Presentation

Kate Molloy founded Little Designs Cambridge in 2001 and the company was aimed to be a customer led creative service for Cambridge based companies. Kate helps her clients work to a deadline whilst achieving outstanding and creative results. Kate specifically specializes in branding and print design.

From presenting my ideas to Kate I will get a professional opinion on which idea I should take forward, and an idea on how I should develop it further to make it as successful as possible.

I am producing and presenting my presentation on Prezi, a website which allows me to create a more personal presentation, and allows more personalization than producing a power point would.

I am planning to use a Volvo-themed colour scheme for my presentation, in order to clearly identify the brand that I want my advert to be based around. I would also like the title page of my presentation to be very Volvo-themed to show how Volvo cars are the main idea for my project. To keep Kate interested I will have to know my ideas well, and present them in a formal, and confident manner. In my presentation I am aiming to not read the information just from the screen, but instead elaborate on what they mean, to show I have carefully thought about my presentation in advance and prevent it from boring Kate.

I hope to get from this presentation some feedback that will help me in my further design work. This may involve me asking, and responding to Kate’s questions, in order to get a good understanding of which idea she feels is strongest. I feel that this presentation will be very beneficial to me as it will allow me to get other opinions on my work, and perhaps spot things which could be improved to my designs through presenting it.

Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIY_ethic

https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=what%20is%20a%20punk%20zine%3F

http://www.cba-design.it/en/what-we-do/expertise/packaging-design

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_%22Hope%22_poster

http://www.classicposters.com/Neon_Rose

Bonjour Voisin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photo_manipulation#Photoshopped

http://www.zimbio.com/Beyond+the+Box+Office/articles/SbH2C9587BX/Propaganda+Marketing+8+Movies+Made+Work

http://graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu/tutorials/process/visualanalogy/visanalogy.htm

http://www.volvocars.com/intl/about/our-stories/made-by-sweden/vision-2020/life-saving-innovations

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCT_02.htm

http://intromedi.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/primitive-figuration-diesel.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux

http://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/engraved-ornament-project/what-ornament-what-ornament-print-and-why-do-they-matter

Is Ornament Actually a Crime?

http://fanakalo.co.za/packaging

http://www.cruzine.com/2010/09/16/design-propaganda/

http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/graphic_arts_and_advertising_as_war_propaganda

http://www.vivavoices.org/website.asp?page=Alan%20Crawford

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/d/design-fruit-wreath-wallpapers-william-morris/

7 Tips to Creating a Memorable Slogan

http://www.biography.com/people/salvador-dal-40389

http://www.tate.org.uk/learn/online-resources/glossary/s/surrealism#key

Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation

Photo manipulation is the altering/editing of a Photograph to either improve it, remove features, or to change the way it looks. For example, many people use photo manipulation to alter their skin, or to remove wrinkles and spots from their appearance. Some forms of Photo manipulation are seen as art forms, and many photographers become famous through the way they manipulate their photos. Photo manipulation has began to become a very popular, and widely known concept through modern day, and has encouraged many young people to edit their photographs to create unrealistic, and fantasy worlds.

Early Photo Manipulation 

Modern Day ‘Photo-shopped Images’

@fetching_tigerss (instagram)

The reason I am additionally looking into Photo Manipulation is because I feel it is a key part in Graphic Design, and I am interested in making my car advert as realistic as possible. An idea I have for my car advert is taking a photograph of the car I intend to use and then taking an additional photo of the scene I want to use for the background of my poster. I feel that Photo Manipulation plays a big part in making the car look as though it is actually in the background I am going to use. I may have to change the colours of the photos slightly so they fit better together, and look realistic.

I feel @fetching_tigerss Photo Manipulation edits are particularly successful as she replaces everyday objects with different things, and is even known to create realistic flying photos.

Do It Yourself

D.I.Y

Before the 1970’s,  the word ‘design’ generally meant the mass production of things. However, in 1970 things began to change. Punks began to bring in a ‘do-it-yourself’ aesthetic, which was clumsy and amateurish. Their t-shirts, fanzines and crude posters all started to become a hit with different bands, and their inclusion of ransom-note style typography and bad calligraphy was what the bands began to love. Their photographs were poorly reduced, and their general style was homemade, but it was a funky and fun look which defined the spirit of a self-reliant and newly styled counter-culture.

The popularity of this DIY movement was also due to another factor, the oil crisis of 1973-74 that signaled the end of post war prosperity, which led to rationing, strikes and social unrest. This forced people into having a DIY approach to things, and the economic downturn began to motivate people to become creative.

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Sniffin’ Glue (1977)

Perry, M (1977) SNIFFIN’ GLUE AND OTHER ROCK AND ROLL HABITS….. [Format Unknown] Available at: http://www.popsike.com/SNIFFIN-GLUE-12-original-UK-AUGSEPT-1977-punk-fanzine-SEX-PISTOLS/110792979536.html

This poster designed for Sniffin’ Glue has a black and white appearance and is quite a bad quality image. This however, adds to the design and gives it an unprofessional look as it has scrap-book like features. The black and white colour additionally adds to this, as the black ink appeals patchy which also backs up the idea that this poster was handmade, and has a unique style.

The purpose of this design was to advertise bands in a new and unique way, a way in which punks believed would captivate the bands style and originality. Showing the band through a bad quality Polaroid captures the true essence of the band, showing the band in their true light, and almost promoting the idea that they are just normal people, and therefore through these images, creates an understanding that just because they are famous, does not mean they are superior to other people. Furthermore, using DIY to promote this band shows a new idea, and may have begun to make the band more noticeable, as many posters produced before this movement appeared to have taken a more bright, colorful and neater approach.

Additionally, one of the main reasons this design was produced was showing independence. It promotes the idea that anyone is capable of doing things themselves, and for smaller bands in the mid 1970’s it was difficult to get their records played on the radio. The DIY idea, showed the bands independence and the capability they had of getting recognized. DIY also challenged the industry, and caused controversial issues due to many people believing record labels still had a major part to play in the production of any music. This controversy only brought bands closer to their fans, and with the help of DIY enabled the bands to form a stronger link with other artists.

The designer of this Sniffin’ Glue poster has gone full out DIY, with a hand written title which appears to have been drawn in black pen, and a photograph that has a grainy effect to it. The main photo used in this piece has quite a bold effect and although monotonous, allows the white areas of the image to stand out from a distance appearing quite brightly.

I feel that the main purpose of this image is in fact recognition, and has the aim of inciting a wider audience to listen to this bands music. Despite the fact that the poster does have a clear punk  appearance to it, the photograph shown may incise a wider audience through the way the poster has been composed, and the appearance of the band members in the photo. It is neither serious, nor professional as shows the members in a relaxed and fun way showing the personality of the band members put together. This may interest people who see the poster, as they may be able to relate to the DIY style of it, and as the band members do not appear intimidating, may make people more relaxed about going to see them, as gives a friendly vibe.

