A letter to you – a collection

To fund our final shows in London we have to create a book; a collection to sell. This collection has to relate to who we are as individuals and it should reflect our work ethic or personality. I like reading letters, especially those with emotion as I think in today’s society it’s rather taboo to show your emotions, especially when writing them down as it becomes quite the reality rather swiftly. But that’s what I want this collection to focus on; true and raw emotion. I’m asking you to write a letter – the first person who came to mind when you read the title. Write to them in short and send it to me.

What am I looking for?

WHO? Anybody. Your significant other, a sibling, your parents, your best friend, a missed opportunity, somebody who passed away, a pet, an ex, an old boss / colleague or a complete stranger. It’s completely up to you.

WHAT? The contents of the letter is also subjective. It could be a thank you letter, a letter to congratulate, a letter of condolence, a love letter, etc. It doesn’t specifically matter what you write, as long as it’s honest.

WHERE? You can send it  here,  or email me personally alettertoyoucollection@outlook.com – I’m not too fussy.

INCLUDE? All you need to include is the recipients age and name, but it doesn’t have to be accurate, you can change it if you want to be completely anonymous.

If there are enough submissions then I could possibly made a range of these books, but we’ll see how well the first book goes first.

Thank you in advance.

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Should designers take responsibility for the Ethics of Their Clients? (article response)

https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/designers-should-take-responsibility-for-the-ethics-of-their-clients/

Design is about passion. We create because we have the eye for it, but when it is taken out of our hands and we begin designing for consumerism, you start to question if that is truly is graphics?

We have a moral obligation to produce work that means something. We are leading the front of society as what we design in essence becomes the norm. As he new cop of designers, we are more socially and culturally aware and this is highly regarded as this means we can push boundaries further and begin to question the deeper meaning. For example, if nobody campaigned for the departure of the EU, it would not have been big news as the population would have now known about it, therefore we would have remained. You have to regard your ethics and morals, and find an equal balance.

At the end of the day it’s YOUR decision as a designer. But if you are working purely for money then, in my opinion, you are not a good graphic designer.

Wim Crowell

We watched this interview with Wim Crowell, whom I had never previously heard of. A Dutch graphic designer, type designer, and typographer. He is considered one of the greatest names to come from the Swiss Style. In the video he spoke of his career and how he made it to success.

He is somewhat inspiring. He worked his way up from a small company in Amsterdam to become one of the most influential graphic designers of all time. He worked a lot with contrast and always pushed further than other designers. He was intrigued and pushed the boundaries. Very expressive, and believed that “the machine cannot replace the precision of the human eye and human feeling”. He was passionate, and that’s something I took from this video. He truly loved design and didn’t want to be average, and so he wasn’t.

I’m a graphic designer, why do I need to ‘rite’ stuff?

Graphic designers use communication when writing a blog, invoice, emails, books, magazines, contract, brief, website, pitches, social media, business cards, cvs, presentations, job applications, art working, during their portfolio and so on. It’s imperative to have good grammar and punctuation otherwise you will not get very far in this industry.

Communication is key, especially as graphic designers. We communicate to an audience through visual elements as well as through written word. Writing, developing and learning make us better designers in the long run. We are forever furthering our discipline in order to create more and be innovative, and that shouldn’t stop at design.

As a designer we will have to go through a creative process when beginning a brief. This includes, and is not limited to, researching and understanding our brief/client, which is the main reason why it is imperative to be well-founded when it comes to communication.

Research and development is a crucial part of going to to create something that your client will love, however, to get to that stage you need to receive a brief that gives you detailed guidance and requirements that will assist you in creating something that the client wants. Examples of these are:

  • The purpose
  • The aim
  • The audience
  • The budget
  • The time
  • Images
  • The tone of voice
  • The bigger picture

Advertising is a huge part of graphic design, and if its not written properly the communication does not come through therefore it won’t do its job. Advertising is a promotional network, so you have to be able to reach out and grab the readers attention. Words are powerful, as is research. They go hand-in-hand to create a powerful message.

I research to develop new knowledge and there are unknowns that we need to know about. But, research is not inspiration, it’s information. Research makes you think about why and the purpose, to make you reflect.

When you design there is always a target audience. You are reaching out to somebody. This means it is necessary you know whom your audience is before you start designing otherwise you will end up taking the incorrect design route. When talking to a future client, ask whether they have had designing work created for them before, and then get in touch with that designer. Find out how your possible client responds and see if they had a bad experience, after all, any work you do is a reflection of you and word-of-mouth travels quickly if somebody isn’t too happy.

You also need to consider context. ‘What should I research?’ should always be circling in your mind. You can research anything, from materials, client and end users profiles, skills, technology, competitors, current trends, previous work examples, processes, budget, resources, other creative networks, etc. it’s entirely up to you. There are also many different forms of research; you can read, observe, create a survey or questionnaire, draw, take photographs, field record, notes, big data, look at user experience, reflect and so on. The more research you do, and the more you are informed, the better a project will be.

There are 3 types of research:

Primary: Research you conduct. Drawings, sketches, questionnaires, field recording, etc.

Secondary: Research you obtain from books, documentaries, magazine articles, and more. It has already been researched.

