Zack Ritchie is a young Maltese freelance graphic designer who already has an impressive portfolio under his belt. His Enritch endeavour deals with everything from illustration to animation, so he’s got a lot on his hands. That hasn’t stopped the young designer from embarking on some of his own personal experimentation, and his latest work is as unique as it is unforgettable.
In one of his last Instagram posts of 2017, Zack explained that he was “playing around with Maltese culture and iconic characters”. As soon as you check out the first image, you’ll instantly realise what he was on about; think Mickey Mouse, the popular Luzzu eye, and good old prickly pear which dots Malta’s landscape.
“To be honest, the idea was initially based on the notorious phrase Pajjiż tal-Mickey Mouse,” Zack told Lovin Malta. “But I didn’t want to portray such negativity for our beautiful country. After all, I’m not a negative person, so I decided to put a spin on the phrase to something positive. After all, Disney make children happy, so I started working on an ever-changing character that symbolises Malta… inspired by Mickey, of course!”
In Zack’s own words, the result is what Malta would look like if it were a cartoon character. Recently, he started moving further away from Mickey Mouse, and even closer to something that’s even more Maltese.
“When I think Malta, the luzzu eye is the first thing that pops to mind,” the designer said in an Instagram post. “The second is prickly pears, since Malta’s landscape is invaded by them due to the hot climate.”
Within a couple of posts, you can easily start noticing the tiny tweaks that Zack makes, helping his newly-created character get more of an individual personality. The result? Sheer awesomeness.
“All the elements, from the colours to the shapes, are inspired by our Maltese surroundings and our culture,” Zack told Lovin Malta. “It’s pop-cultural art. I plan on posting a different version every day.”
We don’t know about you, but we definitely need these designs to see the light of day in prints and clothing. Zack, get working on some merch!