Project Assessment—Visual Language

Title/sub‐title of project
Project Name TBC

Focus (my project is about…)
My project will be a response to the news headlines specific to Margate fitting in-line with the Margate Design Festival. I will take news articles from various news outlets and agencies to form the basis of my work. The brief would be words from the news’ articles and my posters would be an experimentation of colour, form/composition using the idea of the grid. I will translate the story into a visual print/poster drawing inspiration from graphic designers who influenced the International Typographic Style and movements such as  New Wave design and De Stijl.

Headlines so far could include:
Sewage row / No-swim Zone
Airbnb crackdown
Gastronomic bliss

Research considered so far (current position)
I have been drawn to the era of Swiss Design/International Typographic Style, De Stijl in particular the works of Wolfgang Weingart, Wim Crouwel and Karl Gerstner. During one of the Visual Language class exercises we were each given one word and some black strips of paper. We had to convey the meaning of that word using only the black strips of paper and no letters. The rest of the group had to guess what that word was from the abstract composition created. The idea was to focus on composition in the abstract without conveying the meaning of words, exploring the concept of rhythm; movement; weight; space. I would like to explore and experiment with this idea further, extracting headlines/words from the news articles and convey emotion through thoughtful compositions and colour.

Further development (what next?)
I will continue researching the movements of Swiss Design/International Typographic Style, De Stijl as well as techniques and processes employed by the graphic designers who founded or influenced these design styles. I will respond to this research by experimenting with different colour combinations — using various tools and materials (eg coloured paint, paper), compositional layouts using ‘the grid’, scanning and manipulating using Photoshop/InDesign.      

Book and resources list

Book: The Anatomy of Colour

Gerstner’s theory of ‘The Colour Form Model’ presented in his book, The Forms of Colour

Graphic Design Manual: Principles and Practice

2 thoughts on “Project Assessment—Visual Language”

  1. Well done for articulating this proposal. Always important to get something written down as this then enables some interaction. One thing to note is that the second module on typography has an aspect of design activism and burning issues so some thought needs to be given that you have two projects that have a difference. ‘Sewage row’ might be one for this. The idea of using visual language to express evocative headlines relating to Margate could work eg how might one express gastronomic bliss? Things like sushi have a graphic look to start with. Do you show the word or is it partly hidden behind a fold or in varnish or invisible ink? So could this be the visual language headlines? When you say posters are you thinking an exhibition of posters or hangings? If hangings could the format be unusual like really tall and thin hanging from the ceiling? You mention Weingart and I think of how he would often degrade the type eg strike through it with lines or have an amorphous mass printed over the top. Maybe your visual language could integrate with simple key words obscuring the readability but making people engage and work to find out what the visual language is hiding. The project could do with a bit more focus but it’s a start.

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  2. Thank you for the feedback, Tony! I appreciate your ideas on how to present the works – something I can explore further, experimenting with various papers and materials. Also, your reference to Weingart supports my project idea of incorporating broken text, colour and composition to evoke emotion (almost similar to subliminal messaging in advertising).

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