I really enjoyed Waldemar Świerzy's handmade techniques in his posters. I have always liked combining media. It lends to a more intricate design, especially when using each medium to its full advantage. His Jimi Hendrix poster was especially pleasing to the eye because of its contrasting colors. I like how the dark palette for Hendrix's face clashes with the bright pastels of the psychedelic design. It seems as if the clash of these colors would prove to be an eyesore, but they complement each other quite well. The darks make the brights seem brighter, and the brights make the darks seem darker. Both schools of color are playing off each other instead of fighting each other, leading to a very successful poster of an equally successful musician.
So far the Polish designs are by far my favorites. The bold use of color, placement, type and dramatic images are really very eye catching. The artist I’ve chosen to comment on is Piet Zwart. Because he used aspects of constructivism in his pieces I think the typeface I designed for class with its sharp edges and box nature would have fared well in one of Zwart’s compositions. In the Fortune piece using the test tubes, I love the use of negative white space filled with strokes of primary and secondary color. Its so basic yet effective. In addition, the type heavy piece for the post office is beautiful. The layering of the letters and different typefaces is perfect for the type of industry it represents. Again, the use of primary colors is clear connecting the piece back to the artist.Finally, the red white and blue photomontage used bold images of a woman’s face (whose eyes are piercing), stars, and a smoke signal money sign. The angular use of type gives the piece dimension while the layering of the images added dynamism.
I really liked Tadeusz Trepkowski's posters. He planned his posters well with a knowledge of where they were to be displayed. They were street posters, so their message had to be clear and quickly recognized. He knew that the people who would see his poster would recognize the simple shapes he utilized (like the silhouette of a bomb). Without much training, it's impressive that he had such a knack for white space and an intuition about how to lead a viewer's eye around a design. His posters are full of information that jumps out of the page through their simple imagery/text.
I enjoyed the work of Waldemar Świerzy, as well. He seems to capture the viewer with his use of contrast, vivid color, and shape. To me, Świerzy’s approach seems to stem partly from surrealism since he uses organic and rounded shapes, like in his poster with the clouds. His poster of Jimi Hendrix also consists of various shapes and lines to make up the face that is offset by accents of vivid color. This poster is one of my favorites not only because of the vivid psychedelic color patterns fitting to the subject matter, but because Świerzy really utilizes the goal of a poster. A poster is to be seen and interpreted quickly from far away. It may be hard to recognize the shapes when viewed up close, but as the viewer steps back it comes together as a compelling face of rock legend, Jimi Hendrix.
Kara makes a good point in reference to Tadeuz Trepkowski’s posters, in that he uses simple recognizable shapes that are full of information. His simple poster designs do in fact send out big messages through little narrative. Through this method, Trepkowski produced some of the most memorable post-war polish posters. His simple objects were full of clear, symbolic meaning. His poster, “Nie!” with the silhouette of a bomb as Kara pointed out, only included what was important, a city destroyed by the war within the outline of a bomb, alongside Nie!, meaning No!. He inspired many artists of the time to simplify their posters, giving a more effective design.
Piet Zwart, pioneer of modern typography clearly broke with tradition and incorporated De Stijl style in his designs. This school of art originating in 1917 was characterized by the use of rectangular shapes and primary colors. Likewise, his posters seen here make clear use of primary colors, geometric shapes and repeated words or patterns. His film poster additionally shows his influence of photomontage, as it appears to be an assembly of different images. Also, the third poster shown, with the bicycle and says “Expresse Brief,” reminds me of the Dada style. Besides having a collection of different typographic styles, it is very incongruent and difficult to understand upon first glance. The strangeness of the design is comparable to the designs of Dada, which are marked by nonsense, randomness or chance.
I as well enjoyed Waldemar Swierzys handmade technique in his posters. I like the combination of folk art and twentieth century fine art. The Jimi hendrix poster really reminds me of the monroe images that Warhol did, in that pop art way. Probably due to the psychedelic swirls and colors incorporated into the poster. I think it is important to understand the history behind the war to truly understand the power and significance of the Polish posters. Propaganda was one of the most powerful methods of spreading information, especially during that period. I think that the polish did an extraordinary job and i agree with scolbert, the polish designs are my favorite as well. I also agree with kara D when she speaks about how the message of street posters have to be quickly recognized, i believe as well that Trepkowskis posters so a good job portraying their message with use of images and symbols relevant to the time.
I most enjoyed Alvin Lustig's designs for book jackets. The color scheme that he used is reminiscent of the mid 70's and the forms are all obscured geometric shapes. He manages a careful balance between obscure shapes and bright colors, and simple san serif texts, sometimes entirely in lower-case. In other works, his whimsical texts fit seamlessly into the swirly designs like in his cover for "The Spoils." My favorite is the book jacket for "Three Lives." The figures are abstract but clear enough because of the circles that mark their breasts. The black and white figures are a stark contrast to the teal background and the small dashes make it appear as if the three figures are perhaps floating in a pool. Each piece that Alvin Lustig created is different from the next but there is a common technique and style that ties them all together.
