Monday, March 23, 2009

The Vision of the 20th Century

Art Deco is defined by the visual motion and movement that is created by the illustrated forms. A time when machines of war turning into machines of transportation. A time when cars are mass produced. It is were we see the birth of branding and when symbols become paramount to design and the message conveyed by the works (usually posters). Propaganda is used to scare and persuade people to act according to the motivation of the political movements. Illustrations were very powerful and Americans basically copied the European style. America didn't develop their own design style until later. Seeing how graphic design evolves reminds me of my own processes in developing my work. Styles need to be experimented with to see what's possible before you wipe the slate clean and try something new.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Emergence of Modern Graphic Design

This is the period when graphic design begins to be taught and studied formally. Much of the architecture and design of this time is still done in new architecture and designs. Guidelines were drawn and in order to be considered a 'modern designer' you had to follow the rules. Many of the designs by these modern designers are still around and still fit with the current design styles of today. Simplicity becomes beauty, form follows function, and that which is economical is the most successful. Though modern design goes through this strict phase of dos and don'ts, it again is turned back to breaking the rules and recycling the designs of the past. Allowing design to open back up greatly benefited the field and it breaks free while still keeping in mind some of the things learned along the way. I can relate to the need of going through the motions to discover why certain things work, what they represent, and how the elements function. Making rules along the way is, I think, very natural. It's as natural as it is to, at some point, throw it all out the window and start again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The New Typography - Discourse 1

• Modern Type Takes Form So Modern Consumers Absorb It Quickly
• Form Grows Out Of Function
• Clarity Is The Essence Of The New Typography
• Logical Organization Is Necessary
• Striving For Order Can & Must Be Expressed In Asymmetrical Form
• Large Differences In Weight Are Better Than Small
• Roman Type – International Type Face Of The Future
• Good Type Has No Other Purpose But To Be Of Utmost Clarity
• Pseudo Constructivism
• Many Mistakes Made

Ornamental type is described as the 'old typography'. It was a type based on aesthetics and beauty. Here is an example of just such type, full or ornamentation and expression. Where, in contrast, modern type is based on clarity and simplicity in form.

Here we see an example of how modern type is thought of today. The most successful is thought to be that which is almost invisible to the eye because of it's simplicity. A concept exaggerated in this piece, and where bad type is thought to be intrusive and loud.

This is an example of Roman Type. A simple type with clarity and structure, created through a grid system of geometric lines and shapes. It is what the author feels is "good typography".

I believe this is an example of what is referred to as Pseudo Constructivism. Mistakes found in type where the information is lost due to poor design. The type is difficult to read and the flow is poorly crafted.

Graphic Design for the Socialist Agenda

During this time period we see graphic design utilized to promote political ideals. Communist visions reject the idea of design as creative expression. The role of art is to oppose old orders and replace conservative visual art. The idea of one vision and equal rights between men and women becomes a repeating theme as well as a revolution and looking forward to a brighter future. Photos were considered more powerful than illustrations and were combined with bold text and colors to draw attention and promote the cause.
Artists working for the greater good called themselves Constructivists. All advertising and packaging were geared toward this social movement as well. The idea of this is sort of scary to me. Political agendas promoted through products used in everyday life sounds like something out of the Orwell classic 1984. All design has a profound influence on the general population and it's unfortunate that it's taken advantage of in this way. I am very interested in the psychology of design and using it in the best possible way so it is interesting to see how this has been done in the past. I suppose all design has a certain degree of manipulation.