Saturday, February 13, 2010

Your turn #4

We are tapping on this moment of explosion of design in the history of Industrial Capitalism, which produces an insatiable demand for information: quickly-packaged, digestible, consumable, easy, optimistic. Meanwhile, the market forces competing between modes of production, are negotiating new technologies, all of which makes for a diversification of the printed form. At this point the media deals with all possible economic and social needs: news, fashion, propaganda, advertising, education, sports, special interests, erotica, yellow journalism, art, literature. What's your take?


Gloria A. Lastres said...

This art of the Industrial Revolution seems to have birthed our modern day commercial art. While I see the necessity in the earlier years to advertise, in order to make the existence of products known to consumers (ex. JELLO brand, the 1 & only gelatin), we in present day society are bombarded with these advertising images, used not to inform the public of what's available but rather to feed the monster of materialism (in my opinion). In my own home, I have a variety of items which perform similar functions because I fell prey to these ads. For ex: Why do I have separate bodywash and shampoo?

That said, some of us in class will be employed to create images much like those of the industrial revolution, and I would hope these projects would be tempered with a public conscience – finding a way to "go green" or whatever other way we can positively contribute to our planet – so our designs add favorably to our own graphic design history.

-Gloria Lastres

AlliHeathe said...

The topics we discussed in class this week were actually quite interesting. I find the steam powered cylinder press and the tools to make wood cut type to be a funny pieces of machinery in comparison to our modern-day tools for typography. Clearly, around this time, if an individual was making a design, they had to be sure that the text they chose was the actual typography they desired because it was so much work to create. If they wanted to move a letter slightly to the left or right, the design had to be entirely recreated. Designers today are definitely lucky to have tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator because it allows us to be fickle in our decisions to design. It’s also amazing, as now we clearly have more control over typography. If these machine had predefined wooden or metal stamps, the kerning between the text would only be able to be manipulated based on the size of the actual stamps. Additionally, the shape of the letters themselves could barely be manipulated. Now, if we bring a letter into illustrator and outline it, we can manipulate the shape to an extent our hearts desire. The distance we’ve come from the past in design is incredibly remarkable. Either way, the ancient technology would still probably be really fun to use.
I also really like the work of Owen Jones that you highlighted. The detail and array of colors is really beautiful. The detailed design on The Grammar of Ornament is very cool and interesting to look at, and although a little busy, I still feel that the individual who designed it is skilled. Prang’s Valentine’s Card image is also really interesting. It almost has the feeling of an older painting from the angels and the woman. However, the playful lettering that follows the folds of the sign and the simple background create an attractive piece that is definitely really fun to look at. I also absolutely LOVE the font choice for EXPOSITION on the poster, and I really wish that I knew of a similar font that I could experiment with in my own work. Finally, something interesting to point out is the product designs of industrialism. I do really like the way the products are designed, and actually, I think a lot of the higher end makeup companies, such as Benefit, have tried to implement this old type of style in making their product packaging look a bit more classy.
Allison Brown, ARH346

nasha89 said...

I recall you bringing up in class “what came first, the chicken or the egg” when discussing production and demand of new things. I agree with your answer that things are made because we demand for it, not that things are made and we therefore demand it. Yes we are bombarded with new technologies and new information, but if we were not bombarded, we would not be satisfied. There is an intrinsic desire within us to gather as much information as possible. Because of our hunger for knowledge and information, we develop a need for newer, faster, more efficient ways of receiving this information (i.e. Industrial capitalism graphic designs).

Once a new form of production starts to become more accessible, it can be used more frivolously. For example, when the first equipment able to capture a photo image surfaced, it was expensive, complicated, and could only do so much. However, as the product was developed and evolved, it became more accessible and was used more freely and casually. In a sense, we were desensitized to the formality and essentially the unattainability of the product, which left us with the hunger to create an even simpler, more accessible version, which we have since accomplished (i.e. digital cameras).

- Nasha Wallin

A.T. said...

Once a new form of production starts to become more accessible, it can be used more frivolously.

Good point, Nasha.

Sarah said...

