Visual Language: Project Update

Visual Language: The Status Quo / SocietyTo do
Brief
• An exhibition catalogue (could be Newspaper Club; Blurb book; postcards in a box; folded brochure; etc)
Completed
Pick up to three news headlines

~ GASTRONOMIC BLISS (seaweed, sea)
~ BRITAIN BEFORE BREXIT (red and white eg England flag colours, use geometry and graphic architecture of Arlington Towers
~ SURFACE COLLAPSE (using the Lido tiles as inspiration of layout, composition, colours and type)

To do
Go on another visual language walk to gather data — take photos of the environment/landscape focussing on colour and shape (seaweed, sea)
completion time: a morning or afternoon to gather images
Further experimentation with materials on the scanner
completion time: x 1 day of scanning
Experiment with typographic language and subject matter across the page
completion time: x 3 days of experimenting with scanned objects/materials and text in Photoshop
Project idea
• A1 or A2 posters x 3
• Focussing on local news headlines specific to Margate
• A response to current situations
• Translate articles and using the words as the ‘brief’ for artwork posters
• Experimentation of colour, form and composition using surrounding environment as inspiration

Typography: Project Update

Prototype – this experimentation would form as part of one of my final Typography posters. Titled CONscious, the concept is based on the theme of ‘greenwashing’. The denim material chosen and text CONSCIOUS is a mockery to a major fast fashion brand who has invented a new line titled Conscious to appear as being sustainable. Placed around the text would be a combination of facts and text taken from advertisements which contribute to the greenwashing scandal. I will need to be conscious of the paper I decide to print on for the posters. The theme I have chosen relates to Society & Nature and will hopefully spread awareness/educate around the topic.

Typography: The Green Sheen / NatureTo do
Brief
Considering the history and work of design activists such as David King, what burning issue do you wish to bring/campaign to a public or specified audience’s attention? How will you shout typographically? Where will your typographic noise be seen and heard?
Completed
Pick two major companies which demonstrates Greenwashing as case studies

~ CONscious (H&M and fast fashion)
~ SEWAGE ROW (Southern Water)

To do
Identify specific language they use in their advertising/marketing – quote facts and demonstrate how they’re greenwashing
completion time – this will take a few hours to collate as I have a the resources already saved

Think about sustainable poster paper – recycled options
completion time – an afternoon or morning to research and ring printers who offer more eco friendly paper stocks
Project idea
• x 2 large (A0) size posters to protest against Greenwashing.

Portfolio Acceleration: Typography

1. Title of project

The Green Sheen

2. Focus

My project idea came about by the lack of recycling signs and instructions on products and in public spaces – the confusion of what household items can or cannot be recycled.

Further research led me to find out that a lot of the items we consume can’t actually be recycled properly. Eg the new paper straws McDonalds uses and claimed to be eco-friendly cannot actually be recycled due their thickness which makes it difficult for them to be processed.

This led onto the concept of “greenwashing” which is essentially when a company or organisation spends more time and money on marketing themselves as being sustainable than on actually minimising their environmental impact. It’s a deceitful advertising method to gain favour with consumers and takes up valuable space in the fight against environmental issues.

A lot of the climate change posters I came across are very aesthetically pleasing and designed well but they didn’t necessarily teach what changes we could be doing to help contribute to a better planet.

I want to use the project to help educate consumers but also subtly call out large corporations who have a responsibility when it comes to their carbon footprint and who uses greenwashing techniques to favour consumers.

I want to respond by producing a series of large-scale [bespoke size] posters to protest against greenwashing . The series will be an exploration of how ‘typography treatment’ can be used to communicate tone of voice, personality, age, gender and mood – alongside experimenting with typography treatment, I will experiment with more sustainable mediums to endure, create and emphasise the meaning behind the project.

