Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Russian designs comparison

Russian design after the Bolshevik Revolution (collage to the left) utilized shapes, elemental forms, and emotional color. Visuals filled the layout and were the dominant element (with little type included) so that the message could be accessible to all (even the illiterate could understand the message). The purpose for art at this time in history was mainly politically-centered. The government owned everything and designs were created to propagate the socialist ideals. The Russian's avant-garde art was "a composite of antagonistic groups, each with its own aims; Symbolism, Cubo-Futurism, Rayonism, Suprematism, Constructivism, Productivism, Concretism, and Engineerism were all invented to prove that a minority of the experimental artists were correct and the overwhelming majority wrong" according to art historian George Costakis. Contemporary Russian design, on the other hand (examples above), is more expressionist and free. The works reflect "the major current of Russian alternative culture and describe the history of independent, or “non-conformist,” art processes and movements from the 1960s to the present". Curators Marat Guelman and Juan Puntes also state that "people and the art world in Russia from the 1960s onwards, experienced a period of slow, gradual but real thaw, a defrost of three quarters of a century’s cultural freeze that happened not in a single decade, but over several decades, culminating in the period of the 1990s known as Glasnost." The social and political context at the time of both of these "movements" was the main motive for the creation of the artist's art. It was their driving force and has yielded countless, enduring works of art.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Good Design is Good Business"

The quote "Good Design is Good Business" was mentioned in class, and it is something that I firmly believe. Thomas Watson first said this in the 1950's. He was the American President of IBM. Design has grown drastically since then, and I think more and more companies are starting to agree with Watson. The most successful of companies have strong corporate identities, and branding that remains consistent. A good example of a strong identity is in the recent election. Barack Obama invested a lot of money in developing an identity for himself. He used it consistently everywhere his name showed up, whether it was on his website, bumper stickers, television commercials, advertisements, etc. And he ended up winning the presidential election! Of course, this was not the only reason that he is going to be the next president, but his branding was very appealing, and i think it grabbed the attention of the younger voters. I certainly think it helped him a lot! Apple is another good example. Their iPod ads using the black silhouettes of people dancing while listening to their iPods have grabbed the attention of many. The great ads, combined with the great design of their products has lead them to be the leading seller of music players across the globe. 

If you go to any major companies website, 9 times out of 10, you will see a strong corporate identity usually through use of color and a logo design. I think it is hard for anyone to take a company seriously that has a sloppy website and poor design. Good design is Good Business.