One area we discussed in class that I found interesting was the start of industrial capitalism in regards to packaging food and tobacco products. I had not noticed how many words, pictures and symbols are on one box of Jell-O before.

I found it interesting that even in the mid 1800’s designers were producing food packaging products to help the audience remember its label. For instance on the Jell-O box, it doesn’t talk about the Strawberry Flavored Jell-O on the front of the box only, it’s on every single side. I found this type of graphic design to be an effective one. It definitely wants the person eating the Jell-O to remember that particular brand of Jell-O. The designer of the Jell-O box does not allow the consumer to forget about its product, by covering the entire package with everything they want the consumer to remember about it.

This type of packaging design has proven effective, because it still continues today. While eating a bowl of cereal the other day, I took the time to notice all of the words, jokes, pictures and nutritional details that covered the entire box. Even though, I may not pay attention to all of the jokes or pictures on the box, now that I am older, I still believe it’s an effective way to market their brand, especially to children. When I was a child, I remember sitting at the table eating my bowl of Cheerios, staring at the back of the box, trying to decipher the scrambled words that would soon spell out the word: C H E E R I O S! I enjoyed having my parents by me cereal, because not only did it taste good, I could play while I ate.

Graphic designers of food products provide an effective way for consumers to remember their brand, by relaying the message more than once on the packaging. They are also successful in marketing to their particular audience, like the designers of the cereal boxes are effective at marketing to children.

Sarah Gruhn
ARH 346

dmb said...

I'm a big fan of Nast and his political cartoons against Tweed. I think its interesting how that campaign became one of the most powerful and effective, resulting in Tweed's arrest. These days, I feel as though less people read newspapers; rather they get their news from other sources, thereby decreasing the effectiveness of political cartoons. When Nast came out with this campaign against Tweed, newspapers were the primary source of information. Nowadays, people get their information online and can choose what stories to read, without flipping through every page.

You don't hear much about political cartoons these days, especially ones that have such a powerful effect. Times are changing. I wonder what the "political cartoon" of our day is. In other words, what's the most effective and powerful way to make a statement these days - through what media? Any thoughts??

Dayna M. Bieber

Ping said...

The supermarket is a great place to observe packaging design and advertising. Years ago I travelled to Cincinnati and had a chance to visit the downtown headquarters of Fortune 500 company Procter & Gamble Corporation. It is a consumer products global entity that owns at least 250 brands and makes everything from soap and candles to soap operas, Pringles to pharmaceuticals, toilet paper, diapers, fragrances, and even fashion.

Ever since learning about P&G, when I shop in the supermarket, I am very interested in finding out what products they have been manufacturing and creating. Last year, despite the economic crisis, the company still spent over 2 billion dollars on advertising. Marketing and advertising are key to their success. Soap operas are also a part of the marketing strategy that P&G employs to hold the attention of female consumers on many of its brands.

The most fascinating strategy of P&G is that they take similar products and brand and advertises them a bit differently to sell them across multiple markets and to diverse consumers. Is this necessary? My major concern in marketing and advertising is the question of ethics. Is information about products being withheld or is false information being provided to make a sale—for the sake of greed?

Do we actually demand all the products on the market? Do we ask for our food to be genetically or chemically altered? Are we the ones who want only quantity not quality?

Sau Ping Choi

barnez said...

I'm interested in the development of the 19th century advertising poster.

In 1845 a poster advertising Honoré de Balzac's, "Little Miseries of Married Life," a color lithograph depicts the plight of the individual. The composition is centered yet playful - the designer has combined serif and sans serif type, caps and lower case. In caps, san serif, in the largest point size, is written"VIE CONJUGAL," in its form perhaps suggesting something modern, if not entirely pleasant, for the supporting male. The layout is simple - the family enclosed by type, top and bottom, yet the image yields emotional and psychological complexity. The devil whispers temptation - flee this oppressive stability, and indeed, the image is static.

By the 1860s and 1870s, the medium has developed aesthetically and technically.

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's poster for Abbé Faure's memoirs in "Le Matin" 1893, has type integrated with the image. Cinema began in the 1880s, and the image we see here is indeed cinematic - a moment captured as a man is about the be executed. The prisoner's profile is defined as it contrasts with the black armed horsemen. The colors remain flat, but the overlapping creates space and depth. Instead os a static condition, Toulouse-Lautrec gives us a fragment of a dramatic narrative.

