Saturday, April 3, 2010

Your turn #9

Between the 1930's and the 1950's, these are some of the new developments:

Graphic design took on the intangible and lent it visual form,

System approaches became a pervasive metaphor for design,

Universal Signs became familiar (design goes international),

Graphic design moves to Hollywood and becomes a fluid medium,

Design means sophistication and affluence,

Go ahead!


Gloria A. Lastres said...

It was intriguing to learn that Saul Bass is one of the forefathers of creative movie introductions, through films’ opening credits. Watching old movies, I recall some opening credits as performing a function – to provide viewers information in an often uninspiring manner. Bass’ artistic contribution to a film’s introduction serves as a pleasurable appetizer before the main course. Current day filmmakers continue to apply Saul Bass' techniques both to the beginning, and now to the ending credits as well. I've no doubt Bass is the inspiration for captivating the minds of viewers at the start of films, both past and present. Viewers like myself are continuously manipulated by the designer (Bass) into the proper mood for the presentation – for imagination’s wild ride. And what a wild ride it is!

-Gloria A. Lastres

dmb said...

I was always intrigued by the use of symbols and their ability to transcend all language and cultural barriers. From an advertising perspective that has its benefits and drawbacks. Targeting a mass audience can diffuse a message quickly and effectively; reaching a specific demographic with a more focused direction can sometimes fail if the message is too generic.

I once received an assignment to take a universal symbol and alter it to bring it a new meaning. It was one of the hardest tasks because people have a certain connotation so ingrained in their heads that modifying it seems wrong. In essence, universal symbols can speak volumes and definitely have shaped the way we communicate here and abroad.

-Dayna M. Bieber

Rafaella Medeiros said...

The WWII propaganda is very interesting, because it is so direct and extreme. The poster by Howard Miller, of a strong woman with the phrase WE CAN DO IT, is one of my favorites of all time because it was so revolutionary. The poster for RCA Manufacturing Company in 1943 is pretty funny and caught my attention, with the statement “when you ride alone you ride with Hitler.” It suggested that car owners should carpool to conserve gasoline for the war effort. This poster actually became the cover of a political book in 2002, by comedian and author Bill Maher “When you ride alone you ride with bin Laden”. In the book Maher mainly criticizes the methods of the United States to fight terrorism, and he comments on issues such as environmental disturbance, war or drugs, and religion. I think it’s interesting how the same poster can be used in such different ways and in such different time periods.
-Rafaella Medeiros ARH346

AlliHeathe said...

I found the last class more interesting than the previous ones because I really enjoy that we're finally beginning to highlight what I usually consider graphic design. The viewing of all these designs is actually providing inspiration for some of my own work. I absolutely LOVE the vogue covers, and I wish the current-day vogue would actually look towards their past for inspiration. Seeing such creativity in the past disappoints me, because I feel like each of the well-known publications of today only focus on the same, generic, streamlined design. I wish one designer would actually take a risk on one of the well known magazines and make a change!

I also really like that a lot of these pieces have a collage effect. I think Alexey Brodovitch's work is particularly awesome because the contrast between black & white and one bright color (yellow) makes the work stand out. The piece with the two women kicking and pushing the text is also very creative and interesting. I love when text seems to have motion to it and actually feels like it blends in and becomes a part of the design.

- Allison Brown, ARH346

Anonymous said...

This is the post-World War II ad agency extravaganza portrayed in "Mad Men." This is the era of the creation of the CIA, the cold war, glamour icons like Marilyn Monroe - abundance, expansion, excess.

Hitchcock movies, such as "North by Northwest," had sublime openings, by Saul Bass, that fused graphics, architecture and modern social order, replete with an icy blonde, working for the CIA, who melts in the happy ending as she becomes the Mrs. to Cary Grant.

So many immigrant artists, designers and writers augmented the U.S. talent pool. There was so much to sell - cigarettes, booze, real estate, big cars - and an eager middle class to buy it.

But perhaps the repression was equal to the exuberance. The CIA plotted coups in Guatemala and Iran. Women and African Americans who had contributed mightily to the war effort, found themselves second class citizens once again in the post-war U.S. work force.

Thank goodness the 50s led to the 60s, where the game and the graphics changed once again.


Sarah said...

I was quite impressed by the designs by the artist Alvin Lustig. I thought his designs were very inventive and modern. I was amazed by the amount of influential people that he worked with such as Tennessee Williams.

I thought it was interesting that you referred to Listing’s designs as somewhere between surrealism and the pre-psychedelic movement. I think his style is very fluid and modern. As I was studying the detail of some of his designs, I could recognize that they came from the 1950’s era. However, in contrast, I could definitely see his designs for movie trails, covers of books, commercial advertising and other forms of graphic design today.

