My favorite post this week was about George Lois As a fan of the magazine industry, and the 1960’s and 1970s, his work attracted me the most. What I especially like was how Lois created covers that had meaning, a purpose. They made controversial statements on what was going on during the 60s, 70s, and he used subjects I greatly admire; Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe. Looking at his covers, it is clear they each have a focal point and are graphically concise. Lopez knew that by creating covers that had to do with society, it would stimulate and provoke the public to confront controversial issues. One of my favorite works by Lois is the cover featuring Andy Warhol drowning in Campbell soup. I particularly like Lois’ use of symbolism, showing Warhol himself getting sucked into pop culture. It is unfortunate today, how magazines do not look they way do in Lois’ creations, and perhaps the magazine industry would be doing better if covers alluded to current social and politically commentary. I also notice in Lois’ covers, the lack of text describing what will be in the magazines. I especially like this because it lets the viewer focus more on the image and what the image is trying to say. Lois’ images alone are strong enough for a viewer to open up a magazine.
I think that it is remarkable how Saul Bass was able to achieve success through creating simple yet purposeful art. He has a high skill level at making these logos stand out and have a strong purpose. It is fascinating how so many of the logos we all are unwillingly exposed to and are embedded in our brains were the creations of Saul Bass. Logos such as AT&T, Exxon, Kleenex, United Airlines, and Quaker were all designed by Saul Bass. Not only are his achievements with logos significant but he was a big name in the film industry as well. He created movie posters as well as title sequences within the films. His posters were done for movies including The Shining, Goodfellas, Spartacus, and West Side Story. He tended to use very eye catcing colors like bright reds and yellows while always incorporating graphics in relation to the film. The graphics he used were never too complex but were easily remembered and identified by those who saw them. The graphics were carefully chosen to serve as reminders and as memorable associations to the film. His most magnificent work is his title sequences within the films. These were sequences of words consisting of the people and companies associated with the film as well as the title of the film also known as opening credits. He made these opening credits much more gripping and exciting. He was an innovator and his work accounts for how impressive he was. He recognized how important the first few moments of a movie are and therefore would stream graphics highly symbolic of the movie that would be coming afterwards. For example his titling sequence for the opening credits of the movie Psycho, is text that is jumbled so that it can't be read until criss crossing lines strike through the words to make them readable. This symbolic animation serves to foreshadow the eerie actions that will occur. Saul Bass's technique of opening credits using different graphic animations became a very suspenseful and creative way of opening a film and greatly influenced the film industry.
The Esquire Magazine covers by George Lois captured my attention the most. After doing some informal research on wikipedia and familiarizing myself with Andy Warhol, the avant-garde movement, and other key terms, I found the cover “Andy Warhol drowns in his own soup” very amusing. George Lois is extremely bold, clever and witty in the messages that he communicates through these covers. Some have even ventured to call Lois insensitive after the Kennedy Without Tears cover. The cover with Nixon getting his make-up done is priceless and simply genius. He delivers social and political messages in less than 10 words and an image. The conclusion is left to the audience. Based on the descriptions given for each cover on the georgelois.com webpage, I formed a certain image of Lois. This image consists of an accelerated artist with constant ideas flowing into his mind. He pays no attention to what the publisher, editor, or even the boss wants. He flaunts that although the revenue from the magazine dramatically increased after he started designing the covers, the magazine always held their breath about his “controversial” covers. He was outspoken and deliberate. It is a shame to see these covers and the covers of today’s Esquire – The current covers only provoke a sense of nostalgia for the old style after being introduced to George Lois’ work.
These most recent posts, I think, really get into the difference between fine arts and graphic design. Logos and branding lend to a more business-centered approach to the creative process. It is important not only to have good-looking visuals associated with your company, but also to have them match up with the overall feeling of the brand-thus, an encompassing brand identity. Graphics that are not in sync with core values put the company at risk, "drawing interest from the wrong prospects or alienating existing clients. Or it will achieve nothing for the brand by being devoid of meaning" (Jan McPhedron). Creating this personality for a group (corporation, organization, or any other cause) helps to make both similarities and differences to other groups apparent. It is important for graphic designers to remember the purpose of their work from the start in order to avoid over-designing. Paul Rand's logos are famous for a reason. When asked his secret for long-lasting popularity in his designs, Rand responded "Keeping it simple. Being honest."
