Monday, March 23, 2009

Reflection Essay History of GIC 3/23/09

It was interesting to look at how Graphic Deign was changing away from what was commonplace from the World Wars.  Futura was a brand new font which came along with the ushering of a new era, which belonged to the movement of "Art Deco" and featured geometric style. People applied what they'd learned from Cubism and De Stijl by making reductive compositional principles. Art Deco was the predecessor to branding in advertising.
AM Cassandre was a Russian Graphic Designer who was considered one of the great illustrators during hte 20th Century who possessed great Typographic skills, who brought about very different approaches to advertising, such as a fictitious character that sells a product. Its interesting to see how much this is used in today's advertising, such as the Camel mascot of cigarettes or the dozens of characters invented to sell cereal. He brought about Bold designs, emphasizing two dimensionality and iconic symbols.
I was fascinated that American Designers were copying Russian Graphic Design. Graphic Design was reaching a point where it was notable to see positive and negative graphic design, and the fact that America was looking up to what the Russians were doing, given their relationship with the USSR at that period, the fact that Americans would even look up at Russian design was very curious.
We covered a lot of the posters of World War II that were obviously influenced heavily by the war. I've learned a lot about it in the past, but its always interesting to see this kind of heavy handed patriotism mixed with subliminal messages designed to insight fear in the average citizen so they don't hurt the war effort or not contribute how they should. As always, war seems to be the foundation of progress for just about everything in the human world, Graphic Design is not exempt.
Swiss show off their exemplary work. They don't do illustrations in their work on the grounds that it is too subjective. One such designer, Herbert Matter, pioneered the integration of B&W photography with signs and color areas, which became a model for later practitioners of the International Typographic Style.  All of his pieces are considered masterpieces of 20th century graphic design.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reflection Essay History of GIC 3/16/09

It was interesting how after some years of Graphic Design, it started to become such a major part of commercialism and our culture, that it needed to be passed down to a new generation. Fundamentals to the art form were being cemented and a general sense of what was good and bad design was entering the consciousness. The Bauhaus was an integral part of GIC History, it helped define the art form, founded on the idea of providing solutions for the industrial age. 

We discussed several many things relating to the schooling of Graphic Design and some of the pioneers of the media:
Maholy Nagy designs the first course that studies in Graphic Design.
Johannes Itten makes a color theory program in the Bauhaus.
Form Follows Function
Mondrian limited himself to primary colors and straight horizontal/vertical lines, no diagonals.
Simplicity and Function in furniture
De Stijl architecture
De Stijl passes along with designer Van Doesburg in 1931
Swiss Design vies to create a design understandable internationally.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Design Discourse One

A Reevaluation of the Situationist Thesis
Veronique Vienne

  • Our minds are linked to what we do. A body that sits idle will dull their mind, while someone who crafts with their hands will stimulate and improve their nervous system.
  • Many simply buy products to satisfy themselves, but not necessarily think.
  • "Acquiring things is a poor alternative to fashioning objects"
  • "The more you consume, the less you live."
  • Members of the Situationists would deliberately disorient themselves and refuse labor-saving devices to stimulate their minds.
  • "They are buying your happiness; steal it back."
  • French describe happiness as being euphoric, mischievous, prankish.
  • "Environmentalists, students, anarchists, but also old socialists, christians tired of violence on TV, critics of genetic engineering and card carrying Union members- every single one of them worried about some unofficial global government body enforcing some elite agenda"
  • Social and Environmental responsibility of Graphic Designers
  • Drifting, defying space-time

This is a cynical and very appropriate quote for the overall tone of the article. People nowadays just seem to dwell on material well-being and are because of it, becoming very narrow-minded and dulled husks of what they could've had the potential to be. Its a shame. Its a bigger shame that they are throughly taken advantage of by governments and corporations for their own well-being, their own material well-being.

This is exactly what Veronique and the Situationists were ashamed of in this world. People who only take in, who do not contribute to the world. Whats interesting is that he is holding a football, but instead of playing, he is simply watching television. A body that sits idle numbs the mind. People really are becoming brainless by doing nothing, and its a shame because each and everyone of us really does feel better when we make something, so how come we don't get up and actually do it?

This image in particular is a good representation of what the Land of the Free has become. A Land of the Minds imprisoned to consumerism. Our country wholly supports our unrelenting appetite of stale enjoyment. I wonder what our forefathers would have thought had they seen our country's future, or the thousands of people that indeed recognize the sad state of our nation, but are unwitting to do anything about it. A big help they are.