Overview » 99 Red Balloons is an illustrated picture book inspired by the lyrics of anti-war protest song during the Cold War.
Cold war, 1960s, short story, hand-drawn
Markers, colored pencil, charcoal, InDesign
Dermot Mac Cormack
Inspiration » Nena’s “99 Luftballons” tells a powerful story: Balloons released by civilians are mistaken for military aircraft when they float over the Berlin Wall, leading to nuclear war. I liked how the lyrics imply a darker theme.
Visual Direction » I chose a black & white palette to strike a somber tone and red to foreshadow danger. The hand-drawn lines and textures on cream paper make the story feel raw and puts it in historical context.
Process » This was my first time illustrating this way, and I had fun exploring materials, and working with tracing paper, markers, and a scanner for a change.