Research

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

Original Entry 02.21.2020

VR Corp

Category

Electronics, Entertainment, Manufacturer, Media, Virtual Reality

Scenario Date

Year 2107

VR Corp is a corporate conglomerate specializing in virtual reality and mass media control, used to pacify and control the citizens of Robo-City 16. The corporation’s CEO, Lady Reytiel, runs the Ministry of Information in the Robotic Union government.

Identity Designed by

Josan Gonzalez

Source

  • The Future is Now 2 (2017 art book)

Overview: The VR Corp Identity


Intro: VR Corp

In Josan Gonzalez’s sci-fi narrative art book The Future is Now 2 - Neon Rising we find a dystopian cyberpunk world run almost entirely by megacorporations. In the Robotic Union, they control the government ministries, and even the Robo-President is acting CEO of K3 Industries, the largest manufacturer of robots, electronics and mechanical components.

Of those corporations, VR Corp is the most visible in the book. Led by its robot CEO Lady Reytiel, who also heads the Ministry of Information, the company manufactures virtual reality products and entertainment to pacify the masses, while using the Ministry of Information to nullify the Robotic Union’s political dissidents.

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> Lady Reytiel, CEO of VR Corp and Minister of Information.</p>

Figure 1.1 Lady Reytiel, CEO of VR Corp and Minister of Information.


Logo Usage

<p><strong>Figure 2.1</strong> The VR monogram can be seen in the background of Lady Reytiel’s office, where it is built into the wall.</p>

Figure 2.1 The VR monogram can be seen in the background of Lady Reytiel’s office, where it is built into the wall.

<p><strong>Figure 2.2</strong> Child laborers wear the VR monogram on armbands, and the VR Corp stacked logotype can be seen on product packaging.</p>

Figure 2.2 Child laborers wear the VR monogram on armbands, and the VR Corp stacked logotype can be seen on product packaging.

<p><strong>Figure 2.3</strong> Throughout the detailed scenes depicting life in Robo-City 16, we can find fun posters advertising VR Corp to the masses.</p>

Figure 2.3 Throughout the detailed scenes depicting life in Robo-City 16, we can find fun posters advertising VR Corp to the masses.

<p><strong>Figure 2.4</strong> As VR Corp CEO Lady Reytiel’s decapitated head is thrown through the air, we see the VR Corp logotype on a building’s facade.</p>

Figure 2.4 As VR Corp CEO Lady Reytiel’s decapitated head is thrown through the air, we see the VR Corp logotype on a building’s facade.


Design Analysis

The VR Corp visual identity appears in the story as a standalone VR monogram, and in a stacked lockup of VR and CORP, depending upon the application. The monogram can be seen in Lady Reytiel’s office, and on the armbands of child laborers. The stacked lockup appears on the virtual reality product packaging, on posters and signs, and on the exterior facades of buildings.

The details change too. In some instances, the V and R are not joined. And depending on the size of the logo as it appears in the illustration, the R can be rendered with defined legs and a counter space, or with those details erased, in smaller instances where the letterform is reduced to simpler geometry. This treatment of the type calls to mind retro gaming typography (Figure 3.1), and we see it applied to the VR monogram and the CORP type that appears in lockups of the full company name. And this is just one of many 1980s–90s references The Future is Now pays homage to.

One of the more dystopian applications of the corporate identity are the company armbands worn by child laborers, who are seen manufacturing and packaging VR headsets. Armbands are usually worn by military personnel or uniformed civilians, where they are referred to as armlets or brassards — which has precedent in sci-fi for that purpose (Figure 3.2). You typically don’t see armbands branding employees with a corporate affiliation. This implies that VR Corp probably runs a regimented, militaristic operation, and wants to project that image for their brand. And of course, it is communicating to readers that on top of the horrible fact that children are toiling away for this corporation, they are probably treated as property of the corporation as well, with it having applied the same logo to them that we see on the product packages in the same scene.

Beyond VR Corp, we find that armbands are a brand expression that appears over and over again throughout The Future is Now, driving home the fascist and militaristic nature of this future’s power structures (Figure 3.3). It’s a world where allegiances matter, and authority is overtly projected via heavy handed visual identities. In this context, the fun and bubbly VR Corp visual brand takes on a sinister tone, and their tagline “The Future is Yours” is more obviously a lie. Because what we are seeing is a future where the corporations own and control everything.

<p><strong>Figure 3.1</strong> The PAC-MAN logotype is probably what comes to mind for most readers, when they see the VR CORP logo reduced to simpler geometry.</p>

Figure 3.1 The PAC-MAN logotype is probably what comes to mind for most readers, when they see the VR CORP logo reduced to simpler geometry.

<p><strong>Figure 3.2</strong> Child laborers are branded by the company, where the logo appears on armbands they wear. Armbands are usually associated with military uniforms, in both reality (top right) and sci-fi (bottom right).</p>

Figure 3.2 Child laborers are branded by the company, where the logo appears on armbands they wear. Armbands are usually associated with military uniforms, in both reality (top right) and sci-fi (bottom right).

<p><strong>Figure 3.3</strong> Other armbands of political allegiance, from <em>The Future</em> is Now. Clockwise from top left: The Robotic Union, The Enemies of Reality, the Eastern Frontier Federation, and The Network.</p>

Figure 3.3 Other armbands of political allegiance, from The Future is Now. Clockwise from top left: The Robotic Union, The Enemies of Reality, the Eastern Frontier Federation, and The Network.


<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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