Leonello Calvetti's Crude Math
Almost every major conflict from the last half century can be attributed to struggles over energy. Oil’s value has gone from monetary to cultural, representing all the baggage that’s been attached to the market and political engagements. Contemporary oil companies are the most profitable corporate endeavors in human history, and they're tied to a market swayed by the volume of natural resources, untethered from human desire.
Because of new methods of extraction, the prices of oil have fallen by more than 50% in six months. It’s changing the way the industry, and the world, are doing their calculations on the future of energy. Fortune Magazine dove into how the economics surrounding oil have changed, and put the story on their cover for the International edition. “Oil’s New Math: How oil’s dramatic plunge has changed the energy equation” explains to the rest of us how the terrain has changed, what we should expect, and what remains in question. On thing is for certain: a lot of economic researchers are looking for answers in between graphs and calculators. It’s a lot of math.
To illustrate the ideas within the story, the magazine tapped Leonello Calvetti to create a compelling image speaking to the issues. Leonello was given a wide berth to experiment, using the theme of math and playing off of mathematical symbols. No stranger to using liquids, he gave Fortune a range of options and together they narrowed it down to using the multiplication symbol. “I suggested we use the multiplication symbol because I thought it was the most beautiful and interesting sign,” says Leonello. “And they liked it so we went ahead with it.”
As an Italian illustrator, Leonello has illustrated oil before, but crude oil is a game all its own. He experimented with different techniques before arriving at the final composition. “I did some research and went online to see how crude oil looks more closely. It has some transparency only when it becomes very thin,” explains Leonello, which explains that color gradient you see in his illustration. Substances like crude oil are especially challenging to get exactly right. We’ve included some of Leonello’s sketches on the way to the final cover image so you can seehow texture and color changed as he and Fortune worked together.
Leonello Calvetti Refreshes Rue-La-La's Website
E-commerce has changed the way that shoppers approach luxury retail. Upscale brands once only available in brick and mortar stores are now available for perusal and purchase on the Internet thanks to new online retailers. Rue La La is an invitation-only online site that offers private sales of luxury items available only for select periods of time. Members benefit from a curated selection of goods at a discount price.
Rue La La recently refreshed their homepage with a new image by Leonello Calvetti, an eye-catching 3D roller coaster track twisted into the shape of Rue La La's letters. Says Creative Director Amy Van Aarle, "Rue La La is all about style and confidence, served with a twist. And for us style isn't just what you wear - it's how you live your life and how you see the world. With the roller coaster concept, we wanted to convey an experience that's intriguing and unexpected, but also optimistic and fun. Rue La La is an ever-changing, delightful destination, and our homepage is the perfect place to convey that."
Prior to the rollercoaster, the Rue La La landing page image was a hot pink hued lollipop. Notes Van Aarle, "We love working with Leonello.When we came up with the idea for the Roller Coaster, we knew we had to have Leonello make it. We worked with him on the last version of our homepage as well, which was a big delicious pink lollipop. People ask us all the time if they can get one of the lollipops, they can't believe that someone actually made it with a computer (and that they can't get their hands on one!)."
Years of experience in traditional illustration lends Calvetti's 3D digital work an especially real touch. His first iteration of the Rue La La logo was a fully functional track. As the coaster progressed, the complexity of the track was scaled back for legibility. Photographs of trees were added over Calvetti's finished coaster. The final product is fun and sure to delight visitors of the site. Visit the Rue La La website while the rollercoaster is still there, in six weeks or so, a new image will take its place.
Van Aarle concludes, "I want it to be a little like a dream - it's there for a wonderful little while, then poof, it's gone."
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