3. Research 

• book references, web links, blog posts

The term greenwashing was coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 in an essay criticising the irony of the “save the towel” movement in hotels at the time. He noticed the vast amount of waste he had come across throughout the rest of the hotel, where there were no visible signs of efforts being made to become more sustainable. He said that instead, the hotel was simply trying to reduce costs by not having to wash towels as much but while trying to market it as being eco-friendly. 

I was inspired by the Reverting to Type online exhibition organised by New North Press which featured protest posters from 100 letterpress artists.

Richard Ardagh, who curated the show said “The slow and systematic process of letterpress is therapeutic in a way a lot of people seem to be searching for with mindfulness and meditation…” 

Make Peace not War, Poster by Simon Wahlers as part of the Reverting to Type online exhibition.

I particularly enjoy the playful composition of type falling across the page — the broken words, floating away from the block text which hugs the left hand edge of the paper, creates a playful composition. I’d like to experiment with a similar idea within my final project — drawing the viewers’ eye to emphasise key words or facts.
May be an image of map
No photo description available.

These examples are from Make the Wave project I helped with in the summer, 2021. The project asked the local community to participate by making their own mark and message onto large recycled curtains responding to the climate crisis and what it means to them. It was a simple concept and used handprinted techniques eg a wooden stamp was created using the FabLab’s laser cutter as well as hand-cut stencils. It was impactful and grabbed the attention of passers by.

May be an image of outdoors
Image of the public exhibition of Make the Wave outside TMS.

I would like to experiment with different printing techniques such as stencil making and larger letterpress.

Artwork by Robert Brownjohn. I like the continuous line drawing of written text and mixed media. I want to take this idea further and experiment with embroidery and stitching techniques in the artwork which to create a more tactile effect.

The women’s suffrage movement was a large-scale propaganda campaign that relied heavily on processions and printed material to convey its message. Banners were used extensively. Unlike trade union banners, suffrage banners were embroidered, stencilled or appliquéd and were created from within the movement. Women’s traditional needlework skills were employed in a collective and creative endeavour. Some 150 banners were produced between 1908 and 1913, many by the Artists’ Suffrage League. The designs were heavily influenced by the arts and crafts movement and were much smaller and simpler than trade union banners.

Juxtapoz Magazine - Rediscovering Robert Brownjohn
Artwork by Robert Brownjohn. The repetition of VIBRATIONS emphasises the meaning and relates back to the idea of ‘concrete poetry’ which I am interested in to exploring further.
More repetition by Robert Brownjohn. The composition and warped effect emphasises the meaning behind the message.

I will think carefully about the production methods when creating my series for the project. Eg I discovered that RISO is a more environmentally friendly printing option which I would like to explore.

“Nothing captures the passion and spontaneity of protest like handmade signage. Often the urgency behind a protest means you just have to grab a marker and start writing.” (source)

4. Key experiments 

• quick photos of sketchbook / links to blog posts / digital images 

These experimentations are from the letterpress workshop with David Wadmore. I used the letters in my name, separating the vowels and overlaying them back over the top of the remaining letters. There was a couple of attempts to position the letters in place and create a balance between the but the juxtaposing red and black block letters.

Layout, composition and colour experiments in InDesign. The idea would be create stencils for the large letters and print onto fabric, the red text would be hand printed over the top. Each artwork/banner would consist of several layers and sections. These examples would represent one section of the large-scale banner.

5. Projected output 

• the thing you’ll produce

Up to three large-scale artworks printed onto recycled materials. The designs will showcase hand written type at various sizes presenting bold language and informative text of key facts/case studies.

6. Outcome

• intended result / impact 

I want to leverage the project to help educate and inform consumers about the broader term of Greenwashing. As well as subtly call out large corporations who have a huge environment responsibility and uses Greenwashing techniques to favour consumers. I want the large-scale artworks to be chaotic, imposing in size and messaging and have an impact when displayed in the public space.

7. Your audience

The target audience for the posters will be cross-generational, from late teens to the older generation.

8. How it will be seen and where

The prints will be hung in a public space (gallery or outside TBC) with the possibility of them draping on the floor — almost symbolising mass consumption + production.