Tertiary: This research is reviews of secondary source. Websites like Wikipedia or a book review.

There are also two specific types of data; qualitative and quantitate. Qualitative is written data that is recorded by it’s quality rather than it’s quantity whereas quantitive data is numerical.

1970’s presentation

This was our presentation on the 1970’s: https://prezi.com/vycsocmjeloo/1970s/

Overall, I feel as though this group project wasn’t successful. Although the final pitch was strong, the group dynamic just did not work. Unfortunately, I took most of the workload on myself and 65% of what you see I had researched, worded and stitched together with hardly any help. In a group of 4 individuals I expected the workload to be evenly distributed but, in the end, this was not the case.

Yet, that being said, me doing some extra work really helped me understand the decade a little better as well as learning more around this discipline. It’s always helpful to have an insight of what was happening in the world; politically, artistically, musically and so on.

Taste, Morals and Ethics

Individuality is important in today’s society, however, we have a common unconscious which suggests that although we have our originality, because we were born or have learnt of specific events, our unconscious will drive us to the same conclusion.

Taste is your own personal liking. For example, I hate beetroot with a burning passion, yet my mother loves it. That’s our own personal taste.

Moral judgements aren’t always a collective, but others may or may not agree with you. Morally, I believe that guns should be illegal in America as they cause a lot of harm, yet Donald Trump believes there is nothing wrong with them, he just wants to focus on his wall first.

Ethics are not guided by law, but can often be the stepping stone needed to bring in  a new legislation. Ethics are shared morals; not talking in the cinema or catcalling.

Laws are enforced. Being catcalled is not illegal, but if the individual was to then verbally abuse you after you told them what a idiot they were being, that would then be considered illegal. Laws are usually put in place to coincide with an ethic belief; like the death penalty being banned as it was considered inhumane.

As a designer, these 4 words are always at the forefront of your mind. They determine your path. You have to think about your design approach morally, ethically and legally to decide whether you would like to pursue a project. Some individuals would argue that money is money and it doesn’t matter where it comes from, where I disagree strongly. You have to think about your consequences as a designer. Your impact on society as we have an obligation to how we want consumers to view the world.

An example of design gone morally wrong is UKIP’s infamous EU propaganda piece. Did the designer agree with UKIP’s political agenda? Or did they need some easy money? Are they even politically driven? These are the things you must consider. This billboard caused the horrific murder of MP Jo Cox. The backlash of a 10 minute, thrown together, inaccurate piece of ‘work’ caused one of the saddest stories of politics.

Some would say that if the designer chose to ignore it, somebody else would have designed it, and that may be true but how must that individual feel? Knowing their name is on one of the biggest propaganda pieces of the 21st century? And it’s all bad connotation. I, for one, would never my name anywhere near an agenda such as that. Nor would I work for a religious campaign as I morally don’t agree with them. At the end of the day, it’s down to individually but we should all think of the bigger picture as, again, we have an obligation to society and how that will move forward.

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Postmodernism

First used in the 1970’s; ‘reject the past and do better’.

If one was to define postmodernism, it was a ‘reaction to modernism’. It’s clean forward thinking and technology focused as well as returning to traditional tools. It’s general and wide-ranging term which can be applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others.

Postmodernism saw the rise of photography and the decline of illustration, but it soon returned in the 80’s and 90’s.

Postmodernism pushed for the emphasis on the individual above the community. In the 70’s individuals were referred to consumers, not people. Essentially, ‘anything goes’ is the tagline for postmodernism. In the 1950s you chose to be a Mod or a Rocker, and in the 1970s you chose to follow The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Whereas these days it’s much more difficult to place someone in categories unless they express that they belong to a group or culture. There is a lot of individuality in today’s society and we can choose to be whomever we like, which is the great thing about the 21st century.

Intertextuality: the relationship between texts, especially literary ones. In today’s world this is referenced within memes (sadly). However, a great example of intersexuality is The Simpsons; you had to understand what was happening around you culturally to understand the jokes. The Simpsons has always had a lot of references to film, media, music, celebrities, historic events and so on, if you’re not knowledgable then you most likely won’t understand the direction in which the episode is going. For example, the episode in which Maggie goes to day care and breaks out is a reference to the Great Escape.

Irony is when one uses something for any other reason than its intended use. Irony and sarcasm often come hand-in-hand, although sometimes it can be a little hit-and-miss depending on whom is expressing it. ‘That’s greaaaaat….’ is an example of irony and sarcasm.

Something being described as Kitsch means it is in poor taste, this could be anything from art to culture. However, being aware the something is kitsch yet wearing it is an example irony. For example, knowing lava lamps are both outdated and ugly yet having one in your living room is an example of kitsch. Yet, there is no distinction between high and low culture. Andy Warhol took the Campbell’s soup can and elevated it from low culture to high culture by putting it in a gallery.

It’s debated what period we are currently in; post-conolisation or post-modernism? Personally, I believe that postmodernism is one of the better theoretical frameworks as it allows room for individuality and there is a scale, yet that is ever changing. Yet the distinction between low and high culture could be somewhat toxic, especially politically. If the minority views shift to become a majority view, Donald Trump being President and Brexit being triggered won’t be the worst thing to happen in 2017, and that is a scary thought.