The concept conveys its message through this friendly nature it has, relating to the people who see the poster and persuading them to come and watch their band. The poster has a humerus, informal appearance conveying the message that the band want as many people to come to their concerts as possible, as it aims to grab the attention of all kinds of people.

This is one of the main successes this poster has, is its fun, raw nature which shows the band in a truthful light, and the colour scheme of poster represents the Punk style its been produced in. I particularly like the way the photograph takes up the main part of the poster as I feel this is the strongest piece of the poster. The reason I think this, is due to the fact that it doesn’t appear staged, nor does it look professional, and the bad quality of it adds to this friendly appearance it gives.

Overall I like this design as I feel it is unique, and has an original style to it. Another reason I like this poster is because of the monotonous tone the poster has to it, because I feel it particularly brings a Punk feel to the poster, and defines that it was Punks who began this DIY approach to things. I feel the flaws of this design are the hand written writing on the poster, as they are very un-neat, and although it shows the clear DIY idea of the poster, I feel that the text could have been thought out further, and perhaps a ruler could have been used to align the text to make it a bit neater. Apart from this, I feel that the poster is very relevant to its time, and would have made a big impact on the way poster design changed to become how it is today.

Image result for car advert

http://deanwebbcreative.com/page24.htm

Webb, Dean

During my research of modern day car advertisements, I came across this advert. It is a Volkswagen advert, and shows a Doctor Who Dalek as the main focal point of the image. As soon as I saw this advert, one thing stuck out to me, and that was the image that is used. It is black and white, and appears to be of a bad quality. This has strong links to the Sniffin’ Glue poster, as the image is of around the same quality and looks D.I.Y. inspired due to this. However, as the text is not hand drawn, it lacks this D.I.Y. quality, as it has been replaced with computer based typography. This perhaps shows a twist on D.I.Y. adverts, and shows how since the first Sniffin’ Glue poster, this style has been adapted throughout the years.

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New Polaroid Impulse (1988)

Grafus (1988) Polaroid Impulse Camera Advertising Poster [Format Unknown] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=new+polaroid+impulse+poster&espv=2&biw=1272&bih=898&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiRwcr726fPAhVROMAKHZ8lB_QQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=8az95g5JQU9CTM%3A

This poster was designed to advertise the New Polaroid Impulse Camera that had just been released in 1988. Its main purpose was to influence people to buy the camera, from them seeing the poster.

The designer has used the DIY concept within this poster, which can be seen through the sketchy appearance of the poster and the idea that it appears handmade. Firstly, the writing on the poster appears un neat and looks like something you would find in a sketchbook. It has an arty feeling to it, and advertises the camera in a way that seems creative, perhaps to show the idea that the camera is a creative piece of equipment. Furthermore, another way the designer has used the DIY motive to design this piece is through the image of the actual camera its self. Again this is something which appears to be hand drawn, and has a very unrealistic, and abstract appearance. The white writing, and camera flash that can be seen on this poster almost look as if they have been drawn in tip ex, as they appear to have a rough looking texture and look as though it has been used slightly carelessly.

The concept helps to convey the creative aspect of the camera, and conveys the message that the camera can be used as an artists tool. Additionally, the word ‘Impulse’ on the poster suggests a desire to act, and has connotations of inspiration and motivation, suggesting that this camera will influence you to take photos and strive to achieve artistic wonders. Not only does this poster use the power of words to influence its audience, but also has an example of the type of photograph you may be able to achieve with this particular camera. The photograph is colorful, and the expression on the girls face appears joyful and perhaps even slightly provoking, potentially teasing the audience that she has this camera and you don’t.

This photograph is perhaps the posters greatest success. The contrast with the black and grey gradient background compared to the more bright, and colourful photo makes the Polaroid camera appear a bolder image, and suggests that with this camera, you can brighten up a dreary day.

In my opinion, I am not very keen on this poster. The reason behind this is mainly due to the overruling grey colours that are used within the piece. Although it makes the photograph the Polaroid camera has supposedly produced appear bright and cheery, I feel that there is too much grey colour to represent what is supposed to be a creative and innovative product. Another reason I am not fond of this design is because I feel the camera its self appears too sketchy. I believe that when adverting a product, the product its self should be featured in a realistic way, because I otherwise would feel reluctant to buying the product. However, this is a matter of personal opinion and therefore this method of advertising may be effective in grabbing the attention of other people. As the camera is also a piece of technology, I believe it should be shown in a more technical way. However, this advert may go by the idea that less is more, and the lack of information in gives may entice people. The part of this poster that I like would be the photograph, as its colourful and shows creativity, which I feel is a key point in advertising a creative product. If I were to re-design this advert, I would give the advert a brighter appearance and use a range of colours that connote creativity. I could show this through paint splatters, perhaps on the camera, showing that its a creative object.

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DIY BOOK

Cover: Weikert,M, Photo: Froehlich, N (2009) D.I.Y. DESIGN IT YOURSELF Princeton, Princeton Architectural Press  [Format Unknown] Available at: http://elupton.com/2009/09/d-i-y/

This Design It Yourself book cover has the purpose of convincing people that they should buy this particular book. The cover was designed by Mark Weikert, and like the designs above, is meant to show a DIY aspect. The front cover of the book reveals information as to whats inside the book, and the title of the book (DIY) aims to represent the fact that the book is full of DIY ideas.

The designer has used the DIY concept to create a simple cover for the book, and has used the words DIY to show the idea. The writing ‘DIY’ appears hand drawn, which is a good representation of DIY. However, the book cover as a whole appears professionally designed and made, as overall appears neat and precise. For example, the typography to the right hand side of the page appears neatly aligned, unlike the Sniffin’ Glue design which I have previously looked at.

The paper card that the person appears to be holding in this photograph helps convey the message of DIY, as it appears to be something that they have made themselves. Furthermore, the photography has cleverly been taken to blur out the background behind piece of card and persons hand, to show the main focus if on the DIY part of the photograph. Th inclusion of the persons hand in this also perhaps adds to the idea of DIY, as they appear to have their nails cut quite short, which could also infer that they have being perhaps cutting and designing things, as it is harder to work with long nails.

I feel the successes of this piece are mainly the cleverly angled photography, which shows the importance of the DIY word on the piece of card. Blurring out the background makes this the focal point, as it appears the most noticeable and is clearly the most important part of the piece. The colour of the persons top in this shot may have also been thought about as the background behind him is particularly dull, and the red top brightens up the page a bit more. However, despite the fact that I like this book cover, I feel that there are still some floors in the overall design. For example, the only part of the design that has a DIY approach to it I feel is the actual DIY writing itself. The rest of the design is fairly simple, and lacks DIY references. To continue, the writing on the right hand side of the page appears to be quite small and dull, and does not excite the audience to try out DIY. I feel to improve this, the text could be made more colourful, or in a more interesting font, or maybe even hand drawn to show more DIY within the cover.