Alvin Lustig used shapes and symbols in a modern way that intrigued his viewers. In the cover he designed for the “Man who Died,” by D. H. Lawrence, the shapes he created were very bubble like and modern looking. The shapes that represented a dead body were more abstract, yet the viewer understood what Lustig was trying to convey. Also, his use of striking colors and his amoeba like shapes, he was able to create a more interesting design for the “Man who Died.” The vibrant yellow against the interesting shapes, creates and interesting and modern design.

I think Alvin Lustig was an artist ahead of his time. I think his work is very inspiring for graphic designers today.

Sarah Gruhn
ARH 346

Sarah said...

Sorry, I accidently posted twice.

Ping said...

Graphic design is essentially a visual form of communication, a representation of ideas and concepts. Graphics have been explored as a form of art, for recording and storing knowledge, for conveying messages via printed materials, and more. After World War II, graphic design was in great demand because of the blooming economy. Signs and symbols were being created for many uses. Because those symbols were representational and fairly realistic, they became internationally recognized icons. Nowadays these icons are very important and are used everywhere, especially in our computer and electronic devices. Our cell phones are full of icons, for example, that can be deciphered by design no matter what language you speak or read.

In class we have been introduced to all forms of graphic arts expression. I particularly love posters, which are another great form of communications, used mainly before the rise of technology. Designing movie posters can be very challenging. A blank paper is translated to a visual story that affects emotion and eventually drwas in the viewer. I am very pleased to have become familiar with all of the amazing and innovative designers and artists we have studied during this course.

Sau Ping Choi

Anonymous said...

I really liked how Saul Bass impacted how movies were shown in theatres. By designing the opening credits to movies he was able to make a difference in how these opening credits are treated today. I think its great when these little unnoticeable things actually have had thought put into them. We walk around everyday not noticing how much design plays a part in our world. From the men’s and women’s bathroom symbols to menus, usually someone has taken the time and used their creative abilities to make art.
These symbols I have mentioned, along with many other symbols that have gone international are quite convenient. There are so many languages spoken in this world, but design is one language that can more or less, bring us together. That’s why playing pictionary with people that speak different languages can be so fun!

Luly said...

I enjoyed learning about Saul Bass and the impact he has had on the movie industry. I had no idea he was the designer behind Psycho and Vertigo. The introductions are masterful and intriguing, the way he draws a viewer in is brilliant.

I also like the old Vogue and Seventeen covers. It was my first time viewing them and actually would prefer seeing more covers like the ones Cipe Pineles.As for the other art that was shown, I'm not a fan of war propaganda so I didnt really enjoy the war posters.

Sam said...

The propaganda posters from last week are very striking works of design. The german posters from during the war, spread a malevolent ideology and encourage a dislike of another race which seems so very disturbing and troubling. The dehumanization of the jews through these posters shows that design is not only a powerful toll but also dangerous if misused by the wrong people.

It is interesting to see this negative aspect of design from the work contrasted with the allied propaganda posters. True these posters dehumanize the nazis portraying them as evil snakes, but this is for the purpose of boosting moral rather then attempting to establish an entire ideology. The warning posters are meant to make you stop and take notice of the information displayed on them. In particular the poster with the housewife wanted for murder, stands out prominently and puts across its message very strongly.

Sam ARH346

Jeffrey Stern said...

We have covered many beautiful and exciting eras of design. Their impact and importance I well appreciate. While some still resonate for me now, most fit into an historical context that I appreciate with an understanding of their place in the history of design, until now. As we move into the '50s I feel truly jazzed. The work of Brodovitch and the photographers that he influenced, Penn, Avedon, Hiro; Saul Bass's transformation of film titles and Alvin Lustig who is new to me but reminds me of the album cover design and illustrations of Alex Steinweiss and David Stone Martin, speak to me as an exciting moment in design.

But before jumping into this new era, note must be taken of the perversion of design to gain total influence and control over the population of a nation and had they not been stopped, the world. I don't believe anyone before or since has understood and so effectively harnessed the power of design as did the Nazi movement. Every side in the WWII era created propaganda, but none so masterfully used design in every medium so effectively towards one cause. They stamped out all art that did not fit their ideology and created a "bible" that spelled out design guidelines that would brand their philosophy onto anything visual. They harnessed not just graphics but film, architecture, and everything emblazoned with the swatstika, a graphic image that is as potent today as when the Nazi's first appropriated it. To consider just how far the Nazi's went, here is a link that considers just one of their insidious uses for design.

lauren dresbach said...

I absolutely LOVE Cipe Pineles' work. I love how her work has an urban feeling and also a young and sophisticated feel. The Vogue covers she designed are incredible! They are so creative and I agree with Allison on how I wish that magazine layout designers would do something so unique like Cipe Pineles did (jewels to spell out Vogue). She did a great job at appealing to women in the 1950s. I have a true love and passion for anything that has to do with fashion so her work was extremely interesting and inspiring. I also liked learning that she worked for Glamour which is where I spent my last summer working.

