Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I read the article "The meanings of type" and it gives a little more historical reference and meaning to designers if they have ever wondered why specific typefaces are chosen for assignments or pieces, or why we are “drawn” to some typefaces rather than others. These two quotes sum it up for me: "type design and typography are routinely informed by conscious and unconscious contexts that change with time." This is how our conscience knows which elements of a design work together. For example it gives the historical context of blackletter and psychedelic type and contemporary designers of today know these types send messages subconsciously because they were used for Nazi design and “free love” movements. The Espers image is a good example of contemporary design using 60’s type that works because it promotes a Folk Film Festival in Philadelphia. “Practical and commercial motivations prevail but social and political rationales are never far away" is the second quote that I think serves a clear message. You have to think about the product and “making it sell” but the social and political references you might be making by choosing typefaces is also important and you don’t want to send mixed messages. That is also why it is important to be universal because different cultures see things differently.
Source: eyemagazine.com, Issue 50, article author Steven Heller, image: www.espers.org
Sunday, December 7, 2008
You might be thinking, "well duh!" I knew what I was designing and who I wanted to target. But was I actually designing for them? Was I going to reach the audience I wanted to or was another going to like it?
First and for most the user is the number one person. And in return we as designers get feedback and information on our users/audience, whether its in the younger crowd (teens to mid thirties) or the older crowd (60+) and anywhere in between.
Monday, December 1, 2008
"Never mistake legibility for communication." ~David Carson
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I think it is very interesting to compare the two. Actually, I guess I should say contrast the two, since there really aren't any similiarites between them. The WWI poster is much more subtle, in its message and colors. The modern poster is so much louder and 'in your face.' The design of this one is pretty clever. The designer chose to parody the popular iPod ads.
Those iPod ads are everywhere, so I think just about everyone knows what they are. If you can't read the text on them, the real iPod ads say "10,000 songs in your pocket, Mac or PC," and the war poster says "10,000 volts in your pocket, guilty or innocent."
My, how times have changed! Obviously, these posters are describing two very different wars during two very different times, but I still think it is interesting to note the differences between them stylistically.
I also thought that the placement of the bottom poster was clever. Not only is it mimicking one of the iPod ads, but it's right in the middle of a bunch of the actual iPod ads. It would be kind of funny to be walking down the street looking at these iPod ads and then suddenly be looking at that!
I like the work from the Dadaist. I may not get why they reformed when it seems it was just another direction that art was moving in. The graphics catch my eye the most. It is just randomness and chaos; sometimes I wish I could just do that, but everything has to be so precise for me. There is no rhyme nor reason to anything, it's just there.
Monday, October 6, 2008
So in class last week, Tyler said something about a majority of persons in the design business getting out of it and reasons why they would. So I tried to find advice from some successful designers with longevity in their field.
Michael Bierut (image 1) said "Clients are most afraid that you’re going to go off and design something without really listening first. Just keep asking questions: the more you ask, the more you’ll understand what the client is looking for in a designer."
David Schimmel (image 2 & 3) said "Figure out what your vision is, what your interests are and where you want to focus — and then spend the time when you’re not designing pursuing clients in that area. People work with people they want to work with, not necessarily those who are best for the job. And it’s not always fair. Instead of fighting, try to embrace it, and then you can succeed."
Michael Schwab (image 4) said "You cannot be shy. You have to be aggressive. It helps to be obsessed and driven. When you’re starting out, strive to work for people who really inspire you, and who you admire not only creatively, but ethically."
To find more advice and profile information including how and why they got into the business, their "keys to success", tips to a sustainable career, favorite accomplishments, and SO much more, check out http://willsherwood.com You can see their work in a larger format and there were also 7 more designers interviewed including illustrators!!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I liked several of the pieces, including the Gutenberg Bible leaflet, most of the contemporary books, and another book written in French I later found out (the one that had the history about everything way back when). The Bible leaflet was incredible! To look close up at the printed section and then compare it to the hand written section you couldn't see any differences between the two. My favorite of the contemporary pieces was the "candy box". How clever and ingenius!
Overall the trip was fun and educational.
