Friday, April 6, 2018

your turn #9


this is charles mingus's 1954 Ah Um, a jazz masterpiece. the design is my neil fujita, we'll talk about this beautiful chapter of american graphic design and jazz next class

we did a wonderful group of graphic design european masters: cassandre, liberman, brodovitch, beal, zwart & binder. but their design in america is not european design. this is 100% american graphic design.

what do you think? (don't forget to leave comments for #8, here)

7 comments:

Denise O. said...

Last class, the old magazine covers from Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar were intriguing for me. I could not help but admire the simplicity in the covers of these world-famous magazines. The covers include photos that have a simple colored background and a person that is posing in a high-fashion outfit. The simplicity behind it is what makes it so luxurious, elegant and fitting to their title. I personally think that these types of covers truly left a ‘mark’ whereas the present day covers filled with colored text, cluttered titles and airbrushed photos, practically look like a cartoon. I am much more intrigued by these past covers. It is evident that the photographers took their time, and did not manipulate the photos as much. Also, the graphic designers used their creativity, especially seen on the Vogue title spelled in jewelry. Simplicity has definitely left its mark on these old high fashion publications.

Elizabeth Davis said...

I really enjoyed looking at the different magazine covers. The women are sometimes sexualized but in other ways, as in Rockwell’s the Post, they take on the role of Uncle Sam, however, at the same time, she is carrying around all the items that women usually use to do housework. From my point of view, its possible he is signaling that he thinks that women are running the country.

I found it interesting that Varga had such a specific and concrete process for creating his artwork. The only other time I have heard of an artistic process being so scientific is with photography. It seems as though he perfected the process because all of the watercolors look impeccably well done and give off the same pin-up-y feeling.

I also really enjoyed looking at Stunar’s work. I think it would have been interesting to see what his furniture designs would have looked like if he made furniture. I feel they would be sleek with interesting colors and angles.

Kim Diaz said...

This past week I found A.M Cassandre and Brodovitch interesting, while looking at their magazine covers and spreads one can see the different styles of design even though they are from the same time period. When I look at Cassandre’s designs I get a bit of a surrealist/cubism feel from them where the planes interchange and you don’t know what is in the foreground versus what is in the background for example in his March 1938 cover. I think it brings forth his creativity while also intriguing the viewer making them wonder why the cover looks that way therefore making them pick the magazine up and look through it. I just think they’re very fun to look at. On the other hand, Brodovitch’s designs are also fun to look at but I think his are interesting to look at because of the layout rather than the actual imagery. I think the images Brodovitch uses are simple, clean and elegant but I think the use of the images along with the text and how they interact with each other makes his designs dynamic. The use of asymmetry and recreating shapes with the text is a great way to have someone want to look at the magazine and feel like they’re not looking at a textbook.

Estella M. said...

I've been thinking about how each mark adds to the definition of our civilization. It seems to me that art is a reflection of captured moments and/or emotions of the times. It seems that graphic art organizes the chaos of life and helps guide civilization towards the future. A great example of this is the influence of Bauhaus masters who moved to America. Their work has helped guide America towards moving itself forward as a nation.

The work we looked at in class collectively has made us look at ourselves as Americans in a range of ways that have pushed our civilization and culture forward. It helps us celebrate and learn about our innovations and individuality. You can see this especially this in the work of Binder and Brodovich. You also have artists like Vargas who helped people at the time see the feminine beauty and strength of women. But on the other hand, artists such as Margaret Rourke showed us the reality of everyday life of Americans/ It's the combination of these marks which allow us to remain hopeful enough to work towards a better future while keeping ourselves grounded in reality.

Sondra Pearson said...

I studied Alexey Brodovitch in my other graphic design class and he quickly became one of my favorite designers. He seamlessly blends text and images together to create a harmonious and organic design. It still makes me smile to see his work; how his photos and images are one. His works inspires my own, and pushes me to combine text and images in an informative way. I also enjoyed seeing Herbert Matter and Lester Beall's work for the first time. Beall's use of color is especially beautiful, the way he uses the color overlays to make the image more dynamic. The overlapping colors also appealed to my printmaking side and reminded me of screen printing.

What I enjoyed most from this period was the use of primary colors to evoke certain feelings. Blue, red, and yellow are especially powerful because they are the simplest forms of color. The simplified color helps bring the designer's message across and makes it easy to reproduce. I enjoy more complicated designs, usually, but the simplicity and attention to detail makes these pieces true works of art.

Michael Haring said...


Although I was not in class, several graphics from the last section really stood out to me. Alex Liberman's Vogue covers specifically caught my eye. These iconic covers are visions of design work - the concept, the simplicity, the innovativeness. I like how he combines photography with illustration to enhance the images, for instance the hat on the black and white cover. He adds illustrated details to enhance the vibe. I also think he's admirable because of his range of accomplishments. His sculptures are undoubtedly recognizable, however they're extremely different from his graphic design work.

Herb Lubalin's work also caught my eye. His typography and design thereof really is a testament to the concept of form = content. the way something is presented, the structure, the format, the font, the spacing, it ALL matters in how it is received and perceived by the viewer. It's both so simple and also complex in it's simplicity. The Vargas pin ups were also captivating. The way he uses mixed media to achieve his almost fantastical representation of these pin ups is both unique and brilliant. the combination of sketch and watercolor and airbrushing really creates a lightness effect that glows and makes it feel otherworldly? mystical? There's something there in his design work that takes these girls into a magical realm.

Sara Punal said...

Whenever surrealism comes into an art history course, Salvador Dali is a common name. Although I am a fan of his work and do not want to undermine his artistic ability, I find myself a bit tired of analyzing his work, mostly his paintings. However, I appreciate the incorporation of furniture into this course and the change in perspective on it. Like Sondra said in an earlier comment, I never thought of furniture as sculpture. When Dali positions furniture into a greater work such as the Mae West room, it is blatant to tell that furniture is a substantial form of artwork. I appreciate the way this course has pushed me to view creations (beyond paintings or sculptures) as graphic design.