Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Created by Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn, Gorillaz is a band consisting of four illustrated members. The two came up with the idea for a completely fabricated band in 1998, after watching too much MTV and deciding they wanted to comment on how fake pop music was at the time. The band consists of 2-D, Noodle, Murdoc, and Russel. They’ve won many awards for their music, and their second album went five time platinum in the U.K. Hewlett also won the Design Museum’s Designer of the year award in 2006. Some of Hewlett’s other work includes Tank Girl, and album art for Mindless Self Indulgence.

There’s somethin
g very distinctive about Hewlett’s art. You can see it in the posture, the jawlines, and the faces of his characters, with wide mouths, and slanted eyes and a somewhat... lanky feel to their bodies. His images have plenty of personality, and tend to be very colorful, with clean black outlines. I think the idea of creating a band and having the member’s be cartoons is genius. It takes the idea of album artwork above and beyond, illustrating the band itself, music videos, photos, etc. I find the colorful characters much more appealing and a better face for the music that you’re average musician.


  1. Im so glad somebody posted something about this. As a young lad i've always been listening to the gorillaz and extremely interested in their whole aesthetic and art. These characters have always stuck in my head as they are very memorable yet simple on design terms. Not only is this band genius but the fact that they play shows holding true to these holograms and characters gives a whole new life to the band and their shows in generals as it takes a 2 dimensional object and puts that as the focal point instead of themselves which i think is brilliant. Even their animated videos are just so visually mind blowing as they incorporate high tech animation techniques that are so synchronized with their music. These guys fucking rule, it makes me start think about any other artists that incorporate drawn cartoons as part of their image, i know this has started a small trend closely linked to animation and music but i cant think of any other big band that has integrated these 2 on a scale this big which makes that part of their image.


  2. When I first saw this, it only reminded me of how bummed I was to have missed the Gorillaz concert that was here last Saturday. Did anyone catch it? :(

    I totally agree with you that the band and concept is brilliant.In terms of the intent that we focus on for this class and for our posts, I think they achieved it and have gone above and beyond their original intention. Hewlett's art style is creepy but really intriguing and as you mentioned before, the characters have so much personality.

    I also agree their videos are awesome. I really love the elaborate background and stories the characters have and how the videos are just continuations of their journey.

  3. Jamie Hewlett had really taken this idea above and beyond. I know he started out with comic illustration with tank girl. But with gorillas, he's does fully animated live concerts, their website is fully interactive and each of the characters has enough back story that they are believable as living people. They've even made live appearances as puppets in balconies. This is really just a fantastic example of a small idea growing into something amazing.

  4. I never really looked into the background of the band, but I really enjoy the music. Last year my roommate was reading a book on the band. He was telling me how the cartoons had stories about their origins. I thought that was awesome. To draw fictional characters, give them good music to play, write a background for each of them, and have it work well together is incredible. Gorillaz are a great example of crossing over multiple medias. Can anyone else think of an example that does this?