Monday, September 15, 2008
This is a great example of what advertising looked like during the Industrial Revolution. Many typefaces were used, and even some were hand drawn. Often times the most important text have shadows behind them. A lot of information was crammed into one advertisement. Some information so small that you could hardly read. I have also noticed that most advertisements during this time used distorted text. Mostly in the shape of an arch or a wave. The ads were very decorative with a lot of detailing, often around the edges. Information, images, and text were placed all over the place with no rhyme or reason. Most things I have mentioned are cons, but there are some pros. For instance they knew that to provide emphasis on something they should make it bigger, bolder, or have shadowing to make it pop out at the viewer. They were able to put a lot of information into one ad and it may not be very successful but they have started to group information together and form the beginnings of a layout.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The Crystal Palace was a great innovation of the industrial revolution in Great Britain. It was both acclaimed and criticized for its design.
The pros of this creation include:
--It was modular (made of standard units that could be easily constructed)
--It could be (and was) disassembled to function for its temporary use
--Made of fairly inexpensive materials (glass and iron)
The cons include:
--A mechanical design that was criticized for its dehumanization and standardization
Stylistically, before the industrial revolution, buildings were made of concrete, stone, and heavy materials. Gothic Revival architecture was still popular, so this lead to the battle between Gothic and Classical. The Crystal Palace lead the way to the modern style and just as expected, cleaner, simpler forms became popular.
Friday, September 12, 2008
If you Google the Victorian Era, images of fashion arise. Yet if you type in Victorian Era art paintings appear.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I found this image in the AIGA design archives. This is the cover art (designed by John Gall) for the book Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann. Doctor Faustus is a work of fiction that follows the life of a German composer in the 1940s.
The typestyle used for the cover is Fraktur, which was based on calligraphy. This particular typestyle was created by a German printer, Anton Schonsperger, in 1506. I think this typestyle works well for the cover of the book for a few reasons:
- This typestyle just looks very German to me (which makes sense, considering that it was created by a German). Without knowing anything about the book, I assumed it was about someone German, or something related to Germany, just by looking at the cover.
- I have not read this book, but all of the reviews I read claim that the book has a very dark and pessimistic feel to it. To me, this typestyle is very dark and ominous looking, which seems to fit the book.
- At the time this typestyle was created, the word Fraktur was not only the name of a typestyle, but also a generic term used to refer to all blackletter type. Blackletter type has a very dark feel to it, which goes back to the dark tone of the book.
I think the designer did an excellent job of conveying the feel of this book. It shows that you don't always have to use a lot of color or pictures to get your point across. You can tell just from looking at the cover that this book is not a fluffy piece of reading, but a very heavy one.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Well, my image wouldn't save either, but to look at it just search the aiga.org design archives and search for the book titled Still Such because the cover is designed in the typeface Sabon as well as the text in the pages of the book itself.
Sabon was designed by German typographer and designer Jan Tschichold in 1966, based on the sixteenth-century typefaces of Claude Garamond. It is classified as Humanist or Old Style and the typeface is frequently described as a Garamond revival.
The typeface is appropriate for this book's cover because the book is about classical literature and Sabon is a classical font. I read a quote from the book and it spoke of "first country life" and "first Europe." It seemed to me that the speaker was inspired by his/her country's rich heritage, enjoyed Europe's beauty and splendor, and had a zest for life. The reading seemed almost poetic and the Sabon typeface shares this tone. Its fluid, organic shape and varied thick-to-thin curves reflect the human form from which it was inspired and it is used successfully in this design.
sources: thinkingwithtype.com, wikipedia.com, aiga.org
I found a book design off of the AIGA archives search engine. It was titled The Potomac Canal and having it set in Jenson typeface is seemed very scholarly. It was a history book and I could tell this by the name, George Washington, underneath the title. And on second thought, the type seemed to disappear into the clouds of the painting that was also on the cover causing a little airy feeling.
I think the designer of the book cover did a decent job. I think the title could have been larger, because the painting becomes the center of attention when first you want to know what kind of book it is. When I first looked at it, I thought it was an art book then I went in search of the title and found it to be a history book.
While the cover is simple it also packs alot of information onto the cover and it makes the reader want to find out more about the Potomac Canal and George Washington.
If you would like to see the book cover simply:
1) aiga.com, and click on the archives at the top of the screen
2) Once inside the archives, search Jenson
3) The book cover was the seventh choice.