Popular design had come into its own. The need was there - so many products to advertise. The means were there- lithography had been refined and new media were on the way. The artists were there- design had become a field.

--Grace Barnes

Rafaella Medeiros said...

Advertising has progressed in every way, from the steam powered cylinder press to adobe photoshop as tools to create. It has also gone far when it comes to censoring and political satire. Back in the 19th century political satire was cause for persecution, while now it’s used very frequently. We have many movies and television shows such as The Simpsons, South Park, Saturday Night life, which are a complete success and are all about ridiculing politics, as well as celebrities, cultures, and all types of satire. People have learned to take it as only humor, not as an offense. John Nast was on of the first to take political satire to the extreme, in today’s world he would adapt just fine in media. But, in the 19th century his work was considered scandalous. It was interesting when you put it through another perspective, those in power did allow right to press of political satire so they could seem tolerant and have a soft side.

I personally have always loved photographs, and I can recall the time when I was a child and my mom took pictures of me with a Kodak camera. She would choose the largest number of photo frames within a film, and when the film was full we revealed the photos. Sometimes we would have to wait days, and we became very anxious to see how the photos turned out. Kodak used to be very popular but it suffered an extreme downfall. They gave people a tool to record memories, but were wrong when limiting their horizons to cameras with film, instead of digital. So as technology evolved people didn’t want to reveal photos anymore. Today people rather pass the photos to a computer and store/view them there. The arrival of digital cameras allowed that, and also allowed instant viewing of photographs through a screen. So the once so popular Kodak, which at a point even replaced paintings, is now not even considered when buying a camera. At least when I see the Kodak cameras they look old-fashioned, and remind me of my child-hood. As a young consumer I would prefer a cool and hip camera, with a variety of colors and functions, not the camera I loved when I was a child.

Lisa said...

One of the lasting effects of industrial society on art was that there became a need for art to be more approachable, more affordable, and more practical. The middle class called for accessible art, works that could be understood and appreciated by the average worker. This gave rise to markets in product advertising, political cartoons, comics, and eventually animations and movies. At the grocer’s, customers were drawn in by Jell-O boxes or coffee tins because of their bright, eye-catching, and memorable designs. Political cartoons were the medium used to spread common ideas and critique society, the government, and politicians of the day. Comics reached out to every household, through the newspaper or in comic books… they had audiences with adults as well as children, depending on the content. As for animation and movies…

Edward Muybridge’s motion-capture photography was the springboard that led to the development of moving images. This was the ideal time for such a project to come forward, because the mentality of society as a result of increased industrial production was to quickly find a way to mass-produce and expand on new ideas to sell to the masses. The need to create more advanced technologies and develop ways to make the “next big thing” was running strong then, and it still is today.

Lisa Joseph, ARH346

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the comics from Punch magazine as i remember several of the strips hanging on the wall of my grandparents house. The use of cartoons to put across brutal cutting satire has always appealed to me and i believe can portray a point in ways that words alone cannot. It always seemed to me that Punch represented the voice of the people and was directed towards them in particular. At a time when much of the population was still unable to read, the image alone is able to portray the message and its sentiment.

The early stages of photography particularly stood out as an interesting element of lasts week's class. I often forget that photography began early in the 19th century. I am still surprised when i view an image of a famous individual who i believed lived in a pre photography era. I had seen the image of Poe when i studied romanticism last semester but seeing a picture of Jules Verne who was such a significant french author was a very interesting and welcome inclusion in the class.

Sam Martin

Ashley said...

I like that you mention how society demands neatly parceled, easily consumable amounts of information; in my opinion, it affects art both negatively and positively. In a harsher light, it as seen as birthing artists such as Romero Britto (in my opinion)... quickly made, easily reproduced, instantly recognizable, etc. This is compared to the introspective art of the sixties that took on important messages and raised their own. When considering the silver lining of this new age, however, one realizes that it does create the possibility of severely contrasting this 'fast-food' art. This contrast will serve as a reminder to search for more in the world than what basic cable drones into our minds on a daily basis.