Source: Helen, S and Vienne, V (2012) 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, London, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

Ornamentation

Ornamentation

Ornamentation is the abstract decoration seen on many packaging designs today. Architect Adolf Loos firmly asserted that Ornament was a sin, in his 1908 essay ‘Ornament and Crime’ However, despite it being something that is too often applied to conceal faulty merchandise and flawed concepts, it can almost illuminate a dull product and can be used with purpose. Decoration can play an integral role in the total design scheme of many products, it is a combination of colour, line, pattern, lettering and picture. It does not convey a literal message,  but instead serves a purpose to stimulate senses. Paisley, and Herringbone patterns are decorative, and can be used as a way to decorate things such as packaging, to create a design that is more appealing to the eye.

Further research into ornamentation

Ornamentation is the embellishment of an object or building, particularly seen in architecture, use to enhance a buildings appearance. For example, this 18th century Rocco Balcony in Bavaria. This is an example of sculpted and painted ornamentation.

1024px-bergen_bei_neuburg_heilig_kreuz_203

As this picture demonstrates, ornamentation is truly admired through its appearance, and its ability to brighten up what would have been a boring open space. Ornamentation provides a moment of appreciation to many things and their aesthetic values. However, ornamentation generally has a preconceived notion that it is ‘old fashioned’ or of the ‘Victorian era’ so I am aiming to explore how modern day ornamentation defies this, and get an understanding to what the main purpose of ornamentation is.

One of the main questions that came up whilst researching Ornamentation was ‘is ornamentation really a crime?’ The fact that this is one of the main things that came up on the internet about ornamentation suggests that there are a lot of mixed views about this particular subject. Many people believe that ornamentation is a waste of time, and in fact a pointless human labor. For example, illustration is something that many people consider came in around AD400 to AD600. However, the other side of this argument is that illustration began when the first man drew an image on a cave wall, which usually was of some kind of mythical creature, or in fact what the hunter had caught for dinner. So going back all these years one thing is clear, the cavemen did not sit around decorating or using ornamentation to enhance their drawings. Why not? Did they believe it was a waste of time too? We can gather from this that millions of years ago the cavemen simply did not take their time fussing around with ornamentation, as it was more of a simple graphic message they were after.

Jumping down the line to the 1990’s, illustrator Peter Wilson of Rote Design trained as an artist/illustrator, but remembers a common criticism of his work was that it was ‘too decorative.’ However, Wilson took well to this criticism as he argued back discussing the idea that just because his work was decorative, does not mean it takes away the main focus of the painting/illustration. He then goes on to justify his point, as he explained how the changing world has brought ornamentation into art work, fashion, interior design, and advertising and it is something which will be progressing as the years go on. Again, Peter Wilson backs up the idea that there is an on going controversy with ornamentation, and many artists that use it face criticism from others.

Both sides of the argument were very justifiable. Criticisms pointed out that as ornament wasn’t necessary, it was wasting valuable materials. One of the arguments focused particularly on the Seagram building, home to New York, where Mies van de Rohe built unnecessary vertical I-beams on the outside of the building.

However, modern day ornamentation is seen a lot more often than it was many years ago. Many people admire the old ornamentation patterns that have been engraved into the architecture of buildings, as it is considered a thing of beauty and talented craftsmanship. The popularity of ornament has risen vast amounts in the recent years, and used on packaging to encourage people to buy the product. It is also seen a thing of Royalty, and something those wealthier may be able to afford.

The image below shows how ornamentation has been adapted and used as a form of decoration. This type of ornamentation aims to encourage the purchase of such items, the ornament being the main encouragement. It shows a sense of delicacy and care, aiming to get a positive response. I feel the main market for products that are decorated with ornamentation is a female audience, as patterns such as flowers are used.

birds

teaPackaging designed by: http://www.cba-design.it/en/what-we-do/expertise/packaging-design

This KUSMI TEA packaging design is made with the purpose of advertising the product. It adds decoration to what would otherwise just be a plain grey tin. It makes the tea appear fancy and gives the product and added reason to buy it, as it is pleasing to the eye.

The designer has used the concept of ornamentation in a way to make their product look better than it perhaps is. They have used orange, black and white as the colours for their main focus and have kept to this colour scheme for this particular tea. The black and orange is clearly used to represent the ‘chocolat et orange’ which is what the tea is flavored of. This allows the customer to look at the packaging to depict the flavor, rather than having to read too much into it. Ornamentation appears a very important part of this product, and it has been used very carefully to enhance the products appearance.

The message can be seen through the colour scheme, as this is based around the flavorings of the tea. I particularly like this idea as it means that the ornamentation is not completely irrelevant, and despite a lot of ornamentation packaging designs, this one has a meaning. Furthermore, the message the company are trying to convey is that their tea is the best. Therefore, using ornamentation on the packaging seems to be quite effective due to the fact that ornamentation is decorative, and has links to royalty, and colours such as purple and red.  This again makes the product seem far more outstanding than just tea, and urges people to buy it.

The ornamentation also brings a wider market, even perhaps to those who don’t like tea. For example, someone may see the pretty packaging design, and stop to have a look at it, based on the packaging. They may even buy it, for a friend or family member, but without the ornamentation, would most likely not have stopped to look at it.

In my opinion, this product is very successful, and it is mainly down to the ornamentation used in its design. I feel that the packaging is not deceiving as it is simply a pattern, which is not made up of anything which may give you false hope as to what is inside the container. It is also simple, and not over decorative, and the colours are bold, but themed. Because the colours work so well together, I feel that this is another success of the piece as it makes the product more appealing. However, the thing I like least about this design is the smaller typography at the bottom of the packaging, as I feel this should stand out a bit more, as like the logo, it is relevant information. It is not unnoticeable, though, and I feel it doesn’t majorly need to be changed, as overall I am very fond of this whole design.

ornamentation

This design was by Marian Bantjes, and its title is ‘National Poetry Month 2010’

I feel that this design has a nice colour scheme going on, as the colours appear quite royal, the blues and golds especially used, almost giving the poster status. Furthermore, the black gives the poster a bold and noticeable effect, assuring it would not be missed if it were put up in the streets. However, despite the colours and how they compliment each other well, I believe that the main aim of the poster is to advertise the fact it is ‘National Poetry Month’ However, I feel this is not portrayed that well within the design, and the poster uses too much ornamentation. Additionally, the poster features three main articles of text (the three biggest font sizes) which due to the amount of ornament used around them, makes them difficult to read. They are also all in different fonts, which I feel ruins the theme the poster had to it.

