Martin Barker

Martin Barker is London-based graphic designer with specialist skills in illustration and animation.

Live for your Soul

Personal Project, 2016

‘Live for your Soul’ is an expressive piece of typography, featuring contrasted, looping strokes in a hand-written script style. Based on a sketch and inspired by the psychedelic graphic design of the nineteen sixties, ‘Live for your Soul’ is intended to invoke the age of flower-power and freedom.

The phrase is derived from the book Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) and becomes the mantra of central character, Constantine Dmitrich Levin. Throughout the story, Levin searches unsuccessfully for a philosophy to live by, until a chance encounter and conversation with local carpenter, ‘Theodore’ about land rents:

‘He’ll lend, sometimes let a man off, and so run short himself. It all depends on the sort of man.’
‘But why should he let anyone off?’
‘Oh well, you see, people differ! One man lives for his own needs. Take Mityuka, who only stuffs his own belly, but Plato is an upright old man. He lives for his soul and remembers God’. ‘How does he remember God? How does he live for the soul?’ Levin almost cried out. ‘You know rightly, in a godly way. You know people differ! Take you, for instance, you won’t injure anyone either…’

So, to ‘Live for your Soul’, is to listen and live by your inner voice. Most of us know, deep down when we are doing something right or wrong. It’s about being selfless and not stepping on someone to get what you want.


Martin Barker
Graphic Design • Illustration • Animation


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