- Ashley McKevitt

lauren dresbach said...

In the modern world today there is no focus anymore. In the information age everyone has access to everything all the time and can buy anything anytime so there are no limits. The information age is changing all the time. There is no set way of doing things anymore. For instance, 3d Television will change advertising forever. Everything changes advertising everyday, therefore you have to adapt constantly.

Advertisers have to mirror the behavior of consumers; the advertisers need to constantly change and be everywhere because the modern consumer is everywhere. In the past before the internet, when you created ads in magazines, you advertised to certain to types of people and it was more controlled and now the media and information is so varied and accessible and different that advertisers have to think of things that they wouldn’t have considered in the past. You can’t put an ad on the Internet without expecting everyone who goes on the Internet to see it because it’s accessible to everyone. Your message has to appeal to everyone or be extremely targeted to a certain audience because of the way the world is today.

Lauren Dresbach

cbfelder said...

In my opinion, the most fascinating aspect of this period in graphic design history is that so many new markets, ideas, and processes were opening up so quickly. I enjoyed learning about the printed newspaper's "coming of age," due to political sattire and the likes of artists such as Winslow Homer. One interesting parallel that i recognized was that society was just as subject to the objectivity/ opinion of the illustrator as we are today with the authors of digital news. Homer's artwork for harpers weekly showed a human, tragic side of war that i dont believe was too common during this age. Even when depicting subjects as straightforward as battle scenes, he projects a message of senseless tragedy and loss that i feel takes sides with neither north nor south. As a visual reporter, his indications to these anti-war sentiments are subtle, but apparent. Often the argument over bias is brought up in relation to todays' instant-news culture, but i feel society has always been subject to the same degree of opinionated journalism.

Jeffrey Stern said...

Your statement that we are to address, sounds like what before this weeks reading I would have associated with the turn of the 21st century rather than the 20th. This thought prompts me to consider the differences in the motivational forces behind the technological changes in communication and the effects of theses changes upon the uses of design and its application via that new technology. It appears to me that there is a fundamental difference in the advancement between these two centuries. The 19th to 20th century saw a radical change in the socio-economic and political structure in society. Power moved out of the hands of single despotic rulers and into the realm of society. With the rise of a middle class came more free time away from work and a rise in education and literacy. Printing and communicating in various formats through the printed word already existed. The new increase in market demand for printed materials from a society that had the need and time for this material must have been a motivating factor in technological advancements leading to the development of type that could be rapidly and inexpensively produced, set and printed in large quantities on a daily basis. This in turn naturally led to the development of new organizational design concepts in the formats created for disseminating this material. The demand created the technological innovation.
Where as in the 20th to 21st century the concept of a computer may have existed, and that while the possibilities for its application may have been imagined, it did not exist. And like the invention of moveable type in the 15th century which created additional applications for its use, the computer, more than stemming from an imagined need, was created from technological achievement and its use was then applied to an increasing number of possibilities which we have yet to see an end to.

Dr. Manhattan said...

This RCA radio ad tells me one thing that advertisements have not changed. This ad sells a lifestyle more than it does the radios pictured. Everything about says that the family that owns it is a family of style and quality. Think about Apple, Inc. for instance techno geeks waited in anticipation for months for a device to be released that essentially did nothing new. Apple uses a new way of advertising, releasing bits of info at a time then showcasing at a big publicized press conference. This way fans already have their money set aside, excited to be the first on the block with the newest gadget with a piece of half eaten fruit on the back.
All media has a way of doing the same as Apple. CNN, Coca-Cola, the NFL, all these are much more than the products they are based upon. CNN, the representative for the liberal left and the anti-FOX. Coke, a southern classic, the generic name for all soda, the "Real Thing." NFL, America's new pastime, wholesome family entertainment. This is past, present, and future of all media, printed or otherwise; to sell the people more than basics; to promote a style of life that makes you feel good about yourself, that makes you the envy of your peers. Media sells and promotes self confidence, what we all want, need, and are willing to pay for.

-Jeremy Ladson
ARH 346