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Money and Morals don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Yet Ray Oranges doesn’t shy away from non-obvious subject matters. His bold shapes and geometric compositions offer clarity to topics that range from the esoteric to the economic. Ray cleverly twists everyday forms so that recognisable objects and buildings reveal more than first meets the eye. When The New York Times’ brand marketing agency T Brand Studio looked for illustrations for a feature focused on environmental and social investment, Ray’s graphic designs capture the interception where money meets humanity.
Throughout this feature for Northern Trust, natural foliage flanks building blocks of urban space as city high-rises morph into notes and coins. ‘Northern Trust create eco-sustainable capital. It’s so important to introduce the optimistic aspect of eco-sustainability’ exclaims Ray. His positive approach to the project plays out throughout the imagery. Green hues are a nod towards the environment whilst Ray’s signature bright shades and uplifting skies lend the article a sense of optimism.
Illustrations bare dual symbolism as money combines with social conscience. ‘My imagination comes into its own when I make images with layered narratives’ explains Ray. “Although urban infrastructure is very suited to mathematical subject matters’. A curvilinear progression of rising towers that lift up towards the sun adds an architectural element to a traditional financial bar chart. A bold, earthy colour palette announces the positive impact of responsible investment.
Ray’s striking illustrations are a natural fit with digital features. When producing images for this article, Ray carefully considered technological elements such as web scrolling. His well defined shapes and use of popping colour translates into kinaesthetic visuals with fluid ease. Additionally, the digital format explores the potential of Ray’s work with arresting on-screen results. Ray himself embraces this digital direction and the opportunity it offers to ‘interpret illustrations with a more interactive, dynamic approach’. Combining organic forms, fiscal symbols and human action, the illustration asserts responsible investment as the root of positive environmental and social change. The effortless conversion of Ray’s illustration into moving graphics is an engaging call to the user.