I enjoyed Alvin Lustig’s book jackets as well, and agree with Nicky when she notes his “careful balance between obscure shapes and bright colors.” Although this is a similarity among all of his book jackets, they are still all very unique. Perhaps this is because Lustig wanted to capture what the author portrayed in his book, thus mixing the authors unique creativity with his own. Each book is a totally new creation of Lustig’s, showing his versatility in creativeness while keeping with his own style of geometric shapes and bright colors. They are all truly eye catching. I too, enjoyed the book jacket for “Three Lives” as it is the most vivid of the six given. However, the book jacket for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” the one written inside the hand, seems much more interesting. It is a simple, recognizable shape that manages to enclose the rather long title, the author, a previous work by the author, and that it is a novel. The placement of letters and words within this hand must have taken a decent amount of time to obtain the perfect arrangement. Upon first glance it is also difficult to read the title and the author quickly, but the aesthetically pleasing design draws the consumer’s eye to this book jacket, causing them to pick it up and take a closer look at the title. It also makes you wonder what that hand has to do with the novel, resulting in additional curiosity and interest in this novel.
I found the pieces by Franciszek Starowieyski to be highly original and very different from most of the other artists in this post. I like how his style is much darker (almost too much so) with the drastic use of violence. At first glance, I wasn't even sure what I was looking at, and once I figured it out, I was really taken aback. I feel like Starowieyski's pieces were to the most striking, at least to my eyes.What I really liked about each of the pieces is the kind of reference to Renaissance style in terms of shading. Most of the other pieces of poster art are very bright, very bold, and very simplistic when it comes to shapes and lines. Starowieyski's posters almost resemble the striking chiaroscuro used by artists like Da Vinci or Michaelangelo.I particularly like the top poster the best. It uses this drastic shading while combining it with newer ideas (not just a black and white sketch), and the covered face and creature on the shoulder add a really dark aspect to the piece which is really interesting.
I liked the “Labyrinth” video that was made by Jan Lenica. With the use of his characters (flying men, insects and reptiles) Lenica is able to create an alternate reality, almost like a bad dream. The main character, with the bowler hat, seems to be running away from the monsters and exploring the world around him. He adapts to his surroundings and is able to trick some monsters. The end of the animation, when the birds attacked and destroyed the wings of the main character was dramatic and exciting. I’ve tried to make my own animations with today’s programs (flash) and still ended up taking so long for me to finish. I appreciate the time it must have taken for Lenica with the animation process.
Like Stephanie, the pieces by the Polish Artist,specifically Henryk Tomaszewski, were the ones that I liked the most. I was immediately attracted the piece with the bright green foot gesturing the peace sign. I am in love with the peace sign and am automatically drawn to anything that includes it. I enjoyed Tomaszewski use of vibrant colors and dynamic angles. His posters are known for being cartoon-like and satirical. I found them to be humorous and very captivating. Aside from the pieces displayed in this blog, I also like his pieces "Ditta"(1952) and "In the name of Law"(1952. The piece in the name of law is unlike any other pieces I viewed, it is less cartoon like and seems to have more structure. I also found that it was one of his brighter works, with a bright yellow background. I think his posters are very creative, and capture a childlike side of him. They are clearly hand drawn and appear more like sketches that are colored in.
I found the work of Alvin Lustig to be particularly compelling. I appreciate an artist whose design demonstrates a clever use of thought, and I feel that he challenged the notion that “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” One thing I enjoy about his work is his minimal use of type. I feel that conveying a message through type (and words) can limit its meaning. I think that the methodology behind his designs—treating form and content as one— creates an unconventional use of language that does not so much require words, but rather symbols, shapes, and forms. My favorite book cover from the examples given is “The Man Who Died.” What I find most interesting about it is how he manipulates the shape of the figure, which seems to illustrate a sequence of events. Moreover, the intentional placement of the figures stretched across the page (from top right to bottom left) further implements this idea. The solidity of the yellow and black background figures is contrasted by the hollowness of the foreground figure, possibly suggesting life’s permanence (or lack thereof). While I know nothing about the content of the book, the cover itself seems to tell a story of its own; in this sense, line, shape and form become a universal language.
I enjoyed Waldemar Świerzy’s posters. His style is very unique. I like how he uses different materials such as acrylics, crayons, and watercolors to bring his pieces to life. I have seen many of his posters of Jimi Hendrix and they are all amazing. I especially admire the way in which he uses negative space to convey the importance of the figures he presents.I found Franciszek Starowieyski’s posters to be somewhat gruesome but still interesting. I was particularly drawn to the poster of the woman with her hair covering her face. The picture is fairly simple with few colors but very symbolic at the same time. The other pictures definitely seem to portray a dark side of human kind.I also found Henryk Tomaszewsk’s posters to be very strange and interesting. Although they are not my favorite something draws me to them.
