Friday, April 5, 2013

your turn!

taken from AIGA's article on Criterion Collection


Anonymous said...

One of the people discussed in the lecture that piqued my interest and caused me to go home and research more of his work was Mehemed Fehmy Agha. He was the art director for New York Vogue beginning in 1929. His innovative designs and use of color really astounded me and I wanted to learn more about this brilliant man. It seems he changed the magazine greatly from the old fashion layouts to those of modern Constructivism. He used the first full bleed images, making the photograph seep to the end of the page without any of the conventional borders. Many of the people that worked with him praised him for his genius and credited him with beginning their careers and pushing them to go beyond the boundaries of conventional design, like Cipe Pineles. However, I learned that he always strove for perfection and was never satisfied with the work of his photographers or designers and was nicknamed the “Terrible Turk” by his colleagues for his scathing critiques. He pushed people to move outside of their comfort zone and create new forms of expression that were not only creative but innovative.

Brittany Tyson

Anonymous said...

Out of the many designers you introduced us to last class, I found Cipe Pineles to be both interesting and inspiring and was surprised that I had not heard about her from my other design classes. I found it amazing that she working in a time where women didn’t have much of a place in the workforce, much less in male oriented industry such as graphic design used to be. She was not only the first woman art director of mass-market American publications, but she was also the first art director to hire fine artists to illustrate mass-market publications; the first woman to be asked to join the all-male New York Art Directors Club. She was later inducted into their hall of fame, and became the first women to do so. She worked for publications such as Seventeen, Glamour, and Charm. As I searched through her work I saw a variety of both elegant and fun designs with the use of typography and illustrations/photos. I feel like if we were to compare her to someone of this time, she would be the Paula Scher of her time.

Elina Diaz

Anonymous said...

Our discussions on WWII posters and propaganda got me thinking of the effects totalitarian states had in the development of graphic design, particularly branding. Branding is all about the thoughts and feelings one has towards a group, organization or product. Having grown up in a communist country, Nicaragua, I was able to experience firsthand how the Sandinistas used the playbook -- developed by the Nazis, Soviets, Cubans, Chinese -- to propagate their messages through designs that evoked deep emotions of patriotism and at the same time disgust towards the “imperialist” USA. A good sample is this mural, portraying Ronald Reagan, shotgun in hand, sitting over a peasant worker (literally).

From an objective viewpoint, as skewed as some of the messages were, the designs from these totalitarian states were extremely effective, so effective, in fact, that contemporary designers and corporations use these same methods to brand their companies/products.

The critic and writer Steven Heller explores this subject in depth in his book, Iron Fists: Branding the Totalitarian State. Here’s a video of him discussing the subject, Steven Heller on propaganda.

And a link to his book: Iron Fists - Branding the Totalitarian State -

Finally, one of my favorite title designs, Pablo Ferro's design for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Eddy López

Remi Wachtenheim said...

My favorite artist from last week’s discussion is Joseph Binder. I find his posters straightforward and simple, yet impactful and intriguing. The colors and large designs he uses in his illustrations make them appear hyper-real. He pays specific attention to the impact of colors on the viewer, and his reduction of geometric shapes makes his posters both easy and enjoyable to look at. As the official Art Director and Designer for the United States Navy, he created some extremely unique and powerful advertising posters. I think his ample use of the color blue, in a variety of tones, and its calming effect is what draws me to his work. Although his actual graphics are minimalistic, his expert use of color keeps the viewer wondering if there is more to the scene than meets the eye.

Here is a link to some of the posters he created for the Navy. They are all clearly done in his personal style and use tones of the primary colors.

Anonymous said...

Swiss design is one of my favorite styles and biggest sources for inspiration. The use of typography and grids laid the groundwork for all graphic design seen today. Anyone with an education in design, at one point or another comes across something from Swiss design or inspired by it. Helvetica is one of the biggest and most known fonts created by the Swiss. Helvetica is everywhere now. You can find it on street signs, elevators, magazines, and pretty much anywhere you look. Some believe that it is such a great font they refer to it almost as a solution. The problem of design can be solved by grids and using Helvetica typeface. It has become almost like a religion for some strong believers in Helvetica. There are designers that live and die by it, but all extremes have an opposite. The strong following of Helvetica eventually led to the grunge movement which is everything against Swiss design and breaks all of the rules. These two great schools of design lie on opposite sides of the design spectrum and they do not get along.

- Adam Berger

Laura Narayansingh said...

What struck me the most about our last lecture was the introduction of Herb Lubalin. I was so impressed by his ability to use the most pure elements of type to relay very strong messages. He acknowledges that each letter in and of itself s an image and uses this to his advantage. In many of his pieces, he doesn’t use color or images and he still manages to draw ones attention to a very crucial matter. In my opinion this is the essence of good design- it is the ability to arrange elements into the most visually pleasing form, in an effort to relay your message with clear force. I personally feel the need to give the most credit to those who undertake the design process with total understanding of the project, its clients and the target market. Luballin seems to always have a great grasp on these factors, and his inevitably enticing work is the proof.

Anonymous said...

My favorite topic of last week's discussion was the artwork of Lester Beall. That sole picture of an old photograph of a lone tree with the overlay of the red and white stripes and inverted text with the word "help" was a unique juxtaposition of different artistic elements that immediately grabbed my attention. I was then interested in researching his other works. In my findings he was depicted as "A typographer of outstanding ability, he was described in 1941 as “best known of all definitely non-traditional typographers and designers of printing, he might be called in a sense ‘a typographical surrealist.’” I could not agree more with that statement. His use of bold primary colors and illustrative arrows and lines are a trademark to his style. I like that he has a keen eye for modern design and is not afraid to experiment with juxtaposing photographic and graphic elements together.In a nutshell he takes design to another level. I truly believe his work is timeless as I can see the same technique used today.

