As an advertising and art major, I have learned that simplicity and legibility are often the most important aspects of any visual. Each creation should be straight forward and easy to comprehend. This does not mean that these works are shallow, but that the initial understanding gathered by the viewer should be accurate nearly 100% of the time. Paul Rand’s designs display these qualities seamlessly. Rand began his advertising and design career over 70 years ago, yet his work is still relevant today. Many of his logo designs created in the 1960s and ‘70s, but are still used today. It is due to the simplicity and legibility of his designs for large corporations such as ABC, IBM, and UPS that these logos are still used today. Upon first glance, the common person is able to notice the meaning of the UPS logo. The small, tied package at the top is a dead give-away. Some people might walk away from this logo taking only that with them, and that is okay, that is all they really need to know about the company. But as the viewer looks more closely at the logo, it begins to represent some sort of badge, a badge that is usually earned for good work and/or quality service just like a badge a boy scout might wear. Surface and hidden meanings are what make Rand’s logos so powerful in the design world. His work sets a great precedent for fellow and future designers.-Michaela
December 1940, one year before the bombing of Pearl Harbor which brought the United States into World War II, this cover for Direction magazine suggests a frightening future. The simple photograph of a gift wrapped in barbed wire with a hand written greeting on a delivery tag and red dots takes us into the world of a pictorial dialectic: gift giving and prisoner detention, holiday happiness and war time sadness, a cross symbolic of Christianity and the central limbs of a swastika. Paul Rand studied the graphic masters of Europe and my have had personal knowledge of the wartime tragedies already happening in Europe. With this simple cover design he captures their fear and apprehension.
Alexander Liberman's poster "United We Win" really stood out to me because it showed the geist of the time. He combined a photo in the foreground, the American flag in the background and a strong, solid black text in the very foreground/bottom of the image. This design was powerful in that it served its purpose in trying to show what america was like during that time...it showed equality by having a white man and black man laborously working. Isn't that what good design does? Gets the point across simply and says/tells the viewer something...this did that quite well. Designers can look back at some of Liberman's work from that time and use his ideas today to state messages about the times were are currently living in and for advertisement pursposes. It's very strong, yet simple design that really gets the point across with use of text, photo, and image used in layers. I feel that the "United We Win" poster is a staple to be looked at by designers of advertising/media today.
i meant to write "white text" not black text in my comment...please excuse.
Last week I talked about the creation and political use of photomontages and given the material posted this week I think it is even more relevant to talk more specifically about the construction and justification for certain elements in the montages. The creation of these “stages” usually sought out to feature Staling surrounded by his workers, pilots, young athletes reminiscent of the Roman glory days of physical perfection, strong women expecting a newborn and peaceful, healthy children. These of course would be placed in either a smaller scale or a not-so-prominent position in the composition. Smaller elements, like the ones mentioned above will never really compete in terms of size, positioning or significance with the main figure. Their faces however, bright, shining, smiling, looking upwards are all part of the system’s agenda. Lissitzky and Rodchenko’s work was also inundated with the constant highlighting of industrial and infrastructural advancement. For example Stalin would be portrayed against a background of a modern, sumptuous city (most likely imaginary and promised or under construction), monuments, never ending fields of bread and potatoes or grandiose monuments. Historian Grigor Suny has claimed that the design and promotion of them aimed to show “the physical representation of what the Soviet system could achieve. The steel and stone buildings, the subway…were a promise to the people of the coming rewards for the sacrifices and pain they had endured during The Great Stalinist Breakthrough”. This imagery was all part of what historians refer to as the “Stalin Constitution”. It wanted to reinforce what Stalin said about how Soviet society had grown beyond initial revolutionary phase. By 1936 Stalin said that Soviet society and works on a basis of "friendly cooperation…Soviet society…does not know [class] contradictions; it is free of class conflicts…”
Alexander Liberman's "The Circle Paintings" is one om my faviriot works he created. Its a 4-foot-square field of shiny black enamel that bears a thin, perfectly circular ring of white. The eye understands Liberman's circles as flawlessly circular, his fields as flawlessly rectangular, and his symmetries as balanced with perfect precision. Though this immaculate surface looks like the product of an impersonal manufacturing process, it was in fact brushed on by hand, in two coats. His Circle Paintings have a quixotic purpose: to refer the mind to certain luminously clear ideas--even ideals--of form and structure. These works invite us to contemplate absolutes. They also invite us to be more active
