Tuesday, November 10, 2015

your turn #9

anton stankowski, 1950s

there is plenty to talk about in this rich period mid1930s- mid1950s: modern designstars, piet zwart (master of de stijl), piet mondrian's contribution to modern design, the one and only master of preWWII elegance, a. cassandreladislav sutnar (the neue typographie standardizer), herb lubalin (the laconic master of positive/negative), the avangardist ted mcknight koffer, the exquisite moods of cipe pineles,  saul bass' groundbreaking collaborations with o. preminger and a. hitchcock, the inimitable alvin lustig. then we have WWII posters (both sides of the war) and a brief analysis of propaganda.
pick what you like and spin it.  

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things. That’s my intent.” -- Saul Bass –
The master of logos, film posters and title sequences caught my eye this past week. It was not until I researched a little more in depth that I came to find out that Saul Bass presence has been around in the most familiar brands in the United States. During his 40 year career he was able to place logos that we still see now days, for example the logos for AT&T, United Airlines, United Way, Quaker Oats, Minolta, Avery International, Boys and Girls of America, Continental Airlines, General Foods, NCR Corporation, Rockwell International, Frontier Airlines and many more. Not to mention his movie posters and transformed visuals of his films. In 1955, Saul was joined by his wife Elaine Bass who worked along with him, and together created many of the most iconic graphic design in film to this day. Later on his career he rediscovered Martin Scorsese who urged him to create title sequences for famous movies like Goodfellas, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence and Casino. Saul really did it all from film, packaging, logos, graphics and architecture. We are surrounded by his work, he created designs that are simple but powerful, and that is probably why they are so iconic and are still around. -Walleska Lacayo

Anonymous said...

The distinction between advertising and propaganda was made very clear in Monday’s class: one sells good and services, and the other sells ideas. However, the lines begin to blur for me when I look at post-WWII advertising, also known as products of the age of consumption. During this period, one would see an ad with a woman wearing a beautiful dress, some pearl earrings, and an apron handing a cool bottle of Coke to her husband, while her two young children sit obediently at the table – a typical sight (in advertisements) at the time. My question is…are we really just selling the Coke bottle here? In a sense, could not these types of advertisements be classified as propaganda, due to the obvious attempt to convince women (and men) of the idea of the wife’s sole job being to take care of her husband and family? And what’s sad is, not only did these ads influence and radically change the way American consumed products (“If you want to be a good wife and mother, you should buy Tide Detergent!”), but those underlying beliefs about gender roles were also absorbed. And even now, advertising is not so much about the product anymore, but more so the lifestyle and experience surrounding the brand. So, maybe the line between these two categorically different forms of influencing the populace may not be so clear-cut after all.

-Rachel Watkins

Becca Magrino said...

I loved a lot of the design work from Monday's class. What interested me the most was the work of Alvin Lustig. It truly is amazing what he produced by hand as an innovator and before the time of any digitally aided software. His typographic design is so visually appealing to look at. He uses geometric shapes in such a way that makes your eyes travel all across the poster. The movement and rhythm of the shapes compliment the flow and orientation of the text accompanying them. His album cover for a Mozart piano concert looks like it was designed in 2015, which is very impressive. I also particularly enjoyed looking through his personalized stationary he designed for people and businesses. Each one is unique, yet simple, and gets the point of the business across clearly. They are very light on the eye but make a lasting impression of professionalism and elegance. I will continue looking at his work to draw inspiration for my own design work.

Becca Magrino

Anonymous said...

Since I couldn't attend class on Monday, I took a look at the posts of the blog. What really captivated my attention was the image of this Turn. The diagonal growth of the brightly colored parallelograms, which creates and interesting dynamic push to the top right hand corner. Aside from the energetic movement created by the parallelograms, the background is somewhat dull in a neutral tone of gray. This contrast between gray, which is such a neutral color, and the bright yellow, greens, blue and purples really blended well into a visually enticing work. This led me to do some research on Anton Stankowski. Maybe because I am not a Graphic Design major I did not know of him and of his works. What I found out was that he created a theory in Graphic design, part of the Constructivist Graphic Art, which he pioneered. He was more focused on creating a process or a pattern rather than an object. In the image above, this sense of process is quite apparent and in some ways very avant-garde for the period he was living in. Another design of his is the logo for the Deutsch Bank, which is very clean and also dynamic.

here is a link from a blog that talks about him http://speckyboy.com/2013/11/01/graphic-design-anton-stankowski/

- Anne De Souza

Anonymous said...