Tashina Arota

Anonymous said...

What caught my attention the most last lecture was the legendary graphic designer Saul Bass. The reason for this is that I wrote a paper about him and recreated one of his famous movie poster man with the Golden Arm in one of my early graphic design classes. the style saul Bass is using is very recognizable and powerful!.However, it is far away from my own style and taste in design. Despite that I am truly impressed and really understand that he is considered such a great designer because he really manage to create a feeling of horror both with colors and the typography he utilze. The posters he created gave the audience a great sense of what the movie would be like without having watched it and that says a lot about how good or no good a designer is. When we create work we must make the design so powerful that it activates not just one but hopefully all our senses and make the viewer truly "feel" Then we suceeded in delivering a succesful message. Saul Bass is the perfect example of how powerful design is!
Jenny Fin Leanderson

Anonymous said...

A designer that really interested me is named Herb Lubalin. I am amazed by his typography and the meaning of his designs.

Herb Lubalin lived from 1918-1981. He received an AIGA medal in 1980. For him, typography is the key, but he says “What I do is not really typography, which I think of as an essentially mechanical means of putting characters down on a page. It’s designing with letters.” He was a brilliant advertising art director, and ever was named Art Director of the Year in 1962. His typographics include not only words and letters but also pieces of letters, additions to letters, connections and combinations, and manipulation of letters.
“Lubalin used his extraordinary talent and taste to transform words and meaning from a medium to an inextricable part of the message and by doing so, raised typography from the level of craft to art.”
Lubalin pushed beyond the boundaries:
- that constrained existing magazines in form & content
- of good taste (some said) – today it’s very notable for its graphic excellence
- of the impact and perception of design – from ill-defined, narrowly recognized craft to a powerful communication medium
- of design for entire generations of designers to follow


Anonymous said...

I was really intrigued by Alexander Lieberman’s work. I thought the image you showed us that was used for the cover of Vogue was really cool. It is a photograph, but he is really able to make the image look 2- dimensional and it really flattens out. There are really no grey tones. I also thought it was really interesting to learn that between the wars Switzerland advertised itself as a vacation spot. It makes sense because Switzerland is always associated with the idea of neutral territory. During this time the idea of peace must have been a welcome sentiment. I also thought that Dr. Mehemed Fehmy Agh was interesting. He had training in both the arts and science. His designs were said to be both logical, but likeable, which makes sense because he was clearly a left and right brained person. It seems like he was a real revolutionary in changing Vanity Fair, and Vogue’s layout. He preferred clean type faces and removed any extraneous information from the page.

Justine Fenner

Ariana Lubelli said...

Someone who's art interested me from last week's lecture was Joseph Binder. His clear-cut marks and edges are appealing to my taste. His illustrations are simple but important. You can tell that each line and design has a purpose to the piece. When googling his images, there is this old fashion, typical look to it that is so authentic. The colors that he uses sets a certain time frame on the work, you can tell this is not the work of today. The work is easy and simple but looking in-depth it is not. The Australia ski vacation image is so cool. It captures the expression of the subject and the vibe of the scene but at very glance, it is not detailed. New York's World fair, so simple but the way the subjects are placed has a hidden purpose that I really enjoyed exploring.
Ariana Lubelli

Raquel Moyes said...

de Harak's work and development of the actual label for the New York Times is very inspiring. When we think of art and design, the typefaces seem overlooked. Like we talked about in class, so many forms of art have been overdone, it is hard to believe artists can still create original work. Especially in typefaces with such limited freedom, it is astonishing to see such variety in the lettering. I do believe that our generation is in a sort of trap, stuck without progress on the same song type, art, and dance. We are in desperate need of an innovative figure to release us from the hold and progress the generation past this phase. Works such as the typeface of de Harak give hope that there are still more originals to be discovered and that I won't have to listen to another Justin Bieber song as long as I live.

Sandra Montalvo said...

Unfortunately I’m not there now to share this with you but I love where this class is headed. The images we look at inspire my work and as a young artist I am starved for inspiration.

Propaganda versus Advertising is a fun comparison to play. People tend to get very heated on the subject because propaganda has become such a dirty word in American culture. Personally I don’t see the difference and now-a-days most advertising is propaganda. Everyone is competing for your favor. People are brainwashed every morning by the T.V.

I also love Alexander Lieberman. He revolutionized fashion media through his Vogue magazine covers. Focusing on the female form his simple yet intriguing designs caught the attention and minds of the audience. His impression can still be seen on the covers of Vogue. Like right now if you see the Vogue Paris Cover you can still see his influence clearly on simple cover with just two women smiling back at you.

bmurr said...

I loved the vogue covers you showed us by Alexander Lieberman. I admire the ability of a painter who can make something on canvas appear 3-D but I'd never really thought about how a photographer could make his art seem 2-D. There are no light shadows or middle areas, but the simplicty of his designs and delicate human figures are so pretty. I looked at a few other Vogue Cover illustrators and I fell in love with David Downton. It might be a little bit different but his work is original too. Dr. Mehemed Fehmy Agh stood out to me because even though he studied science, he also studied art and seemed like there were two though processes behind everything he did. I favor his clean type face and simple layout, it's very intriguing to see the impact he had on a magazine as major as Vogue or Vanity Fair.

Bailey Murray

bmurr said...

here is a link of some of David Downton's images
I find them so beautiful