Friday, 6 June 2008

What is graphic design?!

Here ill be trying to answer the question of what is graphic design?
A good a start as any would be the wikipedia definition

"Graphic design is the process of communicating visually using text and images to present information. Graphic design practice embraces a range of cognitive skills, aesthetics and crafts, including typography, visual arts and page layout. Like other forms of design, graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated."

So what its saying is its getting a messege across visually, but its not just the final product that is graphic design, but the process leading up to that final product that is graphic design also.

theres a short video illustrating some of the key points of the process.

But graphic design is all around us, the world we live in has all been designed, by various different types of designer, graphic designer is in the broad field of anything visual, as a architech is a building designer and designs buildings in which to live in, a graphic designer designs graphics/imagery/visual information that is useful to the viewer/target audience.

Heres some very early graphic design from the book of kells, a book illustrated by celtic monks in 800ad of the new testament. The monks wanted to get across the glory of god within the pages and thus designed it to that effect, graphic design over a thousand years before the term was invented.

the gutenburg press (above) was the first printing press making mass multiple prints possible. whoever pieced together and carved the plates for it was a graphic designer.

Mondrian is credited with being one of the founding fathers of the "grid" system, commonplace in design today, in which all the elements on the page/surface are arranged according to each other on some kind of grid, works such as the one above by mondrian inspired this.

The term graphic design was first coined by William Addison Dwiggins, an American book designer in the early 20th century.

Graphic design moves through different styles and eras much like fine art does, as it tries to capture the publics need at the time.

bauhaus really founded modern graphic design, and was one of the first to teach more modern design principles, they're one of the most important schools in graphic design history. Outlaying may of the rules we still adhere to today.

constructivism came out of russia in the 1920's and was heavily linked to a political ideal. Its another example of a era of design.

this style of 1960's design is very recognisable, encompassing the free spirited nature of the era.

contempory design is a lot more open to anything, but it still has its styles, such as the grunge style above. now that everyone has access to computers, anyone with rudimentary knowledge can hash together some design, this is where it comes back to process, truely great design has great process behind it.

There are lots of rules to graphic design, and a saying that "you have to know the rules to break them", ill leave you with david carson's take on this.

fun typography...

Tiziana Haug did these really nice wolff olins type pieces. They are fun, yet legible. each letter has obviously been carefully considered, i particularly like the sauce one, it has a sense of class to it, imagine someone did this is in a restaurant, i feel there are new frontiers in design, with things like food crafting and other obscure areas. Design can be anywhere.

sweet gifs

the animated gif. basicly a series of pictures ran through to form an animation. Overused in thee early days of the internet, they can now be used subtly and playfully to good effect. I really like the one above, keeping the focal point of the glow stick glasses but changing the face, gives a really good effect, echoing the new rave culture.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Benjamin Verdonck's Nest

Benjamin Verdonck has created a giant nest on the side of a building in rotterdam. I love surreal art placements like this, they break you from the normal monotony of real life and make you think. This one was very well executed as well, being able to go inside it is another level of cool.

Giant plushies in hong kong

Seen on the streets of hong kong. I love this type of street art, it takes the normal wall drawing and adds another dimension. finding things like this when walking down the street are fun and cool, especially if not linked with the corporate.

brains dancing

another fun advert, its all about puppetry. Another advert pushing the comedic edge.

packaging design...

really clever idea promoting hand washing to save trees. The trees on the print will fade if hot washed, but remain if hand washed. Cleverly illustrating the point.

Jake blanchard...

another brighton graduate this year, jake blanchard has a simple yet complicated, exciting visual style. Ive always been a fan of group images that are linked by the same style. I could easily see this on a tshirt.

verity keniger...

verity keniger is just graduating from brighton uni. I love this style, execellent typography with a messy style that fits together perfectly. Theres no illustration as such, just powerful composition.

Amelia Roberts - global warming...

A pair of photography based pieces of design, commenting on chinas carbon emissions and americas involvement in the problem. It gets the point across clearly and concisely while maintaining a quirky look. When looked at side by side it delievers a powerful messege.

Muto wall animation

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Incredible video by blu. It must of took so long to animate the whole thing, it just keeps going and going. The out of the box thinking of combining animation with street art is really good. Its one of those simple ideas that you'd wish you'd thought of. Its executed really well. The soundtrack matches the animation and adds a certain something that makes it even more cool. I think the ending could of been improved, possibly building up to something really dramatic that pulls out all the stops. The interaction with the environment around was cool as well, and added a better sense of connection with the world.

Matrix ping pong...

black suits make this game of ping pong game really funny. Its a clever lo-fi way of getting a point across. Theres a lot of adverts out there that use the comedy edge to sell, and i think these work the best. They get discussed by everyone a lot more than a strictly cool or flashy video would.