Propaganda is a difficult subject because of the uncomfortable fact that surrounds it: it is biased. While design offers ideas and communicates them effectively, propaganda manipulates the viewer. Of course, the reactions can differ strikingly, you either love it and sign up or you hate it but feel guilty. The thing that bothers me most about propaganda is the amount of power it has over people, it’s absurd. It suggests that the “ways of life” that they portray are the ways you should be living in, and if you are not then you are a sort of outcast. But those ways of living are being decided by companies and institutions, not by people. So they create a necessity, they sell it to us, and then they make us judge one another based on those principles. I find design much more subtle and since it is so versatile, it gives more room for artistic exploration apart from advertising products.

Alejandra Jimenez.

Katie Luddy said...

As soon as we started talking about Saul Bass and viewing his design work, I couldn’t help but think of the many designers of our generation that have been influenced by Bass. The best example of a current designer that was strongly influenced by Bass would be Kyle Cooper. Like Bass, Cooper is best known as an American graphic designer in motion picture title sequences. His film title work has been often compared to Saul Bass. Bass and Saul both have created effective and memorable title sequences. They invent a kinetic typography to contribute to their designs. Cooper designed the title sequence of many films, television shows, and games. For me, I feel he is best known for his title sequence for American Horror Story. This title sequence relates best to Bass’s philosophy in which he describes as influencing his title sequences was the goal of getting the audience to see familiar parts of the world in an unfamiliar way.
Below, is the link for his season 1 title sequence of American Horror Story. I feel that it makes more sense after you watch the video...
https://youtu.be/2c3VVJb562Y

- Katie Luddy

Anonymous said...

Saul Bass is one designer I've come to know since we spoke about him last class, but I'm amazed by how much of his work I've been exposed to over the years. The first thing I want to say is that I'm obsessed with horror movies. Psycho is one of my all time favorites. The designs he did for the film were wonderful. The movie poster itself is iconic. He also did the poster, opening titles and end credits for West Side Story! What I love about his work is that it's simple, but still such a great work of art. I can recall when you said in class that it's the graphic designers job to create a design that sums up the product, movie, book or brand they're designing for. I absolutely agree, and Saul Bass does that every time. I researched 1940's horror movie posters and some of them don't have that effect that he has. I also looked at all the horror stuff in my room and I noticed that the designs for those films have that more Saul Bass feel. As many logos that I see from time to time, and all the logos I've seen in a few of my graphic design classes, I was surprised to see so many popular ones are his designs. His work is iconic. It's still being shown, admired and talked about to this very day. His way of thinking and designing are very admirable. I came across one of his quotes that I absolutely love and can relate to. He said, “I want everything we do to be beautiful. I don’t give a damn whether the client understands that that’s worth anything, or that the client thinks it’s worth anything, or whether it is worth anything. It’s worth it to me. It’s the way I want to live my life. I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares."

Alicia Veasy

Anonymous said...

I was intrigued by Cipe Pineles. After doing some more reading I was quite upset, but not surprised, to learn that the only reason she was extended a membership to the New York Art Directors Club was because her husband William Golden had been offered membership and he would not join unless Cipe was allowed to as well. I found it very interesting that she was the first person (let alone woman) to hire fine artists to illustrate publications. It seems like such a simple concept now that we have entire magazines dedicated to this format such as Cooks Illustrated, but someone had to do it first. From what I was reading about her style of art direction, it seems that she "left the artists alone." To get any great work I believe collaboration and mutual respect are integral aspects of any great work such as a magazine. Apparently these qualities continued into her teaching. She seems like such a cool lady and I wish I could have had class with her! -Lucy Hynes

Sabrina Tomlinson said...

The thing that I think is most influential in recent discussion is the contribution of Piet Mondrian to the art world. Specifically, I want to talk about my personal experiences with his work and how they have affected me as an artist. As a studio art major, one is required to take drawing 101 as a pre requisite. The first thing we studied was the importance of Mondrian's lines and the golden rectangle. What was surprising to me in this class was the emphasis on precision and mathematical perfection. What looks like lines on a page are hours and hours of the perfect mathematic equation, creating the most aesthetically pleasing piece. We had to study Mondrian's lines in order to understand precision and the importance of measurement in our own work. It was difficult and not what I expected our drawing class to be, but the works I produced in that class were lifelike due to just those Mondrian lines alone. While not many in this modern time are using Mondrian lines as a work of art, for many it is the basis of drawing and the beginning of most of their works. Therefore, the impact of Mondrian has been universal and lasting. Like it was said in my drawing class, he is the father of modern design and I'd have to agree; it's difficult to find a piece that doesn't start with some vague idea of measurement and precision. That's Mondrian's impact, and I'd say the art world is a more aesthetically pleasing place because of it.

Anonymous said...

