Word Puzzle Universal Wrapping paper – the concept is wonderfully simple, witty and versatile.
Stefan Sagmeister, designer talks about his belief that design = happiness. I chose this talk amongst my search for graphic design and his talk is one I most relate to because it sounds like we think alike! Listening to what he has to say about every day life occurances and supersticions reminds me of the way my brain focuses and interprets information around me.
Sagmeister is renowned for creating album covers, posters and his book of life lessons, ultimately he has various different ways of looking at things. He talks about his obsession of making lists, he has an approachable personality and that transpires in his notable humour!
Things Organised Neatly is a fantastic design blog that updates daily with pioneering photography that captures the art/design of making things look simplistic and ordered. I think everyone is a bit obsessive and this pays homage to being the maverick of all-things-organised!
Product Design: Creatives re-imagine everyday products for Reform exhibition.
It’s Nice That is a celebrated art and design agency keen to champion creativity in innovative and inspiring ways, collaborating with some of the best creative agencies and individuals in its industry. I am always keen to select and share my favourite posts stand out to me and make me tick. Reform inspires people to look at the qualities of everyday products and how they can be re-used and re-purposed for creative innovations. The clever concept of re-using a product in this multi-way process is pioneering, purposeful and very attractive!
I’ve chosen some of my most favourite eye-catching pieces from Unilever’s Reform exhibition where they worked with It’s Nice That’s sister agency INT. They work to create breakthrough every day products into something new. The innovative use of materials suggests there could be a growing change in manufacturing process, in order to put in place a higher importance for appealing recycling and re-using. I also really love the bright use of colours, yellows and blues which have really put Reform on the map!
I soon realised on my Time Out experience that it was inevitable that I’d run into another gallery. The word ‘Art’ is slightly diverting my thoughts to the fact that I am in fact writing a Design blog and I’m still questioning what Graphic Design means? Is that OK? I was to be reassured in about 20 minutes when I came across two art galleries next door to each other, within a few metres away from Atlas gallery.
I saw the concept behind a musical piece which took refuge on a plinth, using an exposed wind-up music box hole punched onto small pieces of lined paper – each musical note that played would cut a small circular shape in the paper and create a unique pattern.
AV Gallery was the first gallery I walked into – Nature Reserves being the group exhibition being held there until mid-September exploring the human understanding of the natural environment. I’m always searching for elements of graphic design in what I experience so this was a chance to see the concept behind fine art, dig further and make it communicate. From the minimalist appearance of the gallery and well curated artworks, it was easier to take note of design elements – such as the use of materials and techniques that the artists have used. This included the white paper, box frames and typographic features in the archival ephemera on show.
The collection of Weeds reminded me of paper engineering seen in the meticulous work of Peter Callesen and the precision behind making small, delicate models successful. I wasn’t so impressed with Laura Culham’s paper collection as there is limited concept, no physical movement or play of imagery to visual stimulate me and communicate. They are truly beautiful as they are, but unfortunately lack Peter Callesen wit!
After visiting the Sadie Coles gallery on my Time Out rampage, I was determined to visit some more galleries that were listed on the same Art section of the magazine. I went on to find Atlas Gallery, exhibiting True Colours – a dynamic breadth of colour photography.
Here, I discovered my ultimate love for Photographic Journalism when I came across and dived into the pages of Rene Burri’s Impossible Reminiscences book. His retrospective photography has been a great influence on providing a visual understanding of important cultural and political events of the second half of the twentieth century. I really admire his transcendent observation of daily occurrences in strikingly visual places and situations. I would say we share a love of retro cars, signage, advertisements, typography, distorted places and colour.
I can really relate to the photograph of the ghostly figures of people walking through the grungy looking subway with its dim lighting, low ceilings and harsh neon lighting that stands prominently against the dark background. I can relate to it because I’ve probably felt frightened by the feeling of finding myself in a place like this without any form of communication or safety. It feels like an abandoned place where someone would find themselves in the early hours of the morning when trains aren’t running and time seems to stand still. The abandoned atmosphere adds to the drama of the photo; however this place does have human interaction, where people are constantly on the go, arriving and departing which René Burri has captured through a slow shutter speed shot to give the impression of movement.