One of the main successes of this piece of work is in fact that ornamentation. Despite my personal opinion of there being too much of it, I feel it is also successful in a way of making the poster stand out, and become noticeable. I feel that if I were to see this poster in the streets I would have no clue as to what its about without reading the typography. It is intriguing and I feel the idea of having an ornamentation based poster links into the delicacy and creativity poets go through when writing. Like ornamentation, poetry is a creative subject and a lot of care is put into it. Furthermore, many people believe poetry is a pointless subject. You could argue that writing a story, or an account of something is easier than writing it in a poetic form- thinking about the amount of stanzas, rhyming couplets and which techniques should be used. Much like the argument for ornamentation, linking back into the I-beams that were added to a New York sky scraper, not out of necessity. However, the reason I feel that ornamentation is a success here, is because it enhances the appearance of the poster which despite the controversial views that come with poetry, gives it a sense of importance, and shows the beauty of poetry through the illustration.

As I personally don’t like this poster, I feel it has many negative points to it. The first negative I can pick out is the typography. As it is all in different fonts I feel it has more of a random look to it, and contrasts with the carefully selected colour scheme that has been used. Another problem with the typography is the colours of it, mainly the gold coloured text on a white background, as it is not of a high visibility. This could be down to a lack of importance of the particular line, which could then be seen as quite a clever technique, but as the typography for this line is quite large, I feel it most likely is an important part of the poster. Backed up on a black background, this gold colour text is a lot more effective and easier to read, it is just the rest of the text that I feel lets the poster down. Furthermore, the poster appears to be made up of three quarter circle shapes. These I feel are quite random, and I don’t have any kind of idea as to why they are there, again this sense of random features I feel lets the poster down as it doesn’t hold a lot of meaning.

If this were my poster to improve, I would most likely add some features which link into poetry to it, to represent more of what the event is about. I would also change the colours of most of the text, and most likely choose to have them dark on a light background, and in a bolder font to make them clear to read, and still visible from a distance. The concept of ornamentation its-self I feel doesn’t have a lot of purpose in advertising the fact it is National poetry week, other than the delicacy it has having a small link to the delicacy you may write a poem with. Therefore, although the concept of ornamentation is used throughout this design, I feel it doesn’t hold much of a purpose in advertising this event.

graphics

This is type of ornamentation in packaging and is designed by a company called Fanakalo. Fanakalo designed this wrap around packaging for the ale company Steenbok. This is a modern take on ornamentation and has more of a simple form compared to the other ornate designs I have previously looked at.

I am particularly fond of this design as I like the simplistic nature it has to it, and I feel the colours work very effectively. This is one of the successes of this packaging design; the colours. I feel that using black for all the main information works well as it stands out from the yellow, and is clear and easy to read. The yellow helps with this and compliments the black by showing it to stand out based on the bright yellow colour that is used behind it. Another success of this design is the small gaps in between the black lines and typography. The fact that the black colour used on the design has speckles of yellow showing through it makes the design seem more authentic, and backs up the deer that is seen on the packaging as it makes the design appear more natural, and perhaps homely. It has a professional appearance, yet feels more personal to the imagery used on the bottle sticker.

Ornamentation has been used on this design to enhance the packaging and give the bottle a more interesting appearance. The ornamentation in this design is seen through the small swirls and decoration that has been added to the lines. I feel that it adds a nice touch to the packaging and does not over complicate the design, but allows you to still focus on the most important parts of it, such as the information.

There is not a lot I feel that I dislike about this design. I feel it is very original and has a nice simplistic style to it.   To change the design, I would perhaps add in some green colours to go along with the natural idea represented by the deer. However, I don’t feel there is anything wrong with the colour scheme anyway, and so altering the colour scheme drastically would not be a necessity.

Source: Helen, S and Vienne, V (2012) 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, London, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

Propaganda

PROPAGANDA

Propaganda is the concept of propagating a message through visual, and textual narratives and was designed to manipulate, but not to venal. Propaganda is mostly known for spreading a ‘big lie’ either commercial, or political. At the start of the Twentieth Century, Edward Berney’s 1927 book ‘Propaganda’ ensured that the world became closely associated with publicity and advertising. In the 1930’s the term ‘Propaganda’ took on a more sinister meaning with the establishment of the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment, making designers work for propaganda.

Propaganda was never seen as innocent, but was also seen as naive. One of the most widely known ideas of propaganda was the  Nazi branding of the Jews as less than human. Fearsome messages are not the only the only product of extremist groups through propaganda, and to produce, mass hostility towards the particular group it is objectifying must be stripped of all of its human characteristics. Politics is often known as a war of dueling propaganda, and whatever breaches the persons defenses, and sparks some kind of anger, is an ideal example of propaganda that has been successful.

Mostly these days, the idea of propaganda has has taken a turn for the better as advertising agencies convey commercial messages, and ads push ideas convincing one brand is better than another. Therefore propaganda can be a serious weapon to use in advertising, however not one that we should be fearful of. Visuals messages that introduce some sort of pride are what make propaganda successful in the markets today, but are just as necessary as those who trigger a negative response.

Arts and Crafts influence on Propaganda in Graphic Design

The arts and crafts movement was of a great influence to Graphic design and propaganda in Central Europe, along with Hermann Muthesius (1861-1927) The arts and crafts movement began in England in the second half of the nineteenth century. This movement was also taken up in America, where it was known as ‘Mission Style’. The Arts and Crafts Movement challenged the Victorian era, and was thought up by social reform thinkers such as Walter Crane and John Ruskin. They also used the ideas of William Morris. In this period of time, manufactured goods when generally seen as badly constructed in design and quality. It was the idea of Morris, Ruskin and the others that the worker was not brutalized by factory work but instead preferred to care about their skills and craftsmanship. They believed that mass production led to poor design, and had the idea that individual craftsmanship should be revived. This would lead to a happy customer, having a beautifully handcrafted design in their home, and a more employable worker, with their skills and products demonstrating their abilities. The result of this however, meant that only the wealthiest of customers could afford these handcrafted goods, as the cost of manufacturing in bulk loads kept the costs down, unlike individual craftsmanship.

Hermann Muthesius took great influence from this movement, as he believed that manufacturing and commerce contributed to the lives of the middle class society. At the start of the war designers had come up with the idea of a new, ‘scientific poster.’ This meant designers had to have a new approach to posters, and had to have good knowledge of the poster trade and the business the poster had to do, as well as the size and quality of the images they were using. Typographical elements were incredibly important to the new designs, and striking graphic titles were important to demonstrate the industrial production and ‘supremacy’ in war production. The designing of these posters took a lot of time, and with one campaign statistics of the letter ‘U’ were even looked into.

Posters beginning to become more and more industrialized showed key links to the arts and crafts movement, and how this was a key movement behind the start of propaganda. This showed a step up in Graphic Design in these periods of times as things started to become more professional, as measurements and statistics played a key part in poster production.

Propaganda Further research

‘Dawn of the 20th Century’

At the beginning of the 20th century, the world was marked with World War I and the Revolution of Russia. In this time frame, Edward Bernays published a book by the name of ‘Propaganda.’ This became the first book about Propaganda principles, and was the book that everyone was to refer to in the future. This is why propaganda posters began on a war based theme, and from then on made an impact to many peoples lives.