For this turn I wanted to comment on the propaganda from both sides of WWII. First I wanted to say how incredible propaganda can be to influence people’s decisions and thoughts. Since I was little I had learned about all the propaganda against the Jews from the Nazi side but I had never seen propaganda from the US against the Nazis. Propaganda, as we talked about in class isn’t really used a lot anymore but the way it was used before really changed peoples perception of situations if done right. From the Nazi side, even though they were wrong, they used propaganda smartly to show negative aspects of Jews that were obviously not true but since they were done well and at the right time, they got the message across and people believed the messages. On the other side, in America the propaganda was showing how the Nazi’s were trying to destroy the world in one propaganda specifically a church, which is crazy because Hitler was Christian. Overall the propaganda was a great way to get people on board with a message if it was done correctly and sadly the Nazi’s were very good at it.
Zina Dornbusch

Willa Deeley said...

I have always adored (not liked, but adored) a fun, creative presentation of movie credits, and because of this, my father introduced me to Saul Bass and his work in film. Just as book cover designers needed to capture the critical message of a story in their cover art, Saul Bass understood that a clever presentation of titles could act as a miniature teaser to the film, while also giving credit to the members of production and postproduction: “For the average audience, the credits tell them there’s only three minutes left to eat popcorn. I take this ‘dead’ period and try to do more than simply get rid of names that filmgoers aren’t interested in. I am to set up the audience for what’s coming; make them expectant’ (Saul Bass). Much like the art of film poster design, the value placed on movie credits have been waning over the years, with big budget Hollywood films focusing their dollars on special effects and celebrity casts. However, there have still been a few incredible movie title executions over the past few decades. While films like the Pink Panther Series and the more recent James Bond: Casino Royal feature dramatic, animated introductions, you can still trace elements of their design to Bass’ work. The original Pink Panther film uses a similar patch in design debuted by Bass in the Seven Year Itch, that transforms creative blocks of color and text into the actual film.

Anonymous said...

As a lover of history and United States history in general,my favorite topic of the last week that we covered was World War II propaganda. Although I found all of the war propaganda interesting, I especially loved the American war propaganda. I liked how we covered the less known posters. I felt that the posters were so graphically appealing even though they still did not have computer technology to put these posters together. My favorite thing about these posters is that they effectively send the message they are portraying; their richly colored illustrations and bold blocky type allow them to pop and catch people's attention. After looking at the examples you gave, and researching other posters as well, I have to say that my favorite poster is still Rosie the Riveter. I feel that the combination of colors, the type and the large, strong portrait as the illustration allow it to be simple yet very effective and clear about what they are propagating.
-Alejandra Madrid

Ashlee Fabian said...

The artist that most interests me among the ones discussed this week is Piet Mondrian. Previously, I had only known him as the pioneer of a very minimalistic kind of abstract art, featuring only straight black lines and primary colors (eg. his work of the 1930's). However, I was not aware of the versatility and complexity of his body of work, until I did some research on the different aesthetics you listed underneath his picture. It was very interesting to see the development of his work, from a relatively abstract but still semi-realistic and recognizable red tree to almost entirely deconstructed paintings of gridded lines. Furthermore, it is amazing to see the progression of his early work with lines and patterns evolve into the vibrant "Broadway Boogie Woogie". The truly impressive element of his "Boogie Woogie" is that it gives the impression of being very lively, colorful, and active, while only being constructed of many small, primary color rectangles in different lines and patterns. It is a testament to his genius that he was able to create art from lines and patterns that is somehow hugely evocative and even, to me, reminiscent of bustling city streets and bright lights. I believe our study of Mondrian truly demonstrates not only the evolution of his work as an artist, but the evolution of the entire abstract and modern art movement.

Anonymous said...

I find the work of Piet Mondrian to be unique among the art of the 20th century. As a founder of the De Stijl Art Movement, he created a style that had yet to be explored. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of modern abstract art because I find it hard to relate to; however, Mondrian’s art was balanced in a way that makes sense and pleases the eye. While at home in Holland, he created a style that focused on a simplified color selection, balanced composition, and proportion of parts to the whole. He would take an image and simplify it into its most basic form, allowing it to keep its original feeling, rather than abstracting it to the point where it no longer resembles what it first was. As a former chemistry major, I studied the smallest possible particles that make up everything in the universe. In a way, Mondrian does a similar thing, taking the whole and breaking it up into its most basic parts. In addition, by using primary colors, he is accentuating the fact that what he is creating cannot be broken down any further--that it is the smallest particle in the universe.

-Jamie Port

Fabiola Perez said...

Last class we talked about propaganda, and I really found that interesting. Propaganda’s aim is to manipulate people's beliefs in favor of the party that is making the propaganda. I found the images we viewed in class to be very manipulative. It is clear that they were used in order to sway the masses and to get them to believe certain things that may not have even been true. It was also used to put ideas in people's minds.
I also found it interesting that advertisers were influenced by comic strips. These allowed them to realize that people liked images and commentary that was straight to the point. It was almost another form of propaganda because it manipulated people in order for them to buy certain products.
Fabiola Perez