When I’m travelling on the London Underground at any hour of the day, the atmosphere of the train stations I pass by have a constant changing atmosphere, emphasised by the surroundings and the personalities I meet in split moments. This is a unique and curious experience when I begin to think of sliding door moments and what would happen if I interrpretated time by arriving late or on time, causing a chain of events to occur. These are a few thoughts that pop into my mind. But wouldn’t it be more fun to plan out a structured idea to create a chain of events and experiment with transport system?!
I bought myself a second Time Out magazine dated 3rd-9th September to get hold of some more listings to visit and experience. One of the listings that my hammered nail pinpointed was the Sadie Coles gallery on South Audley Street off of Oxford Street. I went to see the exhibition by Shannon Ebner: The Electric Comma whose work explores the links between language and photography. The exhibition reminded me of my Final Major Project from Foundation which was a culmination of the ambiguity of language and design. The exhibition is a result of a three year project – Black Box Collision A and The Electric Comma – which the latter is based on a thirteen-line poem written in 2011. Her form of medium was a rented Portable Changeable Message Sign, the kind used to announce roadside emergency information, such as traffic accidents, detours and delays on the road. She programmed the sign with the Electric Comma text.
I was presented with six black-and-white photographs which formed portions of the poem which had a varying amount of legibility and was sort of pixelated. The leitmotif of the series is the Comma, which has a way of revealing and restricting meaning. I was completely confused by this word and its placement in the poem. I’m still trying to understand it – which I’m sure was the photographer intention. The photos play upon the mutable nature of language and instead of it seen as text it is seen as form with countless variations. I liked the photographic medium which Ebner used in black and white but found the poem mundane and irrelevant – “go outside this time and plug in some really long chord.” I see her intention being underlined by typography and the simplistic beauty in language and symbols.
I enjoyed the large-scale Black Box Collision A photo series showing thirteen variations of the letter A found on the tops of buildings, walls, vehicles and electronic surfaces which each the result of some kind of visual communication, sign, advertisement of message. I would define them as a slice of photographic journalism – the whole story is not revealed through this repetitive letter A, but more like a puzzle which could be pieced together.
The University of the Arts London: London College of Communication is holding the Posters: From the Icograda Archive exhibition which has the potential to make Graphic design newbies, like me, bow down to renowned creative heroes and visual communicators from this century. The poster collection gave me the opportunity to experience how visual communication design has been so successful and how 45 posters were selected amongst 2,000 for exhibiting. I was really inspired by Icograda’s communication design beliefs – ‘communication design is an intellectual, technical and creative activity concerned not simply with the production of images but with the analysis, organisation and methods of presentation of visual solutions to communicate problems.’ This sums up a winning piece of graphic design for me.
I enjoyed learning about what the 15 leading creatives had to say about their selection process and that ‘there were some inspired, logical and haphazard methods to selecting’ which is a true testament to ‘Method in the Madness’. It was refreshing to read about how they dealt with the massive selection which gave me an insight into their very humanised and humorous responses! I liked what they had to say and picked a few of my favourites references. Lucy Vigrass is an illustrator and a member of Peepshow Collective, ‘You have to make an instant decision, with no lingering’ – which I think is a good principle by which to live life in general. A bit like Vigrass, Noma Bar states her experience as being in a candy shop with variations of flavour, then having to pick one flavour. She is a distinguished graphic artist who believes ‘posters were the blogs and social media of the past’ – I understand how she relates the retrospective analogy. Posters communicate information which is contained to the boundaries of a piece of paper? I liked her cultural interest into Polish poster design and agree with her fascination in having the ability to tell a story with simplicity and a few lines.
During Summer 2013, Dalston based studios Print Club London teamed up with Somerset House and Film4 to curate a screen printed poster exhibition. The unique collaboration combines specially renowned illustrators from across the UK, Europe and USA who designed and culminated in 16 innovative screen prints based upon each film screened this year at Film4 Summer Screen.
The short film gives refreshing highlights and insight into the artists design and production methods, as well as an insight into the beginnings of their carears. The Film4 Screening is an annual event and a huge success, bringing Londoners together. Along with the fantastic filming and interviews, the film underlines the way Print Club London collaborate to find new elements to their projects every year.
This talented bunch are really inspirational in getting people together to work on innovative new projects, which i’m looking forward to on degree. I share a love for nostalgia and film which is totally summerised into this collection of Film4 posters and seen through for an excellent purpose.