For those of us who switched to Macs and never looked back, computer viruses are a threat we need not fear any longer. Our PC-bound cohorts, however, live on in fear, periodically bugged by anti-virus updates, (along with malware that pretends to be anti-virus updates!). I really hadn’t given computer viruses much thought in recent times, until I discovered Computer Virus Catalog—an online-based project curated by Dutch creative Bas van de Poel. The catalog,“an illustrated guide to the worst viruses in history,” is a brilliant collection of illustrations van de Poel has solicited from a pool of designers and illustrators. A brief, insightful description of the virus accompanies each image. In some cases, we even get a glimpse into the inspiration behind the creation of this malice—something that I have always found fascinating and puzzling.
The illustrative styles are eclectic and varied, with some participants responding to the name in a very literal way, others with abstracted compositions or a pattern. I love the idea of this project: it’s focused enough to give the illustrator some direction, while leaving unlimited room for expression; the subject matter lends itself to online publishing, which is simple and cheap; it has a clearly defined scope with enough past material draw from and, undoubtedly, more to come as new viruses are developed and unleashed upon the masses.
Contributors to the project include a couple of my favourites, Hort and Darius Ou, plus many other talented folk. Find the rest of the catalog here, and check out the work of Bas van de Poel, the man who started it all. He has teamed up with Daan van Dam to form creative duo Wonder Years, who have managed to do some awfully clever things in their one year of existence, such is the ingenious Dutch Become a Legend football jersey.