This then continued onto World War II, where Adolf Hitler began to pay particular attention to Propaganda and how its techniques were implemented and influenced many other people. Shortly during the start of WWII, the Ministry of Propaganda (which was headed by Joseph Gobbels) was created to manipulate he public’s opinion of the Germans. Posters were printed encouraging people to join the Germans side, and encouraged people to buy German goods. This is a way Propaganda was used as a manipulation, a sly technique of getting what they wanted.

Flagg, Montogomery James ‘I WANT YOU FOR U.S. ARMY’

Many modern day propaganda posters still follow along with a shocking statement or image. However, less of the idea of taking sides is shown through these posters and instead they promote Helplines, encouraging people to ask for help. They use bold titles, usually in large fonts and aim to grab the attention of each individual personally through the use of their direct language.

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Fairey, S (2008) HOPE [Poster] Available at: http://www.portrait.gov.au/exhibitions/obey-2009

This poster designed by Shepard Fairey is an independent expression of thought for Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign. It was designed in one day and was first printed as a poster. It was particularly popular, and sold over 200 copies on the streets within its first day. The designer has used the idea of propaganda to evoke a reaction, which this poster did, but of the wrong sort. Shepard got into trouble with the courts regarding this poster, and eventually pleaded guilty to fabricating documents regarding his poster. However, using propaganda to advertise Obama’s presidential election campaign was in fact quite a success. The bold typography ‘HOPE’ on this poster shows a huge link to propaganda, through the way it is enforcing a word that may evoke responses. This word has been used in a way to get people behind Obama’s campaign, and the concept of propaganda was one way of doing this.

The concept helps a lot in pushing forward its main message. It is simple and a clear example of propaganda. However, it is not insulting, nor does it plead for ‘hope’, it simply gives you one word of importance to Obama’s campaign. As a concept, propaganda proves to be quite successful at conveying messages due to the simplicity of the adverts and the simple power of the words that are used. This poster doesn’t leave you guessing as to what it is about, it clearly shows Obama, and the word hope making it quote a straight forward poster.

This is the main reason as to why the poster is successful, it is neither confusing nor complex, and the simple stencil colours add to this factor. The colours of the poster, red white and blue, have a strong link to the American flag, and represent Obama and his role within the country. Using these colours is also a very powerful technique, and makes Obama appear powerful and noticeable.

I am quite fond of this piece as it conveys a powerful message through simplicity, which I feel would be something difficult to produce as a designer. Rather than over complicating the poster, the lack of information intrigues people and enforces the single word that is on the poster boldly. This lack of information may also be something which draws people away from it however, as they may know nothing about Obama’s campaign, and therefore not understand what the poster is about. Despite this, I feel the poster is very successful and is an interesting way to give out a message, and perhaps evoke a response.


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Hopps, H.R(1917-1918) DESTROY THIS MAD BRUTE ENLIST U.S. ARMY Available at: http://web.viu.ca/davies/H482.WWI/poster.US.DestroyThisMadBrute.jpg

This is a World War I propaganda poster that is encouraging people to enlist in the U.S. Army. The ape, which appears to have just landed on the shores of the U.S., is holding a club with the German word ‘KULTUR’ on it, and additionally, is carrying a young woman in his arms. This advert appears to dehumanize the Germans, and show them to be mistreating the women of America.

This is where the designer has used the idea of propaganda. The large text, and dehumanizing allusions shout ‘propaganda’ as this is what propaganda used to widely be known as.It was rude, unpleasant and sparked a reaction, which is exactly what this poster has aimed to do. To enforce the idea of Enlisting the U.S. Army, the poster has exaggerated everything on the poster, and made out the opponent to be some kind of animal. The whole poster shows how extreme propaganda could be, and how it was used in life changing matters, such as wars, and political arguments.

The concept helps convey the message in a variety of different ways. It firstly sparks attention from people, who may either agree with the presentation of the Germans, or in fact it may spark a large and unpleasant reaction. It conveys a message through the writing, on the poster and the violence the gorilla in it appears to have brought to the American shores. I feel that this concept is one of the strongest concepts for conveying messages, and is definitely the most powerful concept I have looked at so far. This is due to the extreme nature of the posters and the fact that some of them are designed in order to get an angry reaction.

The successes of this piece are the emotions it sparks, through the imagery used in the piece. The angry gorilla is very successful, as it clearly shows how the American people felt about the Germans. Another success of this poster is the bold typography, which stands from a distance, and is big enough to read from afar. Using words such as ‘mad brute’ represent the way the Americans are not in favor of the German people. The word brute in fact, connotes words such as ‘savage, beast, or monster’ which shows the desperation the American U.S. feel as they want people to enlist in the U.S. army.  Another powerful word on the poster, ‘DESTROY’ which is located at the very top of the page, is also desperately calling for a response. The U.S. Army are not advertising the Army in a positive light, but instead are encouraging people that they need help to destroy their opponents.

My personal opinion of this work is that it is a very successful way of advertising, however I also feel that it is also quite inappropriate, and most likely offensive to others. I feel it represents the U.S. Army in a bad light, and although was not made in the modern day, would still spark a controversial response among people.


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Zec (1941) WOMEN OF BRITAIN COME INTO FACTORIES [Poster] Available at: https://designschool.canva.com/blog/examples-of-propaganda/

This is a poster which is advertising and encouraging women to come and work in the factories. It demonstrates the end of a law which disallowed women to work, as the need for women workers began to increase as the men went away to war. The expression on the woman’s face is happy, presenting the joy the women felt that they had been allowed the right to work. However, this could almost be slightly deceiving considering the fact that she has dozens of airplanes flying over her head, as she joyfully stands as the men go off to war.

The designer has used the idea of propaganda to enforce such a large message. The bold lettering demonstrates why the woman stands so happy, as it shouts the message to the world that women are allowed to work in the factories of Britain. Using propaganda to convey this is incredibly successful, as it shows the true importance of the message. Representing the idea that the law has been changed, by conveying this through propaganda shows the importance propaganda had in the 1940’s.

The concept helps convey the meaning in a bold way, and the image on the poster conveys the relief women in Britain must have felt as they were allowed more independence and responsibility in their country.

I particularly like the colours in the poster, as I feel that they are themed well and would be relevant to the time the poster was made. For example, during the war many things such as rationing and economic downfall occurred, and I feel that the muted reds and brown colours help to represent this idea that supplies were running out, as the crops were not green and thriving, and the air was full of dust.  The cream colour on the poster is also something I feel that is successful among the colour scheme, as it almost brightens up the picture, and the fact that the majority of this colour is in the sky could represent the idea that the world felt a brighter place to women once they became free to work in factories whilst the men were away.