I also enjoy Waldemar Świerzy's style in his posters. His combination of folk influence and contrasting colors truly explodes naturally on the palette. Jimi Hendrix' influence has seemed to penetrate this artform. Świerzy's ability to fill space with contrasting colors yet maintain meaning in the negative space is fascinating. The forms themselves are forming other unrecognizable forms in negative space. For example, the Hendrix poster almost appears to be popping up out of a cloud, however, Waldemar Swierzy is simply drawing out the figure from the negative space of the hair and the neck and goatee. I also appreciate Jam Lenica's works. As a film major I am very much interested in and intrigued by gore and violence. Violence has drawn so many peoples attention over so many hundreds of years. Lenica truly devotes his work to the "slime-and-gore" by investigating forms and their relationship to our physical bodies and everything that runs through them such as blood. His images arent exactly straight-up violent but instead leave the viewer with an uneasy feeling rising in their gut. His combination of images is masterful and quite harrowing in some cases. Unlike Franciszek Starowieyski works, which instead of hiding a violent image is quite blatantely bizarre and horrifying, portraying themes ranging anywhere from aliens to bispecial forms. Both are quite disturbing, however, I prefer Lenica's work over Starowieyski's.
I'd like to comment on the story behind Martin Weitzman's Syphillis poster of the 1930's. In 1932, this poster references the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment being conducted at the time. In the poorest sections of Alabama, U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. The ill were never told the seriousness of what they were suffering from because the doctors had no intention of curing them. The PHS were interested on the last stages of the disease such as development of tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. For most, it was the only form of medical treatment they had ever received, and were pleased at the prospect of free medical care. PHS doctors misled them with letters full of promotional hype with poster such as this one and others that said “Last Chance for Special Free Treatment.” It wasn't until 1972, that it was leaked to the media as an experiment that "used human beings as laboratory animals in a long and inefﬁcient study of how long it takes syphilis to kill someone." Harry Reasoner. By this point, 28 of the men had died directly of syphilis, 100 were dead of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis.
I too really loved the posters created by Waldemar Swierzy. In each of the three posted on the blog, the way in which he created one central human image out of slightly abstract shaping with playful colors really caught my eye. The way in which the figure's face was created in a balance of positive and negative space made it feel much less overbearing. In fact, the use of both stark black shapes in addition to the bright "Easter" colors as accents on the top and bottom of the frame continued the sense of balance. I would completely hang this poster in my dorm room. For the same reasons that I liked Swierzy, I disliked the work seen of Roman Cieslewicz. The multiple images posted on the blog are all frightening in their intense use of dark colors with just a menacing dash of a bright one. They also seem rather unbalanced in the positioning of the aspects within the image, especially the one that says in white letters at the bottom, something along the lines of "Meksykw Ogniu" (it is hard to read). I'm just not a fan of his posters.
I find the Public interest posters very interesting. The fact that the people charged with the duty of informing the public would take the route of design whilst informing the public simultaneously. You think that they would just say what it is they need to say and not make art out of it. The use of colors is also quite humorous to me. Where you see the posters with neutral and positive messages used with light colors and those other posters like the one about syphilis displayed with dark menacing colors. It reminds me of the posters of cannabis that had images of devils and evil accompanying the message. http://www.digthatcrazyfarout.com/gpd/devils_harvest.jpghttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9M9yKRI9XVw/SCCW_RgzJ4I/AAAAAAAAATo/J6zMkEDW6PM/s400/propaganda3.jpgI think this is great and really reminiscent of those times.
I am OBSSESED with the work of Herb Lubalin. His use of text and composition is INSANE. I love black and white design because it’s so clean, powerful and balanced. Lubalin’s work contains minimal color usage but is extremely POWERFUL. In Herb’s work there is a clear sense of hierarchy. Through his mixture and placement of type, and positioning of imagery. “Some of our best friends… are bigots.” How powerful is that? The standard of good design is timelessness, and Lubalin achieves this in his work. Another designer whose work I enjoyed was Alexander Liberman. I have always had a soft spot for vintage poster design, and as Professor Triff mentioned in our lecture last Thursday, designs with the use of black, red, and white are typically from the 40’s. Similar to Lubalin, Liberman measures the amount of color usage in his work. Yes Liberman uses color, but does not do so unnecessarily or excessively, he keeps it to a necessary minimum. I also enjoyed the creation of foreground and background in his work through layering of color, text, and imagery. It's clear, direct, and i find that it engages the viewer.
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