Archives for the month of: February, 2013

Stefan Sagmeister is well known for his typographic experiments. Once again, I had never heard of Sagmeister, but when I saw certain pieces of his work, such as the words being spelt out in between the trees. After viewing the full presentation, this wasn’t the reason I liked Sagmeister. We were shown the slides about Sagmeister chronologically, so we saw his early work first. We were told that the first project Sagmeister did was branding himself, where he created a business card and type logo, focusing on the letter S. This work in particular really stood out to me. I love his use of simple design; in particular the way he used the dual layers that could be overlapped (as shown below).

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We were then shown more of Sagmeister’s experimental typography work. I really enjoyed watching the video’s that showed his process to create the letterforms; which could easily be shown as the outcome as a still image or the full footage, and I think even with my simplistic, spacious style, I could emulate something like this, if it suited the project, or just for fun. I’ve always wanted to have an outcome that shows my process, like a time lapse, so I’m sure at some point I will try this.

We then moved back onto Sagmeister’s Logo Design, this time for EDP, the Portugese energy company. After watching this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xInCu7099Q I fell in love. There is something about this video/design that really inspires me. The illustrative side of this video is really stunning, and I have watched this video many times after the lecture to get inspired – just purely because it makes me ‘happy’. The logo’s are stunning (pictured below). It’s the little things that make me so intrigued by this design, such as the shadows under the images, give the sense they are hovering through their own ‘energy’. The overlapping and opaque element of the shapes is also stunning; the shapes all give a really fluid geometric outcome; each shape looks pure – quite natural, like a flower, but in a such ‘current’ and up to date style.

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I can now honestly say, Sagmeister has given me a new outlook on logo design – another element/style to have a play with, and see what I can produce. Whether this will be in a project at Uni, work for my clothing line or a ‘rebrand’ for myself, I’ll be sure to experiment with Sagmeister’s techniques I featured above.

I’ll now move on to Jane’s second hero; Kate Moross. We had seen some of Kate’s work in a previous lecture; the piece of advertising she has produced for Cadbury’s. Whenever I see a design (in one of these informative lectures) that I have seen in the real world (on my travels, on TV, in the newspaper etc), I am always intrigued to find out more. This piece is absolutely incredible; the “one and a half glasses of milk” logo makes this design for me. It’s another logo that I absolutely love; the use of positive and negative, and then the way this logo ‘flows’ or ‘spills’ into the design is absolutely timeless in my opinion. I’ve heard we have a brief on branding for Cadbury’s, so this has inspired me to think about some designs I could do.

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I’ve talked about two great users of typographers in this entry, and it’s really inspired me to try to use my own unique typography in an illustration. Hopefully I’ll get a chance through these four briefs, but if not, I’ll be sure to try something out over Easter or the Summer, and post them on this blog.

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My first memory of Piet Mondrian was in my first years of high school – so around 6/7 years ago. We were doing basic creative tasks in an Art lesson, and we had to put coloured squares on a black piece of paper to create a grid. I have searched through my old high school work, but I can’t find anything that resembles this memory. I also referenced Mondrian in my early GCSE work, but the first piece I can show you is from my very first task in A-Level Graphics at College. Pictured below, are mounted outcomes of tasks we had to do combining collaged materials, type, shape,textures, effects and a Mondrian Grid. They aren’t the pieces of work I am ‘proud’ of, but it’s the type of thing I will always keep to show my journey through Design.

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Back onto the man himself, Piet Mondrian, 1872-1944, was a Dutch Painter, who focused on visible grids/lines that created recantangles and squares which he usually selectively filled with the Primary Colours of Red, Blue and Yellow. Mondrian was also a huge lover of ‘White Space’ and minimalism, which I can relate to in my work. The grids he features in his designs are predominantly black outlines, sometimes varying in thickness, that define the shapes throughout the piece and allowed him to create an array of beautifully structured pieces. As I said, I have been a huge lover on Mondrian for many years, but one of my favourite elements or uses of his work is for interior design. As seen below, I just think his work suits ‘space’ so perfectly. With the type of structured design that he produced, I don’t think you can give the canvas a ‘limit’, so I think putting it in a 3D space that all ‘links’ – like the six inner walls of this room, works perfectly. I would love to have a studio, or even a bedroom just like this.

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This makes me think how can such a set of monumental designs, can look better to ‘me’ when they are not in the original ‘medium’ – or maybe Mondrian designed them to be like that – a universal piece of design. Mondrian will always be a huge inspiration to me, and I hope that he will be a constant influence on me in the future, as he is for sure, one of my design heroes.

We have now moved onto the second part of ITAP, where the lectures now focus on a selection of our Lecturers Design Hero(es). I love these lectures because I know for a fact I can get influenced by design (creating motivation) very easily. I am always intrigued to find new designers, so as well as writing blog posts on my Lecturers Heroes, I will be including my own (new and old) throughout the process.

The first Design Hero we were presented with was Saul Bass. I have always loved Saul Bass’ work throughout my creative career, as we were introduced to him very early in my A-Level Graphic Design course. In particular, I love the way he links his two main areas – Graphic Design and Film Making. A lot of his Graphic Design features elements of Film – whether they are coincidentally posters for films, such as The Shining (pictured below) or logo design. In the poster for ‘The Shining’, I really likes how he uses ‘simple’ techniques we now take for granted; such as the clipping mask of the image in the word ‘The’. I am not usually a big lover of ‘un-even’ hand drawn type, but in this poster, the two lower class ‘i’s’ and the title type in general really give it a ‘personal’ feel, adding an element of terror much like a ransom note.

The more commercial side of Saul Bass’ work, such as the numerous number of logo’s he has created, have also had an evident effect on the creating of modern day logos. Many of the designs he has created as logo’s for many big brands, have stood the test of time. In many cases, from the original logo’s he created, to the same brands current day logos, you can evidently see how his logo’s have created the visual appearance behind the brand. For example, the logo he created for AT&T (top image, pictured below) has been carried through until this very day (bottom image, pictured below). The company has made changes to give the logo a more modern feel, but the crucial elements have all been kept in tact.

Saul Bass famously said that “Design is thinking, made visual”. Looking through images of his work, it is evident that he takes complex ideas and thoughts, and makes them into very simple, effective pieces of design. Saul Bass would have been featured as one of my heroes whether or not he was included in one of our ITAP talks.

The second creative we were introduced to was David Carson. I had never heard of him in name, but when we were shown images of his work, I realized I had seen some before. David Carson is sometimes named as a marmite designer; as there are many people in our faculty that love his design, and many that hate it. As a fan and user of simplistic design, I cannot ‘side’ on his work. I do not personally like many of his covers and spreads he has produced for magazines such as Ray Gun, as I find his work is a bit ‘all over the place’, and I like really structured, simple, vector design. Although, saying this, I have found an early piece of his work he did for Nike, pictured below, that I really love. As a HUGE fan on Nike Footwear, as you may see in some of my previous blog entries, I can be won over by any type of good Nike-related design. The way he has used rotated type, positive and negative type and huge areas of white space is something I used in my group magazine. He guides the eye around the piece by using type size/weight, word rotations and removing the counters in letters for other words. This makes us ‘work’ our way around the design, giving it a personal feel. I cannot say I am a great fan of what David Carson has done in Graphic Design, but I appreciate his talent and the imagination he has for being creative.

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