The part of the poster which I feel is weak would be the airplanes in the sky. The fact that the woman is smiling whilst the men are away at war could convey a bad message if misunderstood, making the woman appear happy that family members she could be related to are away dangerously at war. It is also quite unrealistic, as during the war, she would most likely not be standing in such an open place whilst she hears planes fly over her head. However, I overall like this poster and feel that it conveys the message in a bold, but nice way. It is not a propaganda poster that would spark a horrible response, but I feel it goes about putting a message into society in a nice, and appropriate way.

Source: Helen, S and Vienne, V (2012) 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, London, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

Primitive Figuration

Primitive Figuration

In 1905, Primitive Figuration was introduced to the West, largely through German Expressionist Graphics. Primitive Figuration is the simplification of the human form, creating a simplified, mostly monotonous figure, which can be known to be formed of abstract, and interpretive shapes. It was initially practiced by a group of rebellious painters and print makers, which were beginning to become more well known in German Art.

Expressionism began to filter through avant garde, into the more popular culture, in the middle of artistic genres, sculpture and print, painting and it even began to work its way through to scene design on the stage and screen. In later years, it influenced New-York born, Los Angeles based designer Saul Bass, who was known for designing the opening sequence and film poster for ‘The man with the golden arm’ (1955)

Further Primitive figuration research

When researching Primitive figuration I found it was not a widely known concept and in fact I found minimal websites that had information about the subject. However, I did come across one website, listed in my bibliography, that explained Primitive Figuration is the reduction of realistic forms into more abstract shapes. An example of Primitive figuration I found out about through the website was this painting.

It is a prehistoric cave painting of deers almost leaping into the arms of hunters. It almost shows a sense of self sacrifice as the deer appear to be running in the direction of the hunters. It shows how primitive figuration has derived from many years ago where it was used to show the successes of hunters through paintings. Both the deer an people have a simple form, stripped of detail with minimal features.

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Another example of primitive figuration is a painting in the Lascaux caverns, which again is of a similar form to the deer and hunters painting. It shows supernatural fantasy creatures which resemble things such as horses, deer, hyena, and bears. These animals are stripped of their realistic forms and are made up of abstract shapes showing how the early type of primitive figuration started. After finding that there seemed to be many examples of this type of primitive figuration in the Lascaux caves, I decided to research into what these are.

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From my research I found that the Lascaux caves are caves in the South West of France, which are famous for its Palaeolithic Cave paintings. The paintings are estimated to be around 17,300 years old, which shows how far back primitive figuration is really dated. The majority of the paintings are thought to be of animals which live there at the time, which is backed up by fossil evidence. However, whether some of these animals have been exaggerated, or adapted to appear more of a fantasy form is another question. The caves contain around 2,000 figures which are dived into three categories, human forms, animals, and symbols/signs. Due to the lac of materials so long ago, most of the paintings are painted in black, red and brown mineral pigments, which suggest drawing in such an abstract form was easier. However, this form of primitive figuration was then carried on through many of the years and is now still used today in graphic design, but for a very different purpose. Rather than advertising things, primitive figuration style art was something that was seen to be done out of pure creativity for the purpose of simply producing a form of artwork. Although not all primitive figuration was used as pure art work. Symbols and signs were developed to help people have an understanding of each other so long ago, and are sometimes interpreted as rules in that day an age.

From the images seen below, we can see how primitive figuration has developed from being hand-drawn, to being produced on things such as Photoshop an Illustrator, where they have been given sharp edges and block colours.

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Anatomy of A Murder

Bass, S (1959) Anatomy of A Murder [Poster] Available at: https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/wall-decorations/posters/anatomy-murder-film-poster-saul-bass-1959/id-f_4877183/?utm_content=control&currency=gbp&gclid=CLSuwa6iqM8CFYeVGwodP3ENVg

‘Anatomy of a Murder’ was deigned by Saul Bass, and shows a clear example of how abstract shapes can be used to create a human form. The designer of this image has used slightly angular shapes which together create this symbolic image. These aspects of the image make it seem as though it may have been a print, as the simplicity to it is something which would be an effective printmaking technique. The typography also has an angular shape to it, and although includes some curved edges, works well with the shape of the human figure in the piece. The colour scheme is bold and simple, and a single block colour background has been included, which allows the main focus of the piece to be in fact on the human form, which doesn’t divert the audiences attention from the focal point of the image.

The purpose of this design is to entice people to watch this film, without revealing to much information as to what the story is going to be about. It gives key information, and does not show any picture of the actual film/production, but instead shows a symbolic man in the center of the page.

The designer has used the concept of primitive figuration to represent the main plot line of the film; murder. The arms and legs are detached from the main body of the person, perhaps showing the effect of a dead person. The concept has been used carefully, and the focal point has been carefully thought about within this piece as it is not overcrowded with shapes, and instead has a simple form.

The concept conveys the message of the film through the typography written inside the shape of the persons body, and advertises the film through this. Although the poster may be memorable because of the block shapes and colour, I feel that the writing itself isn’t, and if you viewed this from a distance you would not be able to see what the writing says.

I feel the successes of this piece are the colour scheme that is used, and the shape of the persons body as I feel it is quite unusual, and something that is very original to this particular film. The human form in the middle of the page almost acts as a logo, and I feel as though it would most likely be used throughout the film for things such as flyers or DVD covers.

I don’t particularly like this design as I feel it is just too simple, and wouldn’t interest me in watching the film. I feel that the concept is quite boring, and has a poor effect when used in advertising as my immediate reaction to an advert should be that it excites, or interests me. Because of this I don’t think I will be using any aspects of primitive figuration within my work.

The Man with the Golden Arm

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Bass, S (1955) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM [Theatrical Release Poster] Available at: http://illusion.scene360.com/design/49712/saul-bass-anatomy-of-a-poster/

This poster was designed by Saul Bass, and is aimed to advertise the Theatrical play ‘The man with the Golden arm’ The designer has used the concept to produce a unrealistic arm for the main focus of the poster. The writing is clear within this poster and the arm takes up the frame of the piece.

The concept helps to convey the message through the arm that is located in the center of the page. It doesn’t reveal much information, nor does it show a lot about the production.

The designer has used primitive figuration for the main focal point of the poster, to advertise the fact that the play is about a man with a golden arm. The arm shown on the front of this poster however, does not appear golden, and therefore gives you the idea that there is more to the plot than just a man with a golden arm.

The successes of this piece I feel are the typography, and the arm in the center of the page. Firstly, I feel that the typography is clear and simple, and does not divert your focus from the main part of the poster, but can be clearly read and seen without confusion as to what it says. Another success this poster has is the composition. I feel that the composition has been carefully thought about, in order to decide which information is the most relevant, and which parts of the poster would be seen first. Choosing to place the arm in the center of the page, almost orientates the play around this main factor, and suggests it is the most important part within the play.

However, I do feel this poster has a lot of negative points to it. Firstly, I feel the poster has a very flat appearance and to improve this a sense of background and foreground could perhaps have been added. In addition, I feel that there is not much of a colour scheme going on in this poster, and I believe that adding some sense of colour scheme would make this poster more memorable.

bonjour voisin!

