Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Taylor Shannon Advertising Art Direction


Editorial design
Identity design
Interface design
Publication Design

As the market for newer and cheaper products continually grows, so does the production of knock-off goods. Creating counterfeits is a lucrative business, generating over one-trillion dollars in revenue last year worldwide. Some black market products, known as “yuandan goods”, are even made in the same factories as the originals by stealing the leftover materials. Living in our post-industrial world, mass production and the ability to easily make copies has begun to blur the line between reality and representation. As we progress towards postmodernism there is a danger that the representations we create will come to replace the real and the difference will be indistinguishable.

Driven by greed and a blind assemblage of trends, YUANDAN Magalog is a fuse of a magazine and catalog made entirely from “repurposed” media. The magalog serves as a study in selling products and information back to consumers based on their perceived desires and consumption. Trying it’s best to simulate the “trendy” magazines of the day, each edition compiles products, fliers, advice columns, imagery, and features from outside sources that are then hijacked, and rebranded under the YUANDAN name.

Creating the magalog at a time where my resources were greatly limited was a one-of-a-kind experience that ultimately shaped the results. Combining my photography and illustration with materials sourced from other places provoked unexpected observations on consumer culture and the humor that comes with the desperate attempt to make a dollar.