9. Prototype of finished piece

Not quite there yet!

10. Project timetable to cover 

• Research stage

• Presentations and blogs 

• Concepts stage

• Refinement

• Production

Project timetableDates 2021/22
Research Ongoing
Experimentation17, 20, 21, 22 Dec
Concepts stageSend concepts to printers end of 22 Dec
Refinement27, 28, 29 Dec 
ProductionWeekend of 8 Jan 

Portfolio Acceleration: Visual Language

1. Title of project

The Status Quo

2. Focus

My project will respond – with an alternative approach – to news articles specific to Margate. I’ve named the project ‘The Status Quo’ as the work is a response to current situations and ironically challenges the status quo of accompanying illustrations seen in local newspapers. I will translate articles into an artwork which will be an experimentation of verbal language, photography, colour, and composition.

3. Research 

• book references, web links, blog posts

My work takes inspiration from design movements such as Swiss Style and Swiss Punk Typography which used the strict grid-based arrangement convention. I was drawn to graphic designers who influenced those movements, such as Wolfgang Weingart, who distorted and experimented with type, creating unconventional compositions. I wanted to take this inspiration and learn how to incorporate, and be more brave with the use of different colours and combinations of colour throughout my artwork.

Further research led me to an archive of French New Wave poster designs from the 60s such as this one by Clément Hurel. I am particularly interested in the composition and the interplay between black and white, high contrast imagery, alongside striking coloured text.

I also came across this album cover on Pinterest, redesigned by designer Jeff Rochester. I like the simple and tactile feel. Even though it is simply overlapping blue rectangles, it creates a strong sense of feeling and has a timeless appeal. This is something I could take inspiration from and explore further through my work.


Sho Shibuya’s New York Times paintings from 2020 interpret the chaos of the world and the beauty of each sunrise as an alternate, artistic historical record. From the start of lockdown, he began painting the sky from his Brooklyn apartment window as a daily meditation; using the front page of the newspaper for the first time as the country neared 100,000 deaths. Over months, gradient colour washes are punctuated by key dates that he interprets more graphically, with the series ending as Joe Biden gets elected president of the United States. Each composition is a personal expression, both escapist and all too real.

Sho Shibuya is an artist, graphic designer and founder of the creative studio Placeholder. Born in Japan, he has lived in New York City since 2011. He has designed numerous brand identities for start-ups and established companies alike, and created the non-profit project Plastic Paper, which uses creativity as a platform for sustainability. (source)

SUNRISE FROM A SMALL WINDOW by Sho Shibuya

Artwork by art director Robert Brownjohn. The relationship between the projected text within a low-lit space and onto the human body creates a distorting and tantalising effect. This gave me the idea to test this further — projecting text onto various objects in different lighting conditions.

4. Key experiments 

• quick photos of sketchbook / links to blog posts / digital images 

This example was created in the InDesign workshop — we experimented with text wrapping around shapes and paths. I want to take what I’ve learnt from this workshop and apply it in my final piece experiments.

5. Projected output 

• the thing you’ll produce

Up to five artworks printed onto newsprint and at the size of a double page spread newspaper. The paper choice is to further the essence of a newspaper. The titles of each artwork will be in a list format and will use keywords from the news headline that is being reflected in the work. The newsprint will create a textured appearance.

6. Outcome

• intended result / impact 

I intend for the prints to be somewhat emotive, composing a delicate interplay between verbal language, colour and photography. I want the prints to be nostalgic – eg ‘Sewage Row’ when you couldn’t swim in the sea.

7. Your audience

The work will aim to resonate with local people who live or work in Margate and the surrounding area. Age bracket between late teens and above.

8. How it will be seen and where

The prints will be framed and installed in a gallery setting in Margate. Framing the artwork will create a fine art appearance and contradict the lifecycle of a generic newspaper. 

9. Prototype of finished piece

Not quite there yet!

