Last summer I participated in a contest which brief was to render in one powerful visual the 13 pages discourse of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

The speech in English

Every September, the President of the European Commission delivers the State of the Union Address to the European Parliament.
Here is the 2011 written document in pdf. If you’re into some sort of intellectual sadomasochism (i know i am), you could also watch it:

My response

The target audience is EU deputees. I gather that i didn’t need to explain the acronyms and strategies at stake, but rather show the big message : “Europe is responding to the financial crisis and has a plan in the short, mid- and long term. Eventually, it will crush this crisis.”
It’s a struggle between an institution of humans against a common evil. Therefore i represented each as triangles opposing each other, creating a tension at their meeting point. I then organized the time frame (sort, mid- and long term) on the vertical axis, meeting point showing “where we are currently”.

European Union State of the union 2011
European Union State of the union 2011


I worked out a triangle that would be used to generate the different “weapons” designed by the EU. From this triangle i designed a grid which you can see below. The rest is the more or less rigorous application of proportions and positioning to articulate the different elements of the speech.

The triangular grid system i used


It wasn’t selected in the end but i had fun doing it and it was a good practice of synthesization, so, it’s not lost entirely…