Arries99 = David sierra
I can’t remember if it was in Boston or DC when my mother first saw a few of Piet Mondrian’s paintings, hung one after the other in order of his stylistic development, as Triff noted “from the early 1910's (Red Tree) until his famous Boogie-Woogie from 1943”. She said something along the lines of, “Why is he so famous for making straight lines on a canvas with some primary colors? Hand me some masking tape and I could do that, too.” And she was probably right, but that is missing the point. Mondrian painted something extremely different from anything we had seen before and therefore started a chain reaction in the art world. Mondrian pioneered the Die Stijl movement, an aesthetic with roots in the abstracted cubist realm, but still far from it.The Dutch movement was a picky eater when it came to color and form, but hungry to influence industrial design and architecture, and usually spent its nights dreaming of simplifying elements down in order to master some level of equilibrium for the distant viewer’s eye to enjoy. So the point was not that anyone could probably make stuff that looked similar to Mondrian’s style if they had some masking tape lying around, it was that Modrian did it and actually made it work. -Emma Cason-Pratt
Looking through the images posted last week, one artist stood out in my mind. Alexey Brodovitch's work caught my eye as a graphic designer. I love the yellow, black and white layout for Harper's. The use of shape, form and color is very well done and creates an interesting piece out of a few shapes and two colors. Brodovitch revolutionized American magazine design. He turned boring, static design into something interesting. He used the double-page spread as a dynamic canvas for obscure photographs, clean typefaces like Bodoni, and white spaces into a composition of beauty. He had the ability to evoke emotions from his pages; the variations in sizes, values and colors. Many photographers owe their careers to Brodovitch such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. Brodovitch helped further shape the future of graphic design by teaching classes open to the masses.
Piet Mondrian is a very interesting artist. I did a project for another class not too long ago which resembled a Mondrian. At least that's what I was told, I had no idea who the man was at the time. But when looking into his work, I was amazed at how dedicated he was to his artistic theory. Restricting himself to black, gray, the primary colors and lines only in the horizontal and vertical. Arguing that everything could be broken down into these basic elements. Was he then a true abstract artist? Were his lines and boxes still referencing something? Regardless, the man seemed to have been a little off in the noodle, but the art is wonderful none-the-less. Its amazing to see when artists limit themselves to such strict guidelines. The few things they allow themselves to do are done to their extreme and with great results. The eccentric artist cliché seems to be a well earned title. There is a world of endless possibilities to create something for arts sake, and to break your means of doing so so profoundly is really something.
At a first glance, looking at Rietveld’s and Oud’s architectural designs, I thought I was staring at works from the present day. Newly developed homes in the 21st century are extremely similar to what was being done eighty years ago with De Stijl architecture. In particular, the Schroder House is an excellent example of abstraction and universality by simplifying form and color. Only the primary colors plus black and white along with sharp simplistic lines and edges makes the home so unique. Distinctive planes in a detached form create a façade each with linear components creating verticals and horizontals. The inside is even more spectacular because it is all about open space. There is no static accumulation of rooms, but instead a system of sliding and revolving panels. The building is not congruent with its surrounding buildings. It is as though the Schroder House was placed in from a completely different era but truly amazing.
The Harper’s Bazaar spread by Alexey Brodovitch uses various elements of graphic designs. The composition of the spread is interesting because of the contrast between size and shape. The woman on the left seems to be a miniature standing on a giant harp. Both women also seem to have no relationship with the musical instruments other than the contrast between their clothing and the color or shape of the instrument. The two pages work independently of each other as designs, but also work well together. The large black harp which breaks the left page contrasts with the white space which is overpowering the right page. Although, a minor element of the page, the typography seems to be in contrast as well with the headline in italics, centered between the gutter and the cello and the body in roman and ragged right. The entire spread is an exercise in contrasts. Yet, these contrasts work harmoniously rather than in conflict. The spread is immediately striking as elegant and well planned.-Raymond Mathews
Post a Comment