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Quarez, M (1994) bonjour voisin! [Poster]Available at: http://thegalerie.com.au/products/bonjour-voisin-quarez

bonjour voisin! is a poster designed by Michel Quarez, to advertise local public meetings. The designer has used the concept of primitive figuration to create a person with a large hand for the focal point of his poster. ‘bonjour voisin!’ in fact means ‘hello neighbor!’ and is supposed to symbolize the friendly atmosphere that is at the local public meetings. The text at the bottom of the page means “the elected officials meet the Dionysian (wild)” The word Dionysian is an adjective used in Greek mythology, which relates to the sensual and emotional aspects of human nature. Although this poster takes a lot of understanding, the pictures is simply meant to show the simple handshake of a friendly and welcoming neighbor.

The designer has used the concept of primitive figuration to show the simplicity of the friendliness of the public meetings. It aims to be inviting and show a friendly atmosphere. Using the colour red for the hand of the person is an interesting aspect, as red has connotations to things such as love, but also the devil. This is a part of the poster I am not as fond of, as although the hand appears big to show a friendly aspect, I feel that using the colour red for such a key part was not as effective.

Another thing I am not too fond of about the poster is the dark green background, as it makes the black primitive figure less visible from afar. Additionally, it makes the small blue writing at the bottom of the poster hard to read, which is another thing that makes the poster less successful.

I feel one of the main successes of this poster is the white writing at the top of the poster s it is noticeable, and stands out on the poster. I also like the idea of the large hand to represent a friendly handshake, but feel the colours could be changed on this.

Overall, I don’t think I will be using this concept in my work as I feel it is quite unprofessional looking, and almost quite childish. Generally, it has very block colours to it, which makes the concept look very flat. This is something I don’t want my poster to be, as I want it to almost have a sense of life to it, and make it memorable for good reasons. This work has not inspired me, but instead has made me think about how I don’t want my car advert to look.

Source: Helen, S and Vienne, V (2012) 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, London, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

Metaphoric Lettering

Metaphoric Lettering

Metaphoric lettering is a novelty idea of typeface, which were at their commercial apex during the nineteenth century. Often they are visual puns, used in the twentieth century to advertise specific businesses and services, such as icicle letters to represent air conditioning, or bamboo chopstick letters to advertise Chinese food. ‘Rustic’ later copied and renamed ‘Log Cabin’ was designed by Vincent Figgins, around 1815. Rustic had logs cut which formed even round letters, but only came in capitals and was used in periodicals, bills and posters to show a ‘trompe l’oel’ illusion, and to imply naturalism. Metaphoric lettering was generally used a parlant, which is a structure that serves one basic function, but also adds a secondary meaning.

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Death to Traitors

(Designer Unknown) (1860) DEATH TO TRAITORS 

Death to Traitors (c.1860) was printed on letters and envelopes as a vividly illustrative propaganda in the time of the American Civil War. The letters form soldiers, flags and guards, and the word death even includes imagery of the traitors fate.

The designer of this typography clearly thought carefully about the type of imagery they wanted this statement to include. The purpose of this line is to deter people, by the typography showing them their fate if they are to become a traitor. The main way it would deter a traitor, is through the powerful imagery which aims to intimidate people, and scare them into obeying the law.

This design is cleverly thought through, and the soldiers are placed in specific ways to make up the letters. The relevance of the imagery in the typography is key to this particular piece, as the soldiers with their guns convey the power they have over traitors, backed up by the American flags showing the symbolism of America, and perhaps representing the disappointment the whole of America would feel if they were to encounter a traitor. The concept conveys the message in a very bold way, as it may be frightening to people as it shows the power the American soldiers have over traitors. The main way the message is shown is through the imagery used in the piece which persuades people that all traitors will get caught, as the soldiers almost stand like a wall in which traitors will not pass alive.

I feel the imagery in this piece is incredibly successful as it is interesting and easy to understand. It also shows off the American Soldiers in a powerful light and shows people the kind of power they have, evoking respect from other citizens. The American flag in this piece is also something I am fond of, as I feel it shows the pride the soldiers have over their country, and the respect they pay it by warning off traitors with this message.

I quite like this piece of metaphoric lettering as I feel it does a powerful job in conveying a message. However, I don’t like the fact that it isn’t professional looking, and i feel if it were to be in a dark bold colour, and produced to look more professional it would appear more intimidating and be more noticeable in society. Another thing I dislike about the piece is the tents drawn in the background, behind the main text. I feel that these divert your attention, and if you were to see this image from a far distance, it would be unclear as to what it says, due to the tents merging into the typography.

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Metaphoric Lettering second example

This is another example of Metaphoric Lettering. The designer and date is unknown and the only information I have managed to find on this piece is the image itself.

The designer has used metaphoric lettering as the main focus of this piece. All the images appear to link together to form one sentence. The purpose of this image is to put forward a message, which I feel through the lettering, it does this quite simply. However, as the images appear in a collage format I am unsure as to whether they are part of the same piece of work or whether they are all different, and coincidentally make up a sentence.

The images appear to have no running theme and the only correlation I can find between them is the blue colours which can be seen n almost all of them. I am least fond of the metaphoric lettering which is in the left hand corner and appears to be floating on a swimming pool, as I find it harder to read and am not sure as to what it says. I feel that this may be due to the composition of the image and perhaps if it were taken from above it would be easier to read. The image within this piece that I like the most would be the one that says ‘MY LIFE’ and looks as though it is shown on some kind of football pitch. The reason I like this the best is because of the idea that the words may be linked into the pitch behind, suggesting that football is their life. As I can only infer this due to knowing little about this piece, it makes me less keen on the piece as a whole because I don’t understand it.

Overall, I don’t like this piece as I don’t understand it and feel that the Metaphoric Lettering should be used in a clearer way. The piece also appears to have no running theme through it, and therefore feels quite random, and I feel if it were used in advertising it would not be successful because of this.

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VARIETY DIRT

Ward, C VARIETY DIRT [Format Unknown]

This ‘VARIETY DIRT’ piece of Metaphoric Lettering could possibly be used to advertise some type of soil. The reason I can infer this is due to the focal point of the piece being focused on the large word ‘DIRT’ in the center of the page. This piece of work may also demonstrate the idea that less is more, which is why it does not reveal a lot of information as to what it is about.

The designer has used the idea of Metaphoric Lettering to in fact use to dirt to form the word dirt.The outlines of the word are smudged and show the dirt in the word to be a clear example of what the word means, as it has made a mess on the crisp white background.

This is a very effective way of demonstrating a particular message, as it shows imagery of dirt as well as the word, just within one line. The designer could have written the word dirt, and then shown a pile of dirt next to it, but instead they have been more creative and used metaphoric lettering.

I feel the successes of this piece are the idea that less is more, and this makes the main word appear bolder and the focal point of the piece. However, the word closer to the top of the page ‘VARIETY’ is less noticeable because of this, and as it is in a less noticeable colour, it diverts your attention from reading it. It is also something I feel that would not be too visible from a distance, and is therefore one of the weaker parts of the lettering.

