The Art of Authenticity

I just encountered an interesting article on NPR about how film makers and set designers in the past managed certain visual effects before the era of computer aided effects. The one section I wanted to draw attention to was about the set design for the 1976 film, All the President's Men. Briefly, the film is about reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in their investigation of the Watergate Scandal. In re-creating the newsroom of the Washington Post, the production designers very meticulously "itemized, measured, photographed and detailed every square inch" of the location.

They are carefully studying and documenting this location to create authenticity in their design. I know that this article is mostly about cinema, but there a plenty of cues we as designers can take from it. There is very much a dialogue about analog versus digital production in the article. As designers I feel that we are constantly searching for ways to make our designs feel more authentic both conceptually and visually and the example mentioned above is just one way in which we can achieve this. This concept is exactly what we're executing in the current visual communication project. Although creating authenticity isn't directly stated in the objectives, the process Jamie has set up for us allows for this to happen naturally.

Article Referenced: Long Before Computers, How Movies Made Us Believe


  1. I heard this on NPR a few days ago! =)

  2. I love listening to NPR, they cover some interesting topics

  3. "creating authenticity". What a great way to (re)state or reinterpret the project objectives!