I am extremely excited for the next couple classes since now women are coming into play and became important in society.

- Lauren Dresbach

silentmonk said...

The most intriguing part, that i enjoyed was the segment on saul bass in his creative and innovative introductions of movie intros. If sail is the father of creative movie intros who are now at the forefront of this field?

The war propaganda is always trying to hit the core emotions of the people who experience them but it strips and under-uses all the great innovations that gra[hic designers pushed before the war, it goes back to russian constructivism but from it comes out only a derivative of what those graphic designer achieved.

im curious about the next class session when we learn about the springing of logos that would embody large corporation into a single image.

Julia said...

I especially enjoyed the World War II propaganda in last class's discussion. I think the message is pretty clear in each one. The posters are loud and illustrative and are meant to grab people's attention and perhaps even shock them. Probably the most overused one is the piece by Howard Miller that shows a woman saying "We can do it." I believe this poster was initially meant to draw women to the work force while their husbands were at war, but today it is used as a feminist symbol.
I also really enjoyed the book cover designs by Alvin Lustig just because, as you said, they are very advanced for the 50s. A design like this does not look outdated even today. Finally, I love the Seventeen cover by Cipe Pineles because it is so sophisticated and ahead of its time. It is sophisticated because it does not look like what would be on the cover of a teenage girl's magazine and it is ahead of its time because it is just so beautifully done and would do well on one of today's covers.

cbfelder said...

I found the propaganda posters to be very interesting in their unsettling subject matter. It is a large task for a designer/illustrator to sell the appeal of war to a citizen, and seeing the different countries' approaches to achieve this, reveals alot about the nature of "war designing." A common theme among both the American and German posters was the idea of imminent danger, regardless of wether or not it was grounded in logic. For America, it is the image of a nazi boot crushing a church (striking at the fear of invasion as well as a larger assault on western religion by the hands of nazi germany.) In germany, it is a caricature of a jew, projecting that same danger and immediate threat to their way of life.

As was stated in the first lecture, even wars are designed. As is seen often throughout history, war must be "dressed up" in a way that makes it seem necessary, and motivates people to lay down their lives for intangible goals and abstract ideas. It falls on the shoulders of designers to communicate these ideas and goals to the public in a way that will strike a nerve and garner support.

jorell said...

My internet is down. Sorry. I can barely read this on my Blackberry.

jorell said...

It was interesting to see war propaganda from to opposing sides. It really gives you a sense of perspective on issues. Good and Evil are relative. One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. I really can't see the pages on this phone, and my Atlantic Broadband is down.

jorell said...

Well my internet finally started working again for the time being so let's give this another try.

I came into this class as a non-designer, or so I thought. I have come to realize that design is the opposite of entropy. It the method by which man creates order out of chaos. As such, most everything anyone ever does is design. Design is ubiquitous. I see it in everything. So much so that one can begin to think that one's own life is designed. Capitalism is design. We are all designed to become cogs in a capitalist machine.

Betsy said...

I, like many others, find the war posters very interesting. I'm glad that we will be looking at more of these from even more countries. I took a history class on the Cold War that was based off these two textbooks written completely from a psychological perspective on all the major historical players from each country. So after further research... some of the anti-communism posters are especially interesting to me. Unbelievable how ridiculously exaggerated some of this political propaganda gets. "Patriotism" is a funny thing like that... totally oversimplified and blown way out of proportion. Maybe I'm too cynical... "When you ride alone... you ride with Hitler" sounds like I need some more carpool buddies...

On a much lighter note... I think Alvin Lustig is amazing, He makes me want to design book jackets as bizarre as that sounds. I spent quite a bit of time looking through the covers on the website; I found the new directions: modern reader covers particularly excellent. Also light, I love the magazine covers. I like especially when graphic design and fashion coincide... whether in advertising or even actual fashion. Let's see more of this!!

Thanks Elizabeth Rice

Ashley said...

These pieces have probably given me the most inspiration out of all of the posts so far. The clean lines, play on opacity, and the creation of fresh, eye catching shapes is something that I strive to show in my work on a daily basis. It's amazing to me that work from some long ago cans still be considered so wonderful and shows that the elements of design are ageless when executed properly.

Anonymous said...

Saul Bass's contributions to design intrigued me. His style was very clean, cut out and defined, having designed the sixth AT&T logo and the 1960's Continental Airlines logo. It seemed he went by a sort of old-school school of design with his very carefully aligned pieces.

I thought it was interesting that he contributed to graphics, but also worked in film. It's amazing that filmmakers today even continue to apply many of his title sequence techniques today. I never knew watching many great, older movies from the 1960's that Saul Bass was behind the title sequences.