My favorite artist from this time period has to be my graphic design icon: Paul Rand. Not only are his Esquire designs cutting edge, but they convey a message beyond what is obvious. His raw, "cut and paste" design schemes set the standard for what can be achieved on any given medium. His corporate identity logos combine typography and graphics in the most successful of ways, from his Esquire logo in 1938, to Enron in 1996. As per his advertising campaign background, I am most impressed by his early with with Architectural Forum. Through a series of 6 magazine covers, Rand captures an idea using a strict, unified color scheme that varies with each issue (see them all at http://www.paul-rand.com/ads.shtml). What the magazine aims to convey, Rand expresses in a new artistic fashion, combining hand drawings with paper cutouts and overlapping type. While each issue of Architectural Forum contains the same type on the cover, each varies drastically from the next. Even the square "F" box remains in the same position in all the covers, yet each is completely different from all the others. Rand takes abstract art and translates it to the target audience by means of graphic design. Each work contains new meaning, which in turn allows the viewer to be struck with the overwhelming sensation of "the new". By introducing this concept to the advertising market, the standards of design began to change, drifting toward an abstracted simplicity that broke with the poster artists' maximalist tendencies. Originality was valued alongside legibility, and through this mastermind of American design, a new art was born into the 20th century. ~Laura Patricelli
I enjoyed Paul Rand’s designs the most. He was the mastermind behind some of our society’s most recognized designs, such as ABC, UPS, and IBM. I found his statement that “ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting" to be rather intriguing. I am not a graphic designer, but I would have assumed that the newer and more mysterious an idea, the more of an audience it will find. Instead, Rand counsels that simple is better, and history would prove him correct. The logos he designed are still in use, by and large without change, decades later. I think a large part of his success was his ability to design logos that conveyed the essence of the company it was representing. Simplicity in design makes for a good logo; simplicity in design coupled with an undeniable expression of corporate identity makes for a brilliant logo. Rand used the bare minimum possible for his designs, and yet was able to communicate exactly the persona the company wanted to portray.
Paul Rand's widely known contribtuion to graphic design are his corporate identities, many of which are still in use. One of his primary strengths was his ability as a salesman to explain the needs his identities would address for the corporation. According to graphic designer Louis Danziger, "He almost singlehandedly convinced business that design was an effective tool. Anyone designing in the 1950's and 1960's owed much to Rand, who largely made it possible for us to work. He more than anyone else made the profession reputable. We went from being commercial artists to being graphic designers largely on his merits."Although his logos may be interpreted as simplistic, Rand was quick to point out in A Designer's Art that "ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting." His American Broadcasting Company trademark, created in 1962, epitomizes the ideal of minimalism while proving Rand's point that a logo "cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint."
I found the work of Piet Zwart to be the most original and inspirational as a graphic designer. He basically was photoshopping before adobe products were even invented; the layering and overlapping of his photos and subtle changes in opacity all are reminiscent of the capabilities of software today. His piece utilizing typography in different primary colors on a field of white is particularly interesting to me. There seems like there is a lot at risk doing a piece like this; it may appear cluttered, one dimensional, or just plain boring without images, however, Zwart demonstrates an understanding of typography and spatial composition that makes the piece very strong. The varying sizes of type give the page dimension and the clumps of type act like abstract images. I really like his piece with the robot figure riding the bike. The direction the bike goes in creates a line of vision for the viewer to follow. There are so many different plains all intermingled that Zwart has created an interesting atmosphere. The use of different media is also evident in the piece.
This week we learned many logo designs. I like them, especially the logo design of IBM. From the magazines and other resources, I got to know that after IBM has changed its laptop’s logo from ThinkPad to legend , many of its fans got upset and even angry, because they thought that IBM died and disappeared. They like the computer of ThinkPad, but they love the brand of IBM more. From this, we know that the logo “IBM”, the three letters, is not only just a loge, but also represent the spirit, nobleness, and high-quality of IBM Company.
I read the history of IBM from Internet. I found that IBM changed its logo for three times. At the very beginning, the company borrowed on the equities in its brand image to be its logo. Until 1947, the new logo was created and replaced the previous ”globe”. The new loge is the simple letters "IBM" in a typeface called Beton Bold.The second change happened in 1956. The logotype ”IBM” created by a noted graphic designer Paul Rand, replaced the former Beton Bold typography with City Medium, as the letters "IBM" took on a more solid, grounded and balanced appearance.The third time, In 1972, the company introduced a new version of the logotype. Designed by Paul Rand, horizontal stripes now replaced the solid letters to suggest "speed and dynamism." In the intervening quarter-century, the basic design has remained constant, one of the most recognized logotypes in the world, and a design that has been widely imitated by others.The IBM logo is a way to carry on the company's personality, culture, and worth. It is able to grasp customers' attention at the first sight, and provide them with a good feeling.
Happy Thanksgiving to professor Triff and all my classmates!
Kids, nice comments.
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