10. Project timetable to cover 

• Research stage

• Presentations and blogs 

• Concepts stage

• Refinement

• Production

Project timetableDates 2021/22
Research Ongoing
Experimentation17, 20, 21, 22 Dec
Concepts stageSend concepts to printers end of 22 Dec
Refinement27, 28, 29 Dec 
ProductionWeekend of 8 Jan 

De Stijl

In 1917, two pioneering Dutch abstract artists, Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, founded De Stijl. Originally a publication, De Stijl, which means Style in Dutch, was a magazine in which the artists promoted their ideas on art and abstraction. De Stijl soon became a full-fledged movement which advocated a visual language consisting of precise geometric forms (primarily straight lines, squares and rectangles) and primary colours.

Key period: 1917 – 1931

Key regions: The Netherlands

Key words: geometric forms, primary colours, form and function, Neo-plasticism, spirituality, return to order

Key artists: Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Bart van der Leck, Vantongerloo, Vordemberge-Gildewart, Gerrit Rietveld, JJP Oud

(source)

Theo van Doesburg, Arithmetic Composition, 1929-1930. Courtesy Kunstmuseum Winterthur

Karl Gerstner, 1930–2016

Swiss National Library rightfully will regard Karl Gerstner as “one of the most important innovators in typography, commercial art and corporate design” for centuries to come after his passing at the age of 86, on the 1st of January, 2017. One of the foremost Swiss artists and graphic designers, for numerous ground-breaking reasons, Ger­st­ner carefully divided his brilliance between being a painter and a graphic designer and became a pioneer in both pur­suits.

…Ger­st­ner knew that the aes­thet­ics of typog­ra­phy can aid the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of ideas and infor­ma­tion and that was the foun­da­tion of Inte­gral Typog­ra­phy.

Gerstner’s best-known work includes his book ′Programme Entwerfen′, published in 1963 – containing four essays, in which he explains the basic principles of his design method. Instead of setting out step-by-step formulas, the book provides a universal system for developing individual solutions, anticipating technological developments at the very beginning of the computer age.

(source)

Chromorphose 3.01
1973
nitrocellulose lacquer on aluminum
48½ h × 32 w in (123 × 81 cm)
Synchromie, 2003
Screenprint in 8 colors
53 x 72 cm (20.9 x 28.3 in)
Edition of 400
Carro 64
Material / Technique: variable picture ; 64 colour printed aluminium cubes, wooden and PVC tenter frame
Dimensions / Duration: 40 x 40 x 2,5 cm

Joseph Müller-Brockman

As with most graphic designers that can be classified as part of the Swiss International Style, Joseph Müller-Brockmann was influenced by the ideas of several different design and art movements including Constructivism, De Stijl, Suprematism and the Bauhaus. He is perhaps the most well-known Swiss designer and his name is probably the most easily recognized when talking about the period. He was born and raised in Switzerland and by the age of 43 he became a teacher at the Zurich school of arts and crafts. Words from www.designishistory.com/1940/joseph-mueller-brockmann

Wolfgang Weingart

Wolfgang Weingart has changed my understanding of graphic design.

“I like to organize chaos. Much of my work is organized chaos.² ” Wolfgang Weingart.

“Weingart shows that the readability of a poster is not necessary for its effectiveness but that it is very often the template or composition grid of the page used that makes it possible to do without it. Weingart became a professor in Basel in 1968 and proposes a radical break with the principles of order, clarity, structure and rhythm given by Emil Ruder . Weingart felt that the tradition of Swiss typography played an important international role from the fifties until the end of the sixties, but had become sterile and anonymous. His vision was to breathe new life into the teaching of typography by re-examining the supposed principles of his practice.

The only way Weingart could break the rules of typography was to know and play with them. He pushes the limits of readability and repetition of patterns, based on his own experiences. He also acquired the skills of photolithography, developing new concepts, masking and film layering, sometimes even using a camera to distort, enlarge or blur elements in his work.³ ”

Words taken from indexgrafik.fr/wolfgang-weingart/