Overall, I am very fond of this piece and feel it is the most successful use of Metaphoric Lettering that I have researched so far. It shows originality and creativity, whilst demonstrating a particular thing. I also like the fact that little colour has been used in this piece, and it is not bright nor unrealistic, but still is noticeable. I feel that the white background allows the main lettering to stand out a lot a lot further than it would if it were on a more colourful background, and this is another strength that the piece has.

Source: Helen, S and Vienne, V (2012) 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, London, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

Vibrating Colours

Vibrating Colours

“A thing is never seen as it really is” – Josef Albers

The idea of vibrating colour comes from a 1960’s style, which was a blend of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Josef Albers was the first to help launch the vibrating colour trend, that would go on to represent many graphic design concepts. Albers was a course leader and head of the design platform at Yale university where he held ‘interaction of colour’ classes.

Victor Moscoso was one of the founding fathers of vibrating colours, and was someone who studied under Josef Albers at Yale university. Moscoso was a fan of Albers’ famous colour aid paper exercises to the “futility of learning algebra in high school”

Albers had a theory that colour changes in direct relation to its surroundings and the condition of the viewer. Albers never mixed his colours, and they were painted straight from the tube of paint to the canvas.

One of Albers’ ideas is clearly demonstrated within this one piece of work.

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This is example of Albers’ theory, staring at the black dot in the center of the square with large yellow circles, and then after a minute, switching to look at the other square creates the illusion that there are yellow diamonds on the page. This is another example of how Albers’ showed the power of colour, and that “A thing is never really seen as it is”.

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Interaction of Color- Josef Albers (1963)

This design is on Josef Albers’ book, showing his works and explanations of how colour has a huge impact on our lives. Placing such a iconic piece of his work on the front cover of his book allows a step into what the book is going to be about, and shows Albers’ theory come to life.

Joseph Albers appeared to believe that two of the same colour can be made to appear two different colours, and this is something which intrigued him immensely. For example, the two squares within the image shown are from the same strip of paper. Both colours are the same, but any normal human eye fails to see the two squares as the same colour.

This piece of work is Albers’ most successful works of art. It demonstrates a clear example of his theory within one image, and helps the audience to understand how the human eye sees colour. Josef Albers has used the concept of Vibrating Colours to use on the front of his book titled ‘Interaction of colour’ The piece appears just as a few rectangles and squares of circles, and I feel is therefor not too interesting for the person who looks at the cover of this book. However, Albers was famous for his theory, and using one of his most seen works of art suggests it would grab the attention of a lot of people, as it is incredibly recognizable.

This piece of work conveys Albers message quite clearly, as the two orange squares do not appear the same colour. However, as they are not explained on this book cover, for someone who does not know about Albers’ theory, the message would not be clear at all. Before researching this concept, this image just appeared simply as rectangles of colour. However, perhaps the idea of not revealing too much on this book cover makes the book more tempting to read, as you would then develop an understanding of this theory. In addition, revealing too much on the front of the book may make the book pointless itself, as there would be less to write about.

Additionally, Albers believed that one should not use vibrating colours. Victor Moscoso felt this was a rule that needed to be broken, and the vibrating colours movement took off.

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Moscoso, V (2/3 1967) Avalon Ballroom Available at: http://www.classicposters.com/Country_Joe_and_the_Fish/poster/Family_Dog/46

This piece of work is an example of a poster produced by Victor Moscoso. It features very bright, vibrating colours and has small black text at the bottom of the page.

The designer has used the concept of vibrating colours very thoroughly in this piece and has carefully thought about which colours would work to create a vibrating colour illusion. Apart from the small writing at the bottom, the designer has used vibrating colours for every aspect in this design to show which parts of the poster the audience should be focused on.

From a distance, the red typography which surrounds the circles on this poster appear to look almost like sun rays. I feel that this is a flaw in the design as this text is most likely important to understanding what the poster is advertising/about, but is instead quite difficult to read. The blue background helps these circular shapes to show up, but again is no help in showing the text to be readable. This is one way that vibrating colours is ineffective for displaying the message of this poster, as I have no idea what it is about, and cannot read the text because of the vibrant colour scheme.

However, the successes of the piece is also the colour scheme, as despite its negative points, makes the poster memorable and visible from a distance. The colours are bright and almost dazzle the eyes, which give this poster happy/joyful connotations.

In my opinion, I don’t particularly like this piece, partly due to my lack of understanding of it, and also because I cannot read the writing. I feel that the writing is an important part, and if it were less important, i would probably have not been on the poster at all. Therefore, not being able to read it I feel is a major fault in the design, and if this were changed, the poster would be dramatically improved.

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Moscoso, V (1966) NEON ROSE #2 [Poster] Available at: http://www.victormoscoso.com/gallery1.htm

Victor Moscoso took two colours at opposite ends of the colour wheel when he began to work with vibrating colours. An example of this is taking red and green, as they both have the same intensity, and the same level of dark to light. This overall meant the eye does not know which one to focus on, and instead sees the colours as vibrating. Posters in the 1960’s were generally quite bright and colourful. However Victor Moscoso took these colours to a new level by producing some of the brightest works in this time period.

Victor Moscoso has taken the idea of vibrating colours to the extreme in this particular piece of his work. The whole poster is produced in vibrating colours which creates a bright, and funky appearance. To continue, the designer has used this concept in a way of advertising ‘THE MILLER BLUES BAND’ and perhaps used these vibrating colours to mimic the sound waves coming from the music of the band.

The concept has been used to convey the message of the band in fact through this idea of sound waves. The Vibrating colours almost make the lines seem as if they are some sort of illusion, perhaps suggesting that the music is hypnotic or therapeutic, or maybe even extraordinary.

This idea I have inferred about sound waves is demonstrated through the lines that seem to hug the person shown in the middle of the poster. They show the person is in harmony with the music and this is one of the main successes of the piece. I feel that this is a success as it connotes the idea that the woman is in a calming atmosphere or at one with the music. Just from simple lines using these colours it is inferred that this poster is for a band, as we already know this through the writing it seems fairly obvious, however I feel that even without the text at the top of the page, it would be clear to see what this poster was advertising, and this is all down to the vibrating colours.

The negative parts of this poster I feel are the pink colours features on the woman as they wouldn’t be visible from a distance. This however may be because it would distract the eyes from the vibrating colours, and instead focus on the woman, because she is in the center of the page. This shows how Moscoso has used this concept cleverly to divert the attention from what is in the middle of the page, and it is the vibrating colours he seems to want the audience to focus on.

Overall I like this piece as I feel it is a very successful way of grabbing the audience’s attention, as due to the concept, this poster is extremely hard to miss, even from a greater distance.

Source: Helen, S and Vienne, V (2012) 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, London, Laurence King Publishing Ltd.