassionally summoned at:

3D Total's Sketching from Imagination: Sci-Fi, ImagineFX (FX Posé, March 2